Back in the Yucatan and away from all that Vancouver pan-asian-ness, the Casual Restaurant Critic had good reason to be in Chicxulub at 5 in the afternoon and found Los Barriles open for business. The owners were lounging about and the waiters were entertained by new flat screen TV´s hanging on the walls.
While enjoying the National Geographic Channel in Spanish and learning all about municipal cowboys in Delhi that are charged with clearing the bovines from the streets, the Critic enjoyed a crispy and deliciously white-meat tender boquinete – which is called hog fish on the menu in English (no idea if this is correct) – in the classic ‘pescado frito’ format, where they clean the fish, cut a few diagonal slashes on either side and throw it, head and fins intact, into a vat of bubbling oil. The result is pure fish-lovers heaven. Highly recommended, even if you can only get the more readily available grouper aka mero which is a bit dryer.
Before the fish arrived, and while the Nat Geo channel was still in Bangladesh, the Critic had a refreshing Modelo Especial michelada accompanied by 3 botanas; a crab/fish mayonnaise salad, minced shark cooked in a tomato sauce and a cold rice that resembled a paella, Chicxulub style. All good and served with tostadas that were actually crispy.
Cost of a meal like this – plus a Coca Cola for dessert – for one person? $155 pesos before tip. It’s good to be home.