BBQ Grilling in Puerto Vallarta Pt. II The Blue Shrimp

By  Mick Brown

[Last Dispatch written on Monday 2/17/14]

#portugueseshrimp #blueshrimppuertovallarta

Smoky Portuguese Shrimp at The Blue Shrimp Restaurant on the Beach.

Sadly, my time here in Puerto Vallarta Mexico is winding down. Last night’s wedding was a huge success. Congratulations to the happy Newlyweds Jacki and Andre. They would have easily won Wedding Wars on TLC. The Catering staff of Casamagna Marriott Resort and Spa, led by Supervisor Carlos, did an amazing job with the food. There wasn’t much from the Grill, but I’ll attach some gratuitous delicious Wedding Food pictures at the end of the article, anyway.

#theblueshrimp #martin

The Blue Shrimp owner Martin’ mixes drink at table while nearby Server makes a fresh Caesar Salad table side.

Before I toured the Grills around La Playa De Los Muertos, we stopped for a “snack” at the Blue Shrimp Restaurant. Mission Impossible. The place is popular among tourists for it’s name and excellent location. Though commercial and kitschy, the decor bespeaks of more cleanliness than you’ll find at almost any other restaurant in the area. As a Certified Professional Food Safety Manager, I see the California Department of Health would have a Field Day writing citations on the Beaches of Puerto Vallarta.

#chocolatebananamartini  #blueshrimprestaurant

A special request from the bar “L.A. Mick’s Choco-Banana Martini” (?)

After being seated by the Hostess at The Blue Shrimp, we were left alone at the table for quite awhile. Finally, we were greeted by the restaurant’s owner Martin’, who seemed relatively young for such a big establishment. He strongly suggested the menu favorites Portuguese and Coconut Shrimp. The smallest you could get was a “1/4 Order” so we decided to sample them both. While waiting, they allowed me to request an experiment of making a Martini with two of my favorite flavors, Chocolate and Banana. It came out delicious and we requested that that if they put it on the menu, it should be called the “L.A. Mick Choco-Banana Mix”, or something like it. We’ll see…

#coconutshrimp #blueshrimp #puertovallarta

Coconut Shrimp at The Blue Shrimp Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta.

Keeping it real, The Blue Shrimp is the subject of mixed reviews on Trip Advisor. Some people say it is under par and overpriced, while others say it’s the best food ever. As you know, it is always a matter of personal taste and your idea of reasonable value. Trying the dishes, I could see both points of view. The earlier comment about a snack at Blue Shrimp being “Mission Impossible” was regarding the big filling portions of their minimum sized dishes. Maybe it’s my bad, I didn’t realize we were ordering entrees that came with under steamed Rice and Veggies.

#coconutshrimp #blueshrimp #puertovallarta

A closer view of the Coconut Shrimp, with Dipping Sauce.

“The Good” was the Jumbo Shrimp- 6 per Order- all came out tasting nice and fresh. “The Great” was the presentations. The Bacon wrapped Shrimp was served on a half Mango Plank, with a torch burning for extra drama. The Coconut Shrimp looked  ginormous, plated around a freshly cut Coconut Bowl, filled with Dipping Sauce.  So far, so good. The “Not-So-Great” (or Bad) was the breading. I can see how some would have issue with the Coconut Shrimp Batter, which was an inch think on some parts. It is hard to find fault with too much Bacon. But the super thick slices on the Portuguese Shrimp were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavor did seem to dominate the fresh Shrimp. Maybe the dish should of been called “Thick Bacon Wrap with Shrimp”.

#BeefSataywithCucumberSauce #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

Gratuitous Wedding Food Photos (#1)- Beef Satay with Cucumber Sauce. The one that got away- didn’t get one before it disappeared.

With a little bit of food e-arranging, we were able to enjoy the best parts of the Blue Shrimp dishes, and leave the less desirable components on the plates. Still left full and satisfied. Next time we will do Tour of What’s Grilling on the Beach in Puerto Vallarta. Here are those Weding Food Pics I promised. Until next time- Eat and Be Well.

Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Catering, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web serial blog “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com

#tomatomozzarellaskewer #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

Tomato Mozzarella Skewers were served with fresh Basil Dipping Sauce at the Marriott Casamagna Resort and Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

#salmontomatosauce  #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

You can see all the great seasoning on this delicious Salmon with Tomato Onion Ragu.

#weddingcatering #chickenbreast #marriottcasamagnapuertovallarta

The Artichoke and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts were amazing with a light Basil Sauce.

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BBQ Grilling in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico- Part I

#grilled steak #puertovallarta

My first Grilled Dish was this Steak. Finally, cooked through to Medium Rare on third try. Restaurant shall remain nameless because they were nice folks with good reputation.

By Mick Brown

Was (not so) recently invited to a wedding in Puerto Vallarta. I say “not so” recent because the invites went out nearly eight months ago, so I couldn’t give the excuse “I have a Catering Gig”. For a forced vacation situation, it is lovely to be here in Mexico. Especially with Jamzilla going on in Los Angeles.  I ordered a Medium Rare grilled Steak on the first night here. It arrived raw, and I made the mistake of tasting it. My stomach is still paying the price for the faux pas.

Onto Grilling. Wherever in the world I travel, I try to make it a point to check out the local Grilling Scene. There is always something new to learn- a technique, secret ingredient or full recipe(s). If you stick with me, and I’ll show you that the world is indeed a small place when it comes to BBQ. The interesting thing is that Grilling is really big in Puerto Vallarta. Especially on the many great Beaches found around the town. I’ll let the story unfold through photos.

The first night, we took a walking tour around Zona Romantico, it is considered a progressive, trendy part of town. Filled with restaurants, bookstores and boutiques. We happened by a place Called Marisco’s (translated: Fishes). Unfortunately, the last place you want to eat is at an empty BBQ joint. There is no telling how many hours (or days) the food has sat around. So we had to keep moving. Plus, I had already had the raw steak fiasco, so wasn’t able to even taste a snack from the menu.

#bbqgrill #puertvallartamexico

A nice looking Grill at a lonely restaurant. The food could be great, but no one likes to eat at slow BBQ Joint where you have to guess how old the food is.

A guy behind the Grill was “barking” at people on the street and invited me to take a photo. Here you see Steak, Potatoes and Huesos (Ribs) being cooked on Mesquite. