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Fish Tacos – from Sayulita to Cape Cod

We arrive in Sayulita around 1:30 p.m.

Our room being not quite ready, we drop our bags and head into town in search of our first meal.

Having spied a couple of taco stands on our drive in, we start off in their direction.  We walk down the rutted unpaved road from the hotel,

past the Iguana Tree,

and around the town plaza.

We come upon a woman in an alley cooking split chickens on a large charcoal grill.  We pause.  But no, there are days ahead for pollo al carbon and today’s plan is fish tacos.

A block past the chicken lady we come to two side by side taco stands, set up on the sidewalk, with a couple of plastic tables on the street.  We choose the stand with more customers, and after a brief review of the handwritten menu affixed to the back wall of the stand, we order 2 fish and 2 shrimp tacos.  And then we wait.

Two women seated at the counter bar are eating their meal in courses, ordering something new each time they finish the plate before them.  Our order is not making its way into rotation until the man handling the drink orders gestures towards us as he whispers a reminder to the woman running the stand.

A few moments later our tacos are before us.

Doubled fresh tortillas are filled with crisp battered shrimp and fish, topped with shredded cabbage, chopped onion, cucumber and tomato.  On the table are a variety of hot sauces, limes, and a pale pink crema sauce.  We both add a spoonful of crema and a squeeze of lime to our tacos, and after my first bite, I share with Dr. S my immediate reaction – I could be happy eating fish tacos for every meal of our trip.

Fast forward from Mexico to Cape Cod, where I am in the midst of an extended family vacation.  I offered fish tacos as my contribution to one of our group dinners and they were a tremendous success.  I marinated fresh cod in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin and chile powder for about 45 minutes before grilling.  Unable to procure any Mexican crema from the local markets, I prepared a substitute by mixing sour cream and bit of mayonnaise with lime juice, salt, cumin and chile powder.  Purple cabbage, avocado, pickled red onion, chopped tomatoes and scallions, and cilantro were the additional toppings.

Sipping my margarita and taking a bite, I could just about imagine that the waves outside were those of the Pacific.

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Sayulita!

Fish tacos, shrimp tacos, oysters freshly plucked from the sea

Hibiscus water, icy cold cervezas, grapefruit garnished margaritas

Orange sunrises over the mountains

Pink purple sunsets over the sea

Nighttime lightning over the ocean

Cobblestone streets

leading to dirt roads

leading to jungle paths




leading to secret beaches

Las Cuevas, Playa Malpasos, Carrizitos

Friend-seeking dogs sleeping beneath our beach chairs

Iguanas in the Iguana Tree

Tiny salamanders on the terrace

Land crabs scurrying from us in the jungle, burrowing on the beach, surprising us in our room

Just-made tortillas

Pozole from the street stand

The pollo al carbon we didn’t get to

Sayulita!

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