Acapulco located only three and a half hours from Mexico City is one of the biggest destinations for “chilangos” (people who are from Mexico City) and also for international travelers. Back in the 1950’s, Acapulco was huge for Hollywood elite, even Frank Sinatra included it in his famous single “Fly Me to the Moon.” Other notable characteristics of this charming city are the views of the bay: “La Quebrada,” a tall cliff where divers throw themselves into the sea (with the only protection of their knowledge of the tides) and over three hundred days of sun and warm ocean. The average temperature is between 78 and 89 degrees throughout the whole year.
Acapulco has many different ways to entertain its visitors including; the longest zip line above the sea opened earlier this year, chic nightclubs, delicious restaurants, bungee jumping, fishing, all of the water sports one can think of and so much more.
One of these water sports is what brought me to Restaurante Esmeralda. After water-skiing we were famished so our captain took us here where we got to eat the most amazing “Pescado a la Talla”, enjoy beautiful views of the lagoon and the ocean, relax in hammocks and look at the amazing nature all around the island, including a baby alligator.
Pie de la Cuesta, 40981 Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico
This restaurant is located on Montosa de Cocuya Island it is close to where Cocuya lagoon and the South Pacific Ocean meet. (a 40-minute boat ride to get there from where we were water-skiing) There’s a legend revolving around this island and the ones next to it; people say there was a man here once that had a hundred wives and they all lived there together. The rumor is all the local women here, that serve and prepare the food at Restaurante Esmeralda, are his descendants or ex-wives.
So this island belongs to the staff of Restaurante Esmeralda.
The kitchen is extremely rustic and the fish comes straight from the bay. We got Tiritas which are raw fish strips that eventually get cooked from the lemon and Maggi sauce added to the plate. The tiritas are also topped with carrots, green peppers and red onion.
This dish is very tasty, the saltiness and sourness from the ingredients make it very fresh, it’s like a cousin of ceviche. Ideal for a hot day on the beach, eat it with some crackers!
Next came the main dish… ladies and gentlemen: Pescado a la Talla!!! It is simply the best way to eat fish, it just is. I’ve tried it many different styles but this one beats them all, it’s so soft and buttery.
Until now I never knew what Pescado a la Talla was, but they make an amazing sauce out of mayo, tomato, peppers, garlic, and over a dozen ingredients, marinate the fish with it and then grill it. My favorite way to eat it is in a taco. You take a hand made tortilla spread some beans add onions, fish, avocado salsa and enjoy. (just be careful with the fish bones)
After almost an hour of eating fish and drinking beer we were all pretty full, but then someone asked about dessert, and the waitress told us they had Fried Plantains. My stomach then proceeded to make room for it, and after a few minutes, I got these beauties. I like to eat them plain, but in Mexico, most people get them with condensed milk on top, it’s too sweet for me, but if you have a sweet tooth go for it, it is a delicious combination.
It’s so much more than a restaurant, this is a whole island day experience! If you’re ever in Acapulco, Restaurante Esmeralda is a must!