Eating Solo in Mexico – Part 2 and Bucerias Market

Today, I finally had more than two minutes to unpack both my Mexico and housesitting suitcases. (I left for Mexico in the middle of us housesitting.) I was sad to put away my hot weather clothes but it needed to be done. Tick mark on the to-do list.

Bucerias is a lovely little beach town a little ways north of Nuevo Vallarta. It costs under $10 CAD to get there from NV and maybe $12 CAD from PV. When I got out of my taxi at the market plaza, I was all of a sudden the most popular person there.

¡Hola, señorita! What you like to buy? I give you good price! Come see!

The words I am most familiar with in Spanish are “no, gracias“. I disappointed many a plaza vendor that afternoon. Mostly because I felt a bit harassed. The market wasn’t very full that day (a Wednesday), so they all very much wanted to make a sale. I understood, but I like to browse and that day was not a day for browsing. I wouldn’t have had any peace. So I did a quick scan while I walked through and then I got to the end of one of the aisles and a pair of earrings caught my eye. So I stopped.

And I met the very kind Roberto, who was happy to leave me be so I could browse. He and his brother, and his brother’s family (adorable children!) run that particular spot and they had some really nice wares. When I asked if the jewelery was real silver and how much the earrings were, I was informed that price is determined by the weight of the silver and that they aren’t allowed to say it’s silver if it’s not; they would lose their selling license. I was also told the price but because I was buying other things, I would get a good deal. Standard and always good to hear. 🙂

I ended up doing a bit (perhaps more than a bit) of Christmas shopping and buying a litre of vanilla. It was really hot out and I was given a bottle of water and a seat so I could view all of my possible purchases and narrow it down -I’m not made of money after all. I knew the average price of the items I was buying and I know I got a really good deal; which made me happy to spend my money there.

Like Roberto’s brother’s family, a lot of the plaza vendors live quite literally behind their shop areas. You would think that it would be dirty, but if you are nosy enough to peak inside, or if you look at them and the children, they are incredibly clean – spotless.

After my shopping, Roberto walked me to the nearest ATM so I could replenish my cash a bit as I spent a bit more than I had planned and I don’t travel with all my cash when I go out for the day.

I then went for a walk and to find what I had been looking forward to since I got on the plane. The BEST margarita ever on the face of the planet, made by the bartender at the Sunset Bar. Alas, the Sunset Bar is now called Breakers and owned by different people. I couldn’t fathom trying their margarita, because I knew that even though the spectacular view from the raised beach patio would be the same, the margarita would not. I ended up having my pre-dinner margarita at a place a couple doors down from what used to be the Sunset Bar called La Palapa, and it was good, but not the same… It was a very relaxing place to be though. I stuck my feet in the sand and enjoyed watching the random people go by.

After my margarita, I walked the beach and back up to the plaza to go through the Paseo del beso and over the bridge to walk over to where I was going to have an amazing dinner at Karen’s Place (Lazaro Cardenas in Suites Costa Dorada – Bucerias Bahia de Banderas). It was a really nice walk. I love the colours in Mexico.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to beso with on this trip but I still love this bridge and its sentiment.

Karen’s Place was a treat to myself while I was on holiday. (The funny part is that when I looked at my Visa statement, it really didn’t cost me that much.) Karen’s is one of the fancier and better known restaurants in the area. It is owned by a British lady (Karen) who arrived in Bucerias ten years ago and basically didn’t leave.

Walking up to the restaurant through the Costa Dorada courtyard. I LOVE a Mexican sunset…
Because Karen knew I was a reservation for uno, she brought me to a table with a beautiful view of the water and beach so I could have a front row seat to an amazing sunset. (I think I mentioned this before, but one of the perks of eating alone is that the restaurant takes really good care of you.)

View from my table.
My in-laws come here a lot when they are in Mexico, and I diligently said hello for them. Karen sent them a gracious hello back and left me to peruse the wonderful menu. To start, I ordered the Championes Karen’s (breaded mushrooms caps with goat cheese and fresh herbs with a chipotle ranch dip).

The mushroom caps were AMAZING. (Goat cheese makes my taste buds sing.) And when I looked up and there was no one for me to share my enthusiasm with, I have to say it was the only time that week that I felt lonely. I was at this beautiful restaurant, watching an incredible sunset, and having this wonderful food. By myself. But then I realized that I was in the best company. A very relaxed me. I wasn’t lonely, I was alone. And sometimes that’s an awesome place to be.

Okay, back to food. My entrée was the Trio which consisted of filet mignon with Merlot au jus, grilled mahi mahi with a white wine cream sauce, a jumbo coconut shrimp with tamarindo sauce, served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. All paired with a lovely Pinot Noir – I love Pinot Noir. The meal was so delicious, particularly the coconut shrimp.

Needless to say, I ate every bite. And because I as on vacation, I ordered what turned out to be a rather large slab of chocolate cake. Unlike the deep fried ice cream at El Dinamita, I was able to eat the entire thing. (It was chocolate…)

While I was drinking my peppermint tea, Karen brought me my bill and including tip, after looking at my Visa statement, my meal was $50.00 CAD. I do love the Peso to Canadian dollar exchange rate. 

Karen and her staff run a great restaurant, with excellent service and scrumptious food. If you are ever in Bucerias, I suggest you go for dinner at Karen’s Place.

The lovely Karen.

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