Mariscos Mar Azul
OtherBrotherDarrell and I met Jaymes and DimSumGirl and DimSumDude at Mariscos Mar Azul on Wednesday last, (the day before Thanksgiving).
This was Jaymes' suggestion as she had a relative who used to live fairly close by and had always liked it. It's been a while though and some things had changed...like the name and the location. (HAHA!)
It used to be a block west in a strip center and called Ostioneria Mar Azul.
We all used the internet for the address and all three groups had to find it on our own, but fortunately it wasn't far. The waitress told us they had moved several years ago, (I think).
As Jaymes had noted, a working knowledge of Spanish is strongly recommended, but we got along anyhow...
I don't remember what everyone else had so hopefully they'll be along eventually to fill us in.
I had a baked oyster app with crab and cheese. It was very fresh and well prepared. Very auspicious.
For lunch, I had a mahi mahi filet with rice and a simple green salad. Exactly what was called for the day before Thanksgiving! Again, fresh and well prepared. And "stupid cheap".
I think the oysters were about $7 and my fish was maybe $8. Excellent prices for the quality.
I don't remember what my brother had for an app, but for his entree he got a whole fish "a la plancha". It looked good and he ate it all.
It's about a block from Lopez and Taqueria Tepatitlan, (but in different directions), two places we have frequented regularly.
It has a full bar and we've been warned that it's much less family friendly in the evenings, but it was perfectly comfortable for a bunch of old gringos at lunch. Good spot that I would never have tried without Jaymes' recommendation.
Afterwards, we drove a couple of miles north to ECK, (Egg Custard King) for what DSG swears are the best "dan tat" anywhere. She swears that they're better than the place in San Francisco she usually goes which is world famous for them. I can't compare them to anything else, but if you are into things that may be the very "best in the whole world", you should definitely try them. ECK is on the west side of Wilcrest, just south of Bellaire, but faces south so you really have to hunt it the first time you go.
Tell 'em DimSumGirl sent you. <wink>
Yep, as Doobs said, we did meet for a great lunch. I started with the fish ceviche, which I love. Ceviche is a sort of a personal thing, with everyone having their favorites. I first began eating ceviche in Panama, several decades ago, so that's the style I like, and this is the best I've found since I got to Houston.
Also had a fried oyster starter, which was so so good. The breading was thin and light, and the oysters were barely cooked, so the texture was smooth and silky. We all sampled one another's dishes, though, and, although my oysters were delicious, I thought Doobie's oysters, baked with crab and cheese, were the menu lottery winner. I'm definitely getting those next time I'm down that way.
Dimsumgirl started with the gumbo, which I've noticed on the menu before, but never tried, not expecting that a Mexican restaurant would be the place to order a Louisiana-style stew. But, if the one bite I tried was any indication, that was really delicious. Wish I had gotten some 'to go' to be able to heat up at home during this recent cold and wet weather. Would have been perfect.
OBD did have a whole fish - not sure whether it was snapper or tilapia (mojarra) - in the traditional Veracruzana style. I usually get the whole fried mojarra, and can attest that it's wonderful. However, I do love that Veracruzana sauce, and next time, am going with that.
My son used to live down in that neighborhood and I visited Mar Azul often. My son moved, however, and so did Mar Azul. I was stunned to hear that all this moving took place over two years ago. I do miss the funky atmosphere of the old restaurant, but am thrilled that the food has remained the same.
Going back there for the baked oyster appetizer and the Huachinango a la Veracruzana is now at the very top of my dining want list.
If it helps, look for a building that would be what a Long John Silver's would look like. My guess is that they moved into the building when the chain restaurant moved out.
Good food-- quite a surprise.
And as Jaymes and Doobie Wah said, make your way to ECK. Definitely outshines Golden Gate Bakery which is supposed to be THE place for daan tat. Cynsa (from SF) and I don't even bother to go there anymore when I am visiting in the city. There's always a long line for their daan tats; we snicker as we walk past. They don't even know...