The weather in Louisiana is warming up now, but we have recently had record cold weather. The temperatures dropped into the low twenties, and then there was the freezing rain. The roads were not navigable. I was content to stay at home and get some work done. However, I couldn’t help but daydream about warmer weather. My thoughts wandered to last summer when my sisters, our husbands and I traveled to Puerto Vallarta with my cousin and his wife. It was my sister’s tenth anniversary and they quite generously wanted to share it with family.
Before we left, I was told that we would be dining at the Ocean Grill during the trip. My sister had been to the restaurant more than once and loved the food and the atmosphere. One of the cool things about it, she said, was that we had to travel by boat to get there. I have since learned from their faq that one can also hike there from Boca de Tomatlan.
My brother-in-law arranged for us to have a boat for the day, and we all were looking forward to being out on the water. My sister had made a reservation which is required for one of their three seatings (11 am, 1pm and 3 pm). We could have also taken the Ocean Grill’s boat taxi from the Boca de Tomatlan pier but we were planning on making a few other stops as well. We met our boat at the marina and all piled in.
Although it had not happened to her before, my sister began feeling symptoms of motion sickness soon after we embarked on our journey. She didn’t feel well at all when we arrived at our destination. Luckily the perfect remedy awaited!
The original dock had been destroyed by a storm, so we had to make a beach landing. There we were greeted by Wilson, the canine host.
The Ocean Grill’s gracious human host, Alfonso offered to us upon our arrival the best margarita I have ever had. An elixir including fresh lime juice, ginger and mint leaves, it was a refreshing start to a delicious meal. When I returned home I had lots of fun attempting a re-creation of this cocktail.
While we were waiting for our drinks, Alfonso told us that he was from Mexico City and when we asked about his building project he explained that he was in the process of adding a spa and boutique hotel to his seaside restaurant.
The perfect atmosphere on a good weather day, dining at the Ocean grill is outdoors and covered. Even the bathroom has an ocean view.
We each ordered a variety of items from the menu so that we could share the experience. If I close my eyes I can still taste the butter-lime hickory sauce that was covering the grilled clams. The smoked marlin tostadas were delicious as well but I dream about those clams. The fresh guacamole was quite appetizing and enough for us all to have a generous amount.
While we waited between courses I walked around the restaurant and absorbed the refreshing atmosphere. Construction continues on the addition and Alfonso tells me that they hope to be finished in March of this year.
There were printed menus as well as a menu posted on a blackboard behind the bar — in Spanish. The catch of the day is served with a choice of side and a choice of sauce. A couple of us ordered the fish with different sauces and sides. I think my favorite of the sauces was the lime butter sauce. We were trying to place the smokey flavor and Alfonso solved our puzzle — hickory.
Entrees were well presented. Fresh red snapper, shrimp, Octopus and a hamburger (yes, a hamburger) were the items ordered. In the photo to the left, one can just see the fried plantains that are peeking out from under the fish. They were crispy and a great compliment to the lime butter sauce.
When it came time to pay the bill…we realized that not all of us knew that the restaurant is cash only. There isn’t an ATM, so there was a tense moment while we all gathered our pesos.
As we were leaving with our bellies full, we walked around the lagoon looking at the sand crabs.
Someone noticed a wine bottle that had washed up and joked about a message in a bottle. It turned out that there was one! Apparently the little boy who put the message in the bottle had released it into the water just the day before.
Our trip to the Ocean Grill was a memorable occasion and one that I hope to repeat.