manzanillo: out on the town.

by Janetha on February 10, 2012

in eating out,travel

so, the “town” of manzanillo wasn’t big at all. i actually had never even heard of manzanillo until my boss booked the trip. in fact, i didn’t even know where in mexico we would be going. let me show you, in case you are like me and don’t know:

image (source: barcelo.com)

the red dot. that’s where we were.

so we stayed in the “hotel zone” of manzanillo, which was about 20 minutes from the heart of the town. there wasn’t a lot to do when out and about—marshall and i weren’t interested in excursions as we have done them before (zip lines, ATVs, etc) and none of them appealed to us—but we did want to sample some local cuisine… starting with some real, authentic mexican food.

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juanitos was raved about by everyone we spoke with. it was also close to our resort, so we decided to check it out. six of us headed there for dinner on tuesday night.

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bear with me as i post these less-than-rad photos. turns out, point and shoot cameras aren’t ideal for food blogging at night in a restaurant.

we looked over the menu and munched on spicy carrots & peppers. yikes, they were super spicy. i am also a super baby, though, so it’s all relative.

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i decided on the verde enchiladas suizas—a favorite at the best mexican restaurant in SLC (the red iguana.) i wanted to see how the real deal compared to the dish back home.

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the verdict? bueno. muy bueno. these enchiladas were incredible (cheap, too!) and reminded me a lot of the dishes available at the red iguana. just looking at the enchiladas now has me craving some authentic mexican food. might have to make a stop at the red iguana later.

our second time on the town was for lunch on wednesday… immediately after we gave up on the search for marshall’s lost ring.

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the driver that took us from the airport to our resort had highly recommended this restaurant. they had one thing on the menu: pollo.

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it was an open-air restaurant with dirt floors and plastic tables & chairs.

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the aroma of the grilling chicken made my mouth water.

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the menu:

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a whole chicken, a half chicken, 3/4 a chicken, or 1/4 a chicken! i loved how simple the menu was. marshall and i went big and ordered a whole chicken to share.

happily waiting for our pollo!

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you could get rice, salsa, and tortillas for an extra 5 pesos, which we did.

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this was, by far, the best grilled chicken i have ever eaten. and the rice was melt-in-your-mouth good.

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our table literally went from lots of conversation to ZERO words once the chicken hit the table. we were all devouring the chicken like barbarians, not even using forks. it was so good that nobody could stop.

we handled it. 

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three whole chickens between six people. i cannot believe that marshall and i got a whole chicken, two drinks, and a bunch of rice, tortillas, and salsa for 117 pesos. that is NINE DOLLARS, folks. for both of us. nine bucks for one of the best meals ever.

we decided to walk back to the resort so we could take in the local scenery. plus, i needed to find ice cream.

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our first stop was at a fresh orange juice stand. marshall and sim ordered some OJ and we waited as it was freshly squeezed.

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it was 50 cents for about 48 ounces of fresh juice. i couldn’t believe it.

we continued our walk and i continued my search for ice cream.

we found the mormon church.

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which was the only building in the area that was gated off with a big, barred fence.

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hmm.

we also found a pharmacy with some supplements…

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shark cartilage supplement, anyone?

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i also saw a couple familiar items…

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and yes, i finally found an ice cream cart!

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i got vanilla and pina colada. another 50 cent snack! manzanillo sure is affordable.

we eventually made it back to the resort and took a quick nap before dinner.. walking in the sun is pretty exhausting.

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the third and final time we ventured off the resort was on friday. i had been bugging marshall to see this giant sailfish statue all week, so he finally agreed to go. we took a taxi to manzanillo center and got dropped off RIGHT at the giant sailfish. you have to admit, it’s pretty rad.

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we wandered up and down a few of the streets, but soon realized there wasn’t a ton to see. i remembered reading lea’s post about manzanillo and did catch the street fruit and cool stairs she had posted about.

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i did buy some mexican vanilla, i love that stuff! i also bought a couple handmade bracelets.

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we had worked up an appetite, so we headed to a spot called bar social. this was recommended by one of the workers at our resort. the cool part about bar social is you simply had to order a drink, and free tapas were delivered to your table until you told them to stop.  i went with pacifico.

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there were SO many different tapas to devour!

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and devour we did.

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the bill for 5 beers and all the tapas came to 140 pesos—or $11 USD. can you believe it!? we were happy kids.

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the one last item on the agenda was—what else—ice cream!

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lea had posted about this awesome coconut blackberry ice cream she’d tried and i just HAD to have it.

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i polished this off quickly and couldn’t resist going back for another cup.. this time my favorite: cookies & cream.

