Looking to Get Away? Sayulita may be your answer...
[The beachfront at Sayulita]
When you visit Sayulita, a small fishing village popular with surfers north of Puerto Vallarta, you expect to eat some good seafood.
I recently spent a few days there and I was not disappointed.
After arriving from Guadalajara via Primera Plus, a top notch Mexican bus company, we got settled into our rented vacation home, Casa Sorpresa. As you may guess, sometimes renting a house off the internet can be fraught with problems. At times the pictures upon which you base your decision are old, or even of another property. In this case, the pictures did not do the property justice. The place was fabulous and only about 100 yards from the beach, where we quickly headed looking for some good eats.
We soon came upon Captain Cook's Seafood Restaurant, right on the beach.
It did not take long for the margaritas and cerveza to make it to our table along with the requisite chips and salsa.
Let me just say that the salsa might be the most pedestrian salsa I have ever tasted. It was more like tomato sauce with a hint of spice. Perhaps owner Uwe Fellier, pictured here, is worried about too much spice for most of his clientele, but this sauce, along with his bottled Huichol hot sauce just don't cut it. How about some fresh chili de arbol salsa for us more adventurous folks?
The poor salsa however cannot take away from the real star of Captain Cook's... the food.
At Uwe's urging, and in spite of my wife's fear of tough, chewy octopus, we ordered the seafood platter. Lobster, shrimp, scallops, fish, scallops and green lip mussels all joined the octopus and were heaped on a bed of pasta.
It was fantastic.
The octopus was tender, the mussels delicious, and most importantly, the lobster was perfectly done. The scallops melted in your mouth and the fish was fantastic.
[Captain Cook's Seafood Platter]
Now when the plate you order is this good, you often wonder about the rest of the menu. Don't worry about that. One person in our group, a seafood hater, ordered up a Hawaiian burger, complete with pineapple. She raved so much that I ordered one for lunch the next day. Made with Kobe beef, it was wonderful as were the fresh fries that came with it.
My wife and I went back one more time for a late evening dinner at the oceans edge. And we ordered the signature dish, Pescado Sarandeado, a whole red snapper, butterflied, coated with a guajillo chili sauce and then cooked over a wood fire.
The fish was light with a hint of bite from the chili and just the right amount of smoky flavor from the fire. No other place in Sayulita serves this and probably with good reason. They are not going to beat the combination of beach, fresh fish and wonderful smoky flavor, so why try?
Uwe has got this place rolling. During the day he provides his guests plenty of umbrellas and beach front seating from where they can watch the surfers, read the latest book, and enjoy a great lunch.
At night, in addition to tables inside his restaurant, you can sit at waters edge for a nice romantic dinner while listening to the surf as it hits the coast. Wrap all this up in a package, add the great service, and Captain Cook's in Sayulita is a winner.
I just wish they had some better salsa...