We had to buy more food for the week in Sayulita. We also had been communicating with T.R. and Linda about dinner and had agreed to buy fish for dinner. We woke up around 8:00. Suzette made coffee with steamed milk for her and me. I sautéed the bollia I bought yesterday in a skillet with butter. I turned out to be made of cake batter instead of the usual fluffy cotton candy consistency inside of a bollia.
I enjoyed with coffee and spread cherry preserves on the bollia. Then we took showers and dressed. The person who shared the bus ride from the airport to the Budget rental office recommended La Laguna Restaurant and Comer supermarket, so at around 10:00 we drove toward Bucerias and went to the fish market at La Luz where the northern side of Banderas Bay meets the eastern side of the bay.
The La Luz fish market is extensive with lots of fishmongers and wholesale shippers. There is every type of fish caught in the area. For example I saw a 600 lb. whole yellowtail tuna as well as cut pieces of Aji Tuna. We bought one pound each of large shrimp, Aji Tuna, grouper and a cooler to put those fish into, which the fishmonger packed in bags and then packed in ice in the cooler.
We then drove to the Comer store located in the large shopping center south of Bucerias next to the Mega supermarket. It is two tiered with the grocery store on the second level and other shops and covered parking n the ground level. The store was featuring an extensive selection of seasonal items from Portugal and Spain. While Suzette walked the ¼ mile to the bathroom I selected a roll of chocolate filled cookies. We then bought a handful of a new herb that is eaten in mole, limes, bananas, mung bean sprouts, white mushrooms, red mole, sliced ham, sliced Swiss cheese, Penefiel mineral water, mayonnaise, three integral bolillas, Cholula hot sauce, a box of 20 bags of lime blossom (tilapia) tea and sun tan lotion. The wine and spirits selection was extensive covering a large area. We selected a liter bottle of Castillo Anejo rum (my favorite Mexican brand) for 101 pesos ($6.00), a bottle of Spanish Viura white wine, a bottle of Argentinian Torrones, and a bottle of Spanish rose for about $7.50 each. We were interested in Moctezuma Brewing Company’s seasonal bock beer, Noche Buena. Suzette asked a stocker where it was and we were led to a stack of 12 bottle cases. We bought one for T.R.and Linda and one for us ($10.00 per case). Our total bill was $85.00.
We then drove further south to Nuevo Vallarta and near the Ameca River which forms the boundary between the states of Nayarit and Jalisco we found Calle Nayarit and the Laguna Restaurant. It was a large seafood restaurant located on the side of a lagoon in the marshes and estuary of the river and filled with turtles. When we parked the parking assistant asked us if we wanted our car cleaned of the bird drippings and dust it had accumulated parking under trees in a Sayulita last night. We asked how much and he said, “Just a tip”.
The restaurant was not crowded so we were shown to a table next to the wall forming the edge of the lagoon. We immediately saw turtles as other customers fed them fish food. A sign by our table said to not feed the turtles table food and that turtle food was available for purchase for 10 pesos, so Suzette bought a small bag and fed the turtles and took pictures of the feeding frenzy as dozens of turtles converged on our table. It was around 12:30 and Suzette had not eaten, but I was less hungry, so we decided to share an order of marlin tacos and an order of whole octopus and started filling ourselves with the gratis tortilla chips, and fresh pico de gallo. The marlin tacos were served first. They were fresh marlin meat sautéed in an assortment of herbs and spices and rolled into three corn tortillas. We put a small amount of pico de Gallo in each and ate those. Soon the whole octopus was served. It was six tentacles with the head cut out, sautéed in garlic sauce and served with rice and
steamed vegetables with garlic bread. We asked for corn tortillas instead and the bread disappeared and in a couple of minutes a waiter delivered a basket filled with four warm corn tortillas wrapped in a cloth napkin. I cut the octopus into bite sized pieces with the steak knife served with the dish and we made tacos of octopus, rice and pico de Gallo. I drank a Negra Modelo and Suzette drank the best margarita she said she had ever had. I thought the octopus was the best I had ever had, so we counted our meal at La Laguna a success. The waiter boxed the remainder of out meal we could not finish and we declined dessert. The meal with the $8.00 world class margarita and octopus plus 15% tip totaled 600 pesos (about $32.00).
We then returned to Sayulita. There is a really long light in Bucerias where they sell flowers. We asked a lady with a bouquet of Lillie’s the cost and she said 150 pesos, we did not have that so we negotiated for two blooms for 50 pesos and she broke off the two prettiest blooms and took our 50 pesos ($2.25). We also stopped at one of the jungle fruit and salt stands beside a copper wares stand on the jungle road near Sayulita, where we bought 4 bags of sea salt totaling approximately 10 pounds of salt for 50 pesos. We saw fresh star fruit and the lady showed us fresh jack fruit that had been peeled and wrapped for35 pesos, so Suzette picked two star fruit and we took the plastic tray of jack fruit for a total 105 pesos. I gave her 103 pesos, which was all I had and she took it.
I noticed one tire was dangerously low, so we asked where to find a tire store (llanteria). This was a déjà vu experience. I had not had a tire leak in probably forty years. We did not see a llanteria so we drove to the Pemex station at the Sayulita turn off and had the tire filled. When we asked the attendant where the nearest llanteria was he said around the corner. We drove around the corner to an area beside the highway covered with a large tarp with piles of tires. I asked the attendant to check
the tire and he went through the routine I had remembered from my youth. He jacked up the car
beside the tire, removed the tire, let out the air, removed the tire from the rim, put soapy water on the
tire until he found the puncture, marked the spot with a grease pen, removed the small nail (I learned
a new word, clavo, nail), roughed the inside where the nail had punctured the tire, applied mastic to the area, let dry a bit, applied a patch, used a tool to press the patch firmly to the inside wall of the tire, checked the tire with soapy water again, handed Suzette the small nail he had removed from the tire, put the tire back on the rim, filled it with air, and put it back on the wheel with a power tool and wrote us a receipt for the 100 pesos $5.50) it cost for the repair in a total of fifteen minutes. Just another day at the office for the llanteria attendant, but the saving of our trip from disaster for us. If the tire had gone flat on the jungle road to Bali Village, we may not have been found for days.
We drove back to the condo, put all our food stuffs away and lay down to rest and napped until 5:00, when we dressed and packed the star fruit, the jack fruit, some butter, and the bottle of Viura with the tuna in the cooler and drove to Linda and T.R.’s teak house in their Bali Village development in the jungle just south of Sayulita.
T.R. and Linda just published the history of their Moroccan import business located in Santa Fe named Nomads in a book titled “Lawrence of Marrakech” about how they started their Business through T.R’s love of Moroccan rugs. I originally met T.R. at the traders’ Market at the race track in Santa Fe. We must be kindred spirits because we became good friends immediately. We have stayed at their Bali Village house in Sayulita and their warehouse home in Marrakech and visit them regularly in Santa Fe, where they live.
When we arrived there was a chilled bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio in the fridge for Suzette and me, although T.R. drinks only good beer. We gave them the 12 pack of Noche Buena and Suzette
explained its special seasonal significance and I put the bottle of Viura in the freezer to chill. After drinks were poured Linda invited us to go to the patio for hor d'oeuvres but I was compelled to make the salsa for the fish. I made the salsa the way I make mango salsa, but with jack fruit and jack fruit
instead of mango plus 1/4 onion minced, 1 avocado diced and a generous squeeze of lime juice by
Suzette. I then peeled and diced the small piece of ginger, two cloves of garlic and ¼ onion and added a squeeze of algae honey to make the glaze and sauce that Suzette was making for the tuna. While I worked in the kitchen Linda was cutting broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onion, and squash for her steamed vegetables, so she was able to help me. Linda showed me a very important tip, how to eliminate harmful bacteria from fruits and vegetables, by bathing them in a solution of microdyn and water. I will try to find some microdyn tomorrow.
We then went to the patio and nipped cheese and crackers and chili coated roasted peanuts and sugar coated peanuts and talked for a while until it started to get really dark around 7:30 when we decided to cook. Suzette, with T.R.’s help fired up the gas grill and salted and peppered and grilled the tuna while Linda steamed the vegetables and I sautéed the onion, garlic and ginger mixture in a small skillet with butter and olive oil Linda and T.R. Just brought back in October from their most recent trip to Morocco to give copies of their new book to their Moroccan business associates and friends, plus the squirt of algae honey. Suzette glazed the tuna with the glaze while it was cooking and sauced the tuna with the rest of the glaze when it came off the grill.
Getting ready to grill the tuna
Making the glaze/sauce
The blogger with the author
Having drunk all the Pinot Grigio, we opened the bottle of by now chilled Spanish Viura and poured glasses for Suzette and me.
Everything was wonderful. The newly discovered jack fruit and star fruit salsa was revelatory, a first for all of us and wonderful as a complement to the fresh meaty tuna. The veggies were great and Suzette’s idea to make an East/West glaze/sauce for the tuna was brilliant and took the tuna to a new level; infinitely fresh and infinitely interesting. I loved this meal produced with so many ingredients
unique to this place.
We talked and drank after dinner until 10:00 and then said goodnight and drove back to the condo where we had a cup of tila tea and two cookies each before falling into bed.
What a great first day in Sayulita!