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oh man. so good. it was the perfect ending to our jaunt around manzanillo center.

then it was back to the resort.. for more resort food for dinner.. can you read my excitement??

no but really, i am so glad we were able to try a few different restaurants. my favorite part about traveling is trying different cuisines, and i think we had a great taste of what manzanillo had to offer!

well, TGIF! i plan on a mellow weekend.. maybe i will even decide to unpack! what are you up to?

xo. janetha g.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Meg February 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

coconut blackberry ice cream!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME yum! oh gosh and I would be all over that chicken too :D

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Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Gosh all this talk about ice cream sure makes me want some….hmmm. ;)

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emily February 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Those ice cream pictures are *killing* me!

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Sarah @ The Healthy Diva February 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Wow all that food looks amazing…and super cheap, what a bonus!!! Growing up in california, mexican is my favourite cuisine. Every time I go back home I can’t wait to get some more authentic mexican food. Australians really don’t know what the heck mexican food is…but that’s ok they are good at other things (mostly grilling and bbq which is my other fav type of food). This weekend I plan to chillax and catch up on some work. Also do some LiveFit trainer and maybe venture out for a bite to eat somewhere. Should be bueno ;)

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes February 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm

holy amazing ice cream! Sounds so so good :D

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Bonnie February 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

What a fun trip! I like the way you staged your recaps too. :) Don’t you just love those prices?! Ahh, traveling. Good food, good prices, good experiences.

My weekend? Back country skiing all day tomorrow with Mikey! I’m packing food, he’ll pack gear after work and then we’re heading out to stay at a friend (his boss, actually!)’s house in the mountains so we’re ready to go! Then Sunday we’re probably hanging out low key with some friends. Should be a blast! Grateful for beautiful mountains and the ability to move in them. :)

Happy relaxing!

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meggi February 10, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Love that yall explored the town. When we went to the Cayman’s, our favorite restaurant was this little local place called “Chicken!Chicken!” … best grilled chicken and potatoes I have ever had! My parents tried to buy it as a franchise to bring to Oklahoma but the owners didn’t want to. Damn good chicken :)

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Katie February 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

These photos look so fun, colorful, and delicious! (Except maybe the shark cartilage one.) I’ve never been to Mexico but I’ve been dying to go…this post didn’t help!

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather February 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Mellow weekend for me too. Hopefully a little registering but my main focus is relaxation.

The sailfish is EXTREMELY rad, I want one

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The Delicate Place February 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm

1/2 pollo! i just ate dinner and my mouth watered at that one! holy crap it is way afforadable, i’d eat like a queen there! i’m glad you got away from the resort food for a bit, def looks like you got the good options there!

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Kim @ The Family Practice February 10, 2012 at 8:01 pm

everything about this post made me hungry… well except the shark cartilage :)

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Maren February 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

MAN I wish I could eat ice cream!!! You are killing me with all those pictures! I just finally unpacked all of our stuff last night from being gone last weekend. Feeling so lazy this week. I have to work for a few hours tomorrow and Nate wants to go ice fishing! Going to Fargo (the big city!!) Sunday to find some new tennis shoes and have my orthodics looked at! Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

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Nicole C February 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Finished off some bootcamp tonight, DIG fun tomorrow since I get free reign on my friends house and testing out my jazzy new road bike. At least I have an idea of things to do right?

Im going to have to go get some frozen yogurt now, thanks for the craving! ;)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Thanks for the gorgeous pics and making me feel like I left home without having to stamp my passport, deal with TSA, or anything like that :)

Have a great weekend!

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melissanibbles February 11, 2012 at 4:30 am

The chicken looks incredible. I love when it has that charred look, but is super juicy on the inside. Looks like a lot of fun!

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Lee February 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

I obviously don’t know about Mexican geography either because I definitely thought you were on the complete other side of Mexico. I think because we stayed near a Barcelo resort in Riviera Maya. I guess there are lots of them?

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Annette@EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Oh YUMM. I love ice cream. I love GOOD Mexican food.

That blackberry/coconut ice cream sounds OUT of this world!!!!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning February 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I was going to say- if all that place does is chicken, it better be the best damn chicken ever (glad it was!!). I wonder I can make that ice cream in my ice cream maker using coconut milk… (although I’m sure the version you had tasted a thousand times better. And i love that you went back for more ice cream. :)

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Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) February 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm

LOVE the really down and dirty places like with dirt floors and plastic tablecloths- those are invariable the best. And love how they sell fresh veggies on the street.

Did you say FREE tapas if you order a measly beer? Wow, that is a deal.

Glad you escaped the compound for a few good meals!

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Lea @ Healthy Coconut February 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

Love all the pictures.

So cool to see the places I went and seeing them in your pictures too. I’m glad you found the ice cream place and enjoyed your time walking around. I’m going to read the post about the resort and see if Manzanillo is a place worth visiting twice since we only had a 1 day stop during our cruise.

I bought the Mexican vanilla too and some a few souvenirs.

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Alysa (InspiredRD) February 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

My favorite part of traveling is exploring for authentic food (no resort food!). Looks like you found some good stuff!

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