Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

Food, glorious, delicious, tasty, spicy, FOOD!

I can’t go somewhere and not end up writing about the food, and the trip to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo is no exception. I had some really great food on this trip.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures of food this time, I know, bad me, bad *spank* but I’ve got some. My favorite place of all to eat on this trip was Momma Norma & Deborah in Ixtapa. I went there four times to really give Deborah’s food a try and I was very happy I did. I had read a bit about the restaurant on the Zihuatanejo message board and had to check it out. On my first visit as I was drinking my pre-appetizer margarita (well made) Deborah herself came in to the restaurant carrying a large cake of some kind, and since it was early and I was the first dinner customer of the night she stopped and chatted with me for a few minutes, recommended that I have (oh dear I’ve forgotten) the coconut cream pie (I think, I know it had coconut). I told her I was more interested in knowing what that cake was she had carried in, and she told me that it was her award winning chocolate cake, I told her I’d save room for dessert and have that and with that she was off.

The next night when I went in for dinner she stopped by my table again, and apologized for being curt, (she hadn’t been in my opinion) and she told me how she was still recovering from Thanksgiving having served 150 Thanksgiving dinners, and how she had cooked all the turkeys herself because it’s not a bird that they have in Mexico and her staff still hasn’t quite ‘gotten it’ when it comes to making that. I expressed my amazement at the amount of food she had made and we chatted some more.

I told her how exquisite the spicy calamari was and Deborah said it took her a while to get her staff to make it right. Her staff has it down, this is hands down the best calamari I have ever had. EVER. I love calamari and use it as a test of a restaurant’s ability. The calamari at Momma Norma & Deborah was the most tender, succulent and juicy… I have never before, upon inserting my fork into a piece of fried calamari, had it squirt juice. I think my jaw dropped but I may have just opened it wider to get that sucker in faster! So before we go on, here’s the calamari.


All gone
Did I mention it was delicious?

Over the course of my four visits, I had dinner and breakfast twice (happy hour 2-4-1 margaritas rock). I tried a number of dishes among them the Spinach Salad which has a unique dressing that is just delicious, I asked one of the staff what was in it and he told me it was a secret.

The Mexican Combo Platter was very filling (but I still managed that chocolate cake) the platter was Enchiladas in a Salsa Roja, Tamale in Salsa Verde, & Taquitos with salad and cheese on top of them, in addition to that, there were the sides of guacamole & chips, rice & beans. Very filling but so good you are compelled to finish every last bite.
nom nom nom
It’s bigger than the photo suggests.

Now about the breakfasts not only were they hearty & delicious, they were unbelievably priced. Converting Mexican Pesos to dollars the French Toast was $2.50 as were the eggs (and I can’t remember what they were served with, I’m thinking toast and maybe rice and beans). Breakfast on both occasions, including coffee, water, Juice and tip was less than $7 US and I tip well. Deborah’s French Toast also has a little something different in it, she puts some orange juice in to the batter and it gives a unique and very nice taste.
French Toast

I can’t wait to go back to Ixtapa and to Momma Norma & Deborah. Now this wasn’t the only place I ate at but it was most certainly the best.

I had a really nice breakfast at Cafe Marina in ‘downtown’ Ziahuatanejo, right off the beach near where the fishmongers are selling the catch of the day. The woman who waited on me was not amused that I didn’t speak Spanish, but she was kind enough to correct me (nicely) on my pronunciation of Desayuno & Jugo (breakfast & juice). About the juice, I love grapefruit juice especially fresh squeezed but in the area it tasted different, not bad, but different. like it had a hint of rose water in it, this was everywhere… they have a different breed of grapefruit in Mexico is my guess, it isn’t bad, but it takes a little getting use to.

Fragolino’s is another must try, Italian style gelato and ice creams. So delicious, and with the heat and humidity it was so very refreshing.

Now for the hottest meal I had on my trip it was a simple lunch of shrimp, lightly cooked and chilled and served with a ‘sauce’ of citrus juice and pieces, chilis, and red onion. It was several glasses of water hot, and two Coronas … Coronas which cost$15 Pesos ($1.50 US). Last time I had one in Manhattan it set me back $6.00 plus tip.

So very delicious!

Which I had here

Now not having a kitchen or kitchenette in my hotel room I had to pass on this chicken, but damn I wanted to try it. and that’s $45 Pesos ($4.50 US)

Wish I had a kitchen
I’ve left a bunch of stuff out, like the other place in Ixtapa where I had breakfast and made this silly video.

When Enya came on, I immediately thought “QUICK, video the grapefruit juice!”And there we go, my food adventures in Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo.Charles.