El Zarape De Lorena, La Paz, BCS

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With two locations in La Paz, this traditional Mexican restaurant offers high quality meals at reasonable prices.

On the Malecon, El Zarape has seating on the sidewalk that offers a view of the Bay of La Paz.

Ernesto, our waiter, was very friendly and spoke a bit of English. My meal of Tropical Chicken was a treat, chicken breasts stuffed with chipotle cream cheese and covered with Mango sauce. My friend had the Pez del Diablo, fillets with a spicy hot sauce. The meals were preceded by chips and salsas and a bowl of very good vegetarian lentil soup. Two for one margaritas are a good bargain here at about $5 US. The entire meal was under 500 pesos ($25 US).

Oaxacan Mole and Fish Tacos.

El Zarape offers excellent Oaxacan Mole, and of course great fish tacos. The mole is chocolaty and delicious with a kick of heat. The fish in the tacos is fried to perfection with a crispy coating that makes the tacos delightfully crunchy. You should also try their shrimp tacos, served with a very fine white sauce.

Tacos Dorado

Most meals are accompanied by a green salad and rice. Of course they bring tortillas with every meal as well!

We have visited this thatch-roofed place quite a few times. They have an outstanding collection of rare and unusual Tequila in fancy bottles lined up on shelves in a beautiful display case. In one corner is a stack of sombreros for the customers to pose in selfies. On the walls there are examples of traditional Mexican folk art, some of which is on sale.

Day of the Dead ornament with tequila bottles.

When friends arrived from the Netherlands for a diving tour, we took them to El Zarape to enjoy their excellent Sopa Azteca, which is finished with avocado and tortilla chips.

I do also recommend their Chilaquiles for breakfast. The serving is gigantic, there is enough for two persons on one plate!

There is seating outdoors on the sidewalk, with colorful Mexican blankets as seat cushions; bigger tables inside on the ground floor, and upstairs there is an open air patio overlooking the Malecon, but that awaits us for another adventure.

There is a wall full of skulls by the staircase.

El Zarape on the Malecon gets quite busy on Sundays for brunch, and holidays, when the locals all come out to enjoy a bit of fine seafood and Mexican traditional fare.

Open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 am until 11 pm. Local phone number is 612 129 6999 for reservations (only if bringing a large party).

Baja 1000 (2023)

Have you heard about the Baja 1000?

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Where they race through the desert from one end of the Baja California peninsula to the other (1000 miles) for a prize?

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From Motorcycles to VW Bugs to Quads and Trucks they face a grueling time limit of 50 hours.

Best over all winning time was 27 hours!

Imagine that, 1000 miles with booby traps, sand pits and crowds seeking a thrill out there in the midst of nowhere as you race at the fastest you can to get there on time, without breaking down, blowing a tire or running out of gas. The challenges are awesome!

Each year there are reports of spectators sabotaging or booby-trapping the course by digging holes, blocking a river to create a makeshift watersplash, or burying and hiding obstacles. Racers are warned to beware of large crowds of spectators in remote parts of the course since it may indicate hidden traps or obstacle changes. Many of the booby traps are not created to intentionally injure the contestants but are created by the local spectators as jumps or obstacles for their own entertainment and to create intriguing moments to be caught on videotape. The haphazardly designed obstacles, created by the spectators, are often very dangerous as the contestants may inadvertently enter the booby-trap at unsafe speeds, resulting in damage to the vehicles or injuries to competitors or spectators. Awareness of booby traps and course alterations are often part of race-day strategy and convey an advantage to the best prepared teams – nonetheless given the danger the traps pose, it is customary for competitors to quickly communicate course hazards to other competitors through on-board radio communications and radio relay.
From Wikipedia

Mariscos Los Laureles, La Paz, BCS

On the Malecon in La Paz, at the northern end of the town is a small but wonderful Mexican Restaurant named Mariscos Los Laureles. No reservations are needed, the attentive staff will quickly come to your table as soon as you select a place for your party to sit. I recommend the patio in front, for the best view of the sea and to watch the people passing by.

Camarones in Cream Sauce

Simply put, I fell in love with this place upon my first visit. That evening I had camarones (shrimp) in a cream sauce with sides of green salad, potato salad and coleslaw. Served with fresh tortillas (your choice of flour or corn), tortilla chips and salsa, this meal was delicious and very filling. The portions are large here at Los Laureles.

Ceviche on toast.

There is also a ceviche bar, where you can sit and have a snack of ceviche on toast, in a goblet, or by the liter to takeaway!

The beer is always flowing, the atmosphere quite congenial and everyone is happy to enjoy their meals here.

Fried Shrimps

Returning for a second visit the next day, I sampled the ceviche on toast, which was very fresh, and delicious in a bath of lime juice and spices. That time I had a main dish of fried shrimp which were also quite good.

Sidewalk seating at Mariscos Las Laureles.

Some people say this place is more tasty than the sea and I must agree! Not only are the prices reasonable, the service is excellent, and the food portions are quite filling. If you arrive and it’s too busy for you to get a sidewalk table outside, take a stroll on the Malecon while waiting, you won’t be disappointed.

The address is Paseo Alvaro Obregon, Esterito, 23020 La Paz, B.C.S. The telephone number is 612 128 8532.

 

Southport, North Carolina

At the mouth of the Cape Fear River is a village dating back to colonial times with several islands known for their fine beaches nearby.

The port itself is lined with seafood dining establishments including the famed Provision Company. The food is great and prices quite reasonable. Dockside seating is superb for sunsets, the shaded dining hall is a cool place to enjoy lunch on a hot summer’s afternoon. They also own the ice cream and souvenir shop across the street.

The World-Famous Provision Company in Southport, NC.

Next door I had a great blackened tuna sandwich at Fishy Fishy, also on the docks with a fine view of the river and Oak Island’s lighthouse. Across the way is the new, and way up high on stilts Frying Pan restaurant, which also had great reviews.

A drive along the waterfront areas is great for looking at the ancient colonial and civil war era mansions, cottages and even Craftsman style homes vying for the best views. A few streets back is a nice shopping area with lots of antique shops and tourist traps to keep one busy for a while. Mostly vacation homes, we hear the town empties out during the winter.

Nearby is Oak Island, a ten mile or more long strand lined with vacation homes, facing south. Some are really grand, and a mix of nice beach cottages – recently jacked up on stilts to survive the battering waves of hurricanes. The sand dunes in front of the homes are protected, and you can see where they are rebuilding dunes and planting miles of beach grasses to stave off the erosion. The beach is beautiful. Lots of clam shells, mussels and others crunchy bits are revealed depending on the tides. Leatherback turtles nest along the beach. Organized groups of turtle protectors guard the nests, sometimes moving the eggs to quieter areas and as they hatch, herd them into the sea. I just missed one brave turtle come out, sometimes they come out in batches over several nights…usually around the full moon.

Just across from Southport harbor is Bald Head Island, and to the east and noth of that is Carolina Beach, another fine long sandy beach.