Has anyone been to Uruapan recently? If so, any dining suggestions. I will be there from March 14 - 17th for the Fería and Concurso de Artesanias. I am traveling with a loosely organized group of people. The group has recommended these places so far --
- The Restaurant at the Masion Caputizio Hotel
- La Camelinas (upstairs at the Plaza Hotel)
- Restaurante La Terraza de la Trucha (somehow the part that says lots of tour busses arriving between 1 - 4 pm doesn't inspire a lot of confidence)
- La Pergola Restaurant
- La Lucha Coffee Cafe
I already know about the Purhepecha Fería de Gastronomia and plan to make at least 1 stop there. Hotel food isn't exactly my thing, but I do know that hotel food in Mexico can actually be pretty decent. I'm not particularly squeamish about eating down the food chain either. If it's regional, interesting or simply tastes good, I'm willing to give it a go. I'm also interested in perhaps visiting and checking out local mercados/tianguis.
I've only been to Uruapan once, for 8 hours, now I've got 3 days to get to know the city...and maybe finally learn how to pronounce it correctly ;-D. So I'm looking for food suggestion of any type. TIA
We will also be in Uruapan this weekend. Have you learned anything about any of the above. I ate at La Carmelinas last year and was underwhelmed. It's ordinary. I was thinking of trying Mansio Caputizio or Mariscoa El Chato ( see www.zonaturistica.com). If you get some good suggestions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We are staying at the Plaza, by the way.
Just go home today from 10 days in Mexico's central highlands. I was in Uruapan from the 14th to the 18th. We stayed at the B&B, Hotel Mi Solar, which was just a short 1/2 block off the Plaza de las Ranitas where the Muestra de Gastronomia is held. I can HIGHLY recommend this hotel. One of the "B"s in B&B stands for breakfast and they do it well, well with the exception of "wofles" which wasn't exactly the wisest choice, but hey...it was vacation, so why not try it anyway ;-). What worked REALLY well was something labeled Huevos Poblanos on the Mi Solar breakfast menu. A small casserole dish containing two poached eggs (whites set, yolks still runny...perfect in my book) arrived at the table drenched in a fairly loose, beautifully pale, green sauce based on poblano chiles. The whole thing was topped off with a nice mantel of melted cheese (probably oaxacan or chichuahua) and a sprinkling of parmesan (the owner's wife is Italian). The toasted bolillo slices made the best dunkers, too. With a plate of fresh sliced papaya and melon, and a strong cup of Mexican coffee, this proved to be quite a satisfying way to start the day.
Let's see, where else did I eat? I tried some uchepos from a street vendor that were okay. Actually, one was really good, but the other one was a bit too dense - okay, it was ALOT too dense. I am an absolute sucker for corn, lime, crema and a hit of cotija, so, ultimately, the uchepo that wasn't a leaden corn ball was a hit with me. The fresh, hot-out-of-the-oil churro from a street vendor was a pretty tasty snack. Fried dough and sugar, what's not to like.
La Pergola - had a decent arrachera there, surprisingly tender. The waiter warned me that this intensely brick red salsa was "muy picoso". It wasn't MUY picoso, but it had some bite and really accented the beef. La Pergola is kind of an interesting place, the tables in front always seem to be filled with men drinking coffee and smoking cigs, but the food turned out to be decent and once you get by the gauntlet of Mex. men it's pretty nice inside. The evening I had dinner there (alone), the Mexicans were all eating at the front tables and the Americans (probably ex-pats) were in back. The food is safe and reliable.
Restaruante La Terraza de laTrucha - There's a reason why all those tour busses stop here...it's good, very good. Trout raised on the property is the well deserved claim to fame. Whether macademia nuts are indigenous to the area or a new crop, they pair exceedingly well with rainbow trout. The Trucha Arcoiris con Macademia was our single best meal in Uruapan. Perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious.
Several members of our extended group had had the identical entree - trout and macademia - at Las Camelinas at the Plaza Hotel. They all liked the trout at Las Camelinas, but they LOVED the trout at La Terraza de la Trucha.
Other places we tried were the cafeteria (a misnomer if there ever was one) downstairs at the Plaza Hotel which was good for a quick torta and malteada but service was spotty. Cafe Tradiccional a block or so off the zocalo was actually the most reliable place we ate. Menu was varied enough and offered choices at a variety of price points. The pozole here was a hit with several of my companions, while I was surprised at how good the gorditas turned out to be.
There was an evening tamale vendor a few feet from the stairs leading up to the Plaza Hotel that I wanted to try but didn't. She had, by far, the busiest cart of any street vendor and her selections looked fabulous. Unfortunately, we had a couple of pre-arranged dinners that precluded me from trying it.
Several of us did visit the Mansion Caputizio. The grounds are beautiful and the troje-style bar looked quite inviting but we didn't stay. Instead we took off down the paths through the Parque Nacional, a destination that should not be missed if in Uruapan.
Some of my cohorts in folk art crime ate at the Gastronomia and loved it. We were all going to go back but got side tracked by the feria, the concurso and other "stuff". At least one of the vendors wanted us to come back this weekend when she was cooking some 8# fish Purepecha style. Now, that, I am sorry I had to miss because I bet it was fantastic.
For precisely the point you make. We (and this is a collective "we") may know that "cafeteria" means one thing in English and another in Spanish, but it's a hard separation for a lot of Americans to make. Especially for those of us growing up in the 50s and 60s when cafeterias were a fairly common restaurant option at the time and when it was the lunch ladies in the school cafeterias that were way scarier than the food.
The comment was actually made by a couple of Texans with whom I was having lunch. They were amused by the difference and glad that they didn't have to push trays down a serving line. And least we not forget, I've spent at least the last 20+ years operating cafeterias in some format or another; the difference is always one about which I have to stop and think :-).
At any rate, the chocolate malt was very good, the torta pretty standard, neither good nor bad; the service? not so much. We may have had a waiter in training. He was young and nervous.
Something I found amusing was that one of the Texans (who has traveled a fair amount in Mexico) couldn't get over the fact that the malts were made with "real" ice cream. I kept thinking, what the heck is "fake" ice cream until I realized he was thinking about fast food malts in the U.S. that are now essentially an aerated mix dispensed out of a Taylor malt machine; so perhaps now it might be the American malt that is the misnomer ;-). This guy was so happy to find old fashioned style malts made with "real" ice cream that by the time we eventually reached Patzcuaro he by-passed the nieves in favor of malteados (just around the corner from the nieves stands, on Ponce de Leon). The whole ice cream thing made me chuckle. I had no doubt the malts would be made with real ice cream, yet someone else was surprised by it. I think it really illustrates how differently we can all look at things that are so common and ordinary and that we just take for granted. Cafeteria or ice cream, it's all in the perspective and personal frame of reference. What makes it interesting and frustrating at the same time, is that our frames of reference and perspectives can all be so similar, yet so different at the same time.
"Restaruante La Terraza de laTrucha - There's a reason why all those tour busses stop here...it's good, very good. Trout raised on the property is the well deserved claim to fame. Whether macademia nuts are indigenous to the area or a new crop, they pair exceedingly well with rainbow trout. The Trucha Arcoiris con Macademia was our single best meal in Uruapan. Perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious."
Hey DD.... I remember some years back opening a Mexican Cookbook and seeing a recipe for Macadamia crusted Trout... which happened to be a fad dish in the U.S. at the time... and I remember rolling my eyes & being upset.... a couple of years afterwards...low & behold I am watching La Ruta del Sabor... and the guy rolls into an indigenous village in Eastern Puebla.... and the local specialty is Trout in Macadamia nuts... not some b.s. tourist dish... a true local use of a locally grown product.
Macadamias, of course, are of Australian origin... discovered (at least to the Modern World) in the 19th Century (no known use prior to that)... and have spread around the world since. Today, India is the major (by far) producer of Macadamias.... Mexico is 5th (curiously ahead of Australia)... and what is most striking is that very little of that is exported.... its all domestic production.
Within Mexico the vast majority of Macadamias are harvested in Puebla, followed by Veracruz... Michoacan is a very distant third with the bulk coming from the Uruapan area.
EN, thanks for the info. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect of trout and macademia nuts, but pleasantly surprised by how delicious the dish was. I have to say, the trout was perfectly cooked. The nuts were not over powering and their richness really did make a nice compliment to the fish.
I live in macademia country. San Diego is the #2 producer of mac nuts in the U.S. behind Hawaii. We can get them at our local farmers markets for very reasonable prices. I'm kind of thinking this dish would be a good one to see if I could reproduce at home. Not one person who tried it disliked it, in fact, everyone was really blown away by how delicious it was.
Not everything has to be frozen in time and tradition. I'm growing more fascinated by how food is evolving and new food items are being welded and incorporated into traditional ones. I think the Trucha con Macademia is a pretty successful example of that. The fish and the method (a la plancha) were traditional, the finish more modern.
We ate a Uruapan last March and it was good, I had the carnitas, of course.
I haven't been to any of the other restaurants on your list.
La Querencia is, hands down, my favorite restaurant. Nuevo Mexican fusion. Outstanding food, from the roasted duck tacos to the scallop sashimi to the red onion and bacon wrapped shrimp. Hubby likes their tuna steak entree and the ribeye beef steak.
Other favotites include La Espadana, La Diferencia and a seafood restaurant, something Mazatlan, that is in the lot adjoining the high-rise hospital, Centro Medico Excel. You can't miss it, it's a palapa with a thatched roof, the ceiling stretches up thirty plus feet. The very extensive menu specializes in seafood prepared "estilo Mazatlan".
Here's a link fo a website that specializes in TJ travel and restaurants, and though it doesn't seem to have been updated lately, the info and directions are all good as far as I can tell. It's a good place to browse for ideas for places to go (Note, if you do any sorting of the restaurants, the links go nuts and give some other restaurant. Just work your way through the full list and you'll get the info you want.)
The Hungry Hiker TJ: http://www.hungryhiker-tj.com/about/
Looking forward to your report!