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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Off the Beaten Path in Puerto Peñasco


Gems Beyond the Tourist District by Gretchen Ellinger

Fishing was a way of life in Puerto Peñasco long before there was a tourist industry; in fact, fishing was necessary for most families to eat! Every man and woman I know who was raised in Peñasco can peel and de-vein a kilo of shrimp, and fry it to perfection in garlic oil, faster than you can look up how many pounds are in a kilo! A number of these talented cooks operate fine restaurants, and it wouldn’t be a trip to Puerto Peñasco without a great shrimp or fish dinner!

If you have not yet tried Aladino’s, you are in for a treat! Attractive with traditional Mexican decór, Aladino’s features a menu of Mexican entreés, at reasonable prices. Tortilla chips and salsa bandera, with cocktails from the full bar, started our meal. Our bilingual waiter patiently answered questions, but hedged on recommendations. “Well, I enjoy the camarón del Diablo, but you might not like something quite that spicy.” We did, and the less-spicy garlic shrimp was excellent, too. What? Everyone does not love shrimp? Those who love plain and simple fish will enjoy the pescado a la plancha, flounder broiled to perfection. All our meals were served with white rice, California-style mixed vegetables, and lots of hot tortillas. Very good flan, accompanied by freshly-brewed coffee, ended the meal perfectly.

Cost? Under $20 each! Aladino’s, open from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., is located on Avenida Constitución (Super Ley grocery is on the same street) 3 blocks north of Boulevard Benito Juarez (the main artery through town). Look for Hotel Paraiso, with the onion domes, on the west side of the street--Aladino’s shares the parking lot with the hotel. ¡Provecho!