Zihuatanejo-Troncones Dining (and EATS)
We'll be spending a few days at Troncones, north of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, and are looking for tasty local meals (especially featuring fresh seafood), and one, only one "splashout" dinner, preferably with a sunset view.
Please, let's keep it under 400 pesos per person for the splashout meal.
We are open to enramada dining and street food.
I've posted about our trip on the Lonelyplanet.com Thorntree, http://tinyurl.com/2wabrm
about our accomodations and "casual dining".
This post here is in reference to our "Splurge Dinner"
This post is about our "Splurge Dinner" at La Cocina del Sol, restaurant at the Hacienda Eden.)
On the advice of our friend who is a Troncones regular and of another source, we decided to dine Saturday night at La Cocina del Sol. http://www.edenmex.com/rest.htm
It's way down the "right side" of the Troncones T Junction. It's a beautiful place, with a warm ambience, a large patio illuminated by soft white lights and a garden.
We could see a blazing wood-fired oven in the background, which sight further whetted my appetite
(An aside here: when I walked in, there was a guy standing at the gift shop counter, a guest, I think, using an Apple MacBook Pro laptop. That was a little kick for me, an avid Mac addict. Then, around the corner, at the restaurant check stand, were two more MacBooks, at least, all up and running. Had we stumbled into an Apple Board meeting? Now I know how those stock options were cashed in and spent. ;-
Anyway, we waited a bit, but the busy manager lady was busy and did not recognize nor greet us for sometime. Some of our party felt we got a cold welcome.
As we were expecting two acquaintances to join us, we were seated at the only table available, a long picnic table and benches, with two regular chairs, one at each end. There were no six-tops available other than that one. (Two very long tables joined together were reserved for a private party or two, already seated.)
After sitting awhile on the hard wood seat, I noted other chairs with seat cushions, and I asked the Hostess/Manager for cushions, which she did graciously bring. She took our drink orders. I ordered a Bombay Sapphire Martini, strained, and it was pretty good (could have been a bit stronger, though.)
We ordered salads and a starter pizza when our acquaintances didn't show up. The apps came pretty quickly. Three of us had a tasty Arugula, Bean and Shrimp salad. We enjoyed them. Our friend Larry said his starter pizza was pretty good, but a bit cool.
(We were realizing that the staff was a bit overwhelmed, possibly, by the large private reserved party.)
Very tasty, wood-fired oven, sourdough-ish bread was brought. Good stuff (although the butter was ice cold hard, and we had no bread plates. A request for the missing plates brought them with a cheerful smile from the server.
We ordered mineral water, which came quickly, but without glasses. We hailed a server, asked for 4 glasses, and he came back—with three glasses.
Our main courses came. I'd ordered a Goat Cheese and Herb pizza; which was quite good. Mrs. Anonimo had Shrimp in a Sweet Chile Sauce, which she enjoyed, even though it was cold. Geni and her husband, Larry, had a chica roasted vegetable tart.
She wrote: "Larry had the same, only grande. They were very close to the same size, which was fine, since neither was very good. Sweet crust, not hot enough."
We ordered dessert: two of us ordered the featured dessert; a wonderfully creamy and rich Almond Cajeta Tart, with a small scoop of ice cream along side. Geni had the Creme Brulee, which she liked. I tasted a small spoonful and pronounced a perfect Classic. (I have made many a Creme Brulee in a restaurant I where once worked.)
Larry had a Mousse of Mexican Chocolate, and he was very happy with that. I tasted it and liked it, although IMO it neede more chocolate and menos canela. However, it was very tasty.
Our conclusion was that the Chef is skilled and creative,. The problem arises with the dining room staff, although cheerful and smiling, they were neither polished nor as well directed as a restaurant of this ambition and price range should be. The large parties seemed to have strained the staff beyond their competence.
I will say that when and if we are in Troncones again, I'd definitely give this restaurant another try. I think that they were just having a tough night when we were there.
From two years ago, we had good beach food in Troncones at Dona Nicas (just south of the main intersection) and a great meal at Martas just to the north in Majahua, which closes right after sunset. We were staying in Manzanilla Bay, so it was walking distance for us. Both were fresh fish, done Mexican style.
We ate at Hacienda Eden twice, which may qualify for your "splash-out" meal, Troncones style. I remember the food as good, but the best part was the setting and staff. Be sure to go for sunset.
Have also heard good things about the Inn at Manzanilla Bay.
Do check out the ZihuaRob site. We're going back this spring for a week, so will have more to say then.
The Inn at Manzanillo Bay is incredible. Chef/owner from the California Culinary Institute. Open for lunch and dinner, worth hitting it for both. You cna easily eat there for under 400 pesos/person.
Casa Eden has good-great food as well. Grilled fish/meat, i believe they have a pizza oven, and on Sundays have a big barbecue party. Not expensive.
Understand that dining isn't high end in Troncones, at all. You'll have to head to Zihua for high end food, but it's still not incredible, to die for stuff. The view on top of one of the hotel restaurants, whose name i always forget, is pretty good and the food is better than decent. There are some random taco shacks in Troncones that are good, I'd skip the food at the surf camp at the end of the road.
You should probably check out the recommendations at ZihuaRob's Ixtapa/Zihua travel board, you'll get tons of tips from people who know the area pretty well. Also, there was a discussion of Zihua food on egullet in the Mexico forum, which has good recommendations.