A Gluten Free Gem in Cabo San Lucas,
May 31, 2014
Huntington Station, New Y
A good sized place just off the main streets of Cabo, Mariscos Mazatlan is named for the bountiful shellfish found off the shore of Mazatlan (a town directly across the Sea of Cortez on the main part of Mexico). This was by far the best atmosphere of any restaurant I've eaten at since going gluten free. Because it was off the main streets it was quiet and not too crowded, welcoming a lot of conversation between your companions and the staff as well. The doors and windows were open wide, letting the refreshing air in, and the furniture was colorful and comfortable. It was incredibly welcoming.
When we first arrived I provided the waiter (who spoke decent English) with my Spanish Triumph Dining Card and explained our dietary needs. We also asked for 'lite chips', the recommendation made by the hotel staff to ask for oven 'fried' tortilla chips. He had no difficulty understanding what were were asking, and immediately removed the fried chips from our table. What he did next blew me away.
He came back to the table with a package of hard tortillas in their packaging, and explained that the company made only corn tortillas. The only ingredients?: Corn meal, salt, and oil. The packaging even had an allergy statement on it, which said that there was no risk of cross contamination. How amazing is that!? For a 'clean' gluten free hot sauce he suggested Valentina salsa pecante, and removed the rest of the sauces from the table.
Now, onto ordering. The menu was plentiful but not overwhelming, offering a good selection of local fare which was primarily seafood. I was amazed to see so many various dishes made with only a few ingredients like shrimp, crab, oyster, red snapper, and other fish. The waiter explained that almost all, if not all, seafood was locally caught the day of or day before. He pointed out the dishes we were to avoid because of their gluten content, and assured us they could make changes to any other dishes we might want. We settled on ordering Whole Raw Oysters and Seafood Soup as appetizers, and Whole Red Snapper (my order) and Stuffed Fish Fillet in Diabo Sauce (Mike's order). The only modification needed for our dishes was to my Whole Red Snapper. To make it gluten free they cooked it in olive oil and spices, rather than English sauce and soy sauce. This was a change I was honestly happy about because it would allow me to enjoy the freshness of the fish.
The Oysters, well, they were an experience. Mike seemed to like them and ate them like a champ, a happy fresh food eating champ. I however, was not even remotely a fan. I made a FANTASTIC face and then proceeded to spit it out into a napkin. I forced Mike to eat them all (I know so terrible) so they weren't a waste of money.
The soup was a variety of seafood cooked in water and spices, creating it's own gluten free broth. It was simple and delicious.
When our main dishes came out there was a bit of a humorous exchange. Two servers came with our dishes at once, and promptly put them down: The Whole Snapper in front of Mike and the Fight Fillet in front of me. When we told them it was the other way around we were met with them making eye contact and saying "Gringa girl is very hungry!". I laughed so hard I could contain it, and got several glances from other diners. I know Gringa can be viewed as a derogatory description but it was said with such humor I just didn't care.
My Whole Red Snapper was in fact whole: It came out cut in half with tail, fins, bones, eyeballs, and all. It also came with a side or rice and beans. Much hand picking and for eating amounted to delicious fork fulls of fish, beans, rice, and salsa. For lack of a better word, it was fantastic. I give it one thumb and one fork up.
I was a little too engaged in eating my fish to take a photo of Mike's dish, but he assured me it was equally delicious.
So, how can we sum this up? Good atmosphere: Check, Good and Speedy Service: Check, Good Price for Portion: Double Check, Good food quality: One fork the one thumbs up. Mariscos Mazatlan is understanding and accommodating of gluten free needs, and a great place to relax and chow down. Oh, and you sincerely cannot go wrong with a restaurant that allows a Mariachi band to come sing you sweet Spanish melodies:
Submitted by Celtic Celiac (www.Celtic-Celiac.blogspot.com)