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The green salsa, made with a base of tomatillos (small, tart, green tomato-
like vegetables), is usually served with meat, poultry and seafood. It is some-
times very hot so I suggest you test the salsa by eating just a little bit initially.
In fact, you should take a small taste of all salsa prior to putting it on your
Guacamole: Served as a condiment in almost every restaurant, guacamole is
mashed avocado, blended with salt, onions, chili, and sometimes other ingre-
dients. I have never been a fan of avocados, but when I first went to Mexico my
wife kept insisting that I try the guacamole. I refused, stating, "You can't fool
me. I know its just mashed avocados." I have tried various guacamoles on tor-
chips and salads and I have learned to enjoy it as much as red salsa.
Desserts: The most common Mexican dessert in Mazatlán is a delicious egg
custard called flan. Pastries in Mexican restaurants are not as rich or as sweet
as in the U.S., but equally tasty.
Other Mexican dishes: When you go to the restaurants that tourists usually
frequent, reading menus is not a problem because they are either in English, or
are bilingual. If you really want to get a "taste of Mexico," try some of the small-
er, more traditional restaurants. I've found some great meals by wandering into
places, or going because someone recommended a particular establishment. I
have listed some of the more familiar Mexican dishes in Appendix 3.
My favorite spots to eat: Costs are in U.S. dollars per person for dinner. Like
the U.S. and Canada, prices for lunch and breakfast are usually less.
Expensive = $20 U.S. or more
Moderate = Less than $10 U.S. up to $20 U.S.
Inexpensive = Under $10 U.S.
Even less expensive = Under $7 U.S.
The Sheik: If you are on the Malecón, you can't miss this complex that looks
like a white castle on the edge of the water. Appropriately, its customers are
treated like royalty. If you choose the terrace that sits out over the water you
can sometimes watch surfers trying to "catch the big one." After sunset, the
lights on the busy Malecón to the south are a dazzling sight.
The furnishings inside match up with any expensive restaurant in the
world. There is a waterfall and fishpond with hundreds of goldfish. A piano is
located near the entrance, and live music is usually available.
If you like a romantic atmosphere, delicious food, and enjoy being pampered,
Sheik is a must! I prefer the chateaubriand, French onion soup and banana flam-
Char les A. Hall