Is there anything better than having a cold one and breaking bread with family and friends? I love sharing time with friends and I especially love sharing my favorite places with them that we have found during our travels.
On the ninth day of our Caribbean cruise we docked in Cozumel, Mexico and had plans to share a favorite restaurant with our friends Ron and Connie.
We made arrangements to meet Ron and Connie on the pier at 10 AM so we were up early, enjoyed a light breakfast in the Concierge Lounge and prepared to meet them on the pier. We stopped by the little tent area just a few steps from the ship and waited. And then, we waited some more. Finally, we decided to walk down to the end of the pier just before arriving at the port area.
We ran into Sharon who told us that Ron and Connie had been waiting and finally gave up and walked up to the shopping mall. Sharon said that if we hurried we would probably catch up to them. Sharon had already been shopping and was returning to the ship.
We caught up to Ron and Connie and had a few laughs about the mix-up about where to meet and talked about where to go. We were in a pickle as the ship docked at the downtown pier instead of the International Pier. Our original plans were to go the Harley Davidson store to pick up tee shirts for Ron’s son and then go to a new restaurant near the International Pier Randy and I had discovered on our last stop at Cozumel.
After a bit of conversation, we decided to walk around the downtown, stop for a cold beer and stop along the way for lunch. Randy wanted to go to Toro’s but I wanted to take Ron and Connie to Pancho’s Backyard. I won.
We walked along until Ron said he was thirsty and wanted to stop for a cold brew. We stopped at a very small restaurant called Mar y Juana with outside seating and ordered one of our favorite Caribbean beers, Sol! The restaurant is colorful, the waiters very friendly and the beer very cold. It was a pleasant place to just sit back watching the world go.
We continued our walk down the street periodically looking into the many shops along the way. It has become a little obvious that more and more stores have made the decision to move down near the International Pier. That concerns me a little as we enjoy visiting San Miguel and would hate to see more businesses move away.
We finally made it to Pancho’s Backyard and to my pleasure Ron and Connie were pleased with the choice. Pancho’s is an open courtyard, is colorful and comfortable with a variety of seating and table arrangements.
We all chose different dishes from the menu and all were delicious! Randy ordered the Taquitos de Pollo – eight golden crisp miniature chicken tacos with a center scoop of guacamole. Ron and Connie ordered Pancho’s Fajitas Especiales. I ordered the Enchiladas Verdes – with corn tortillas, shredded chicken breast, tangy tomatillo sauce, sour cream, beans and fresh salsa Mexicana. Everyone at the table said their dish was absolutely delicious!
While we enjoyed our food we were entertained by a husband and wife team playing a variety of tunes on a xylophone. Every once in a while the dining room would erupt in singing and clapping. Pancho’s is definitely a very nice experience. This was our second time and we will definitely go back again.
After our wonderful lunch we struck out again only this time in the direction of the pier. We walked along and I caught sight of something I had never seen s since coming to Cozumel. The copper sculpture that represents what Cozumel is famous for; its scuba diving and coral reefs, was alive with water falling into the starfish-shaped fountain.
On all our other visits the fountain had been drained and the not running. I had to stop and check it out. “How beautiful”, I thought. Ron wanted to catch a cab and make a run to the Harley Davidson store before returning to the ship so we parted ways.
The sky had been threatening all day and as we walked along it started to rain. We actually considered stopping and enjoying another beer while waiting out the rain but came to the conclusion that we would not melt and proceeded to the pier and boarded the ship.
By the time we made it back to the cabin we only had a short time to freshen up, stop at the lounge for a cocktail and make our dinner reservation at Giovanni’s Table. I love Giovanni’s. The atmosphere is simple, warm, inviting and the service is always wonderful.
Then there is the food! We started our meal with the Caprese salad for two. Vine ripened tomatoes topped with crisp greens and bocconcini mozzarella balls. With just a little of pesto and balsamic vinaigrette the dish was delicious and filling.
For our main dish we both chose the 8 ounce grilled beef tenderloin, served with garlic fries and the Barolo reduction .
The steak was cooked to perfection and so tasty. The fries were deliciously crunchy on the outside while soft inside. I loved dipping my fries into the reduction! By the time we finished I wondered out loud if I would be able to eat dessert.
Well, the question did not linger long when our server brought the dessert tray around. Randy loves the tiramisu and ordered some. He also ordered a small cannoli. Me, I wanted dessert but did not want to walk away from the table feeling stuffed. I chose a mini dessert called Crema all’ Amarena. This creamy custard dessert had delicious black cherries on the bottom and was just the perfect size.
It had been a fun and full day. We went up to the Diamond Lounge for a nightcap and then returned to our cabin for a relaxing evening.
Tomorrow is our last day at sea before returning home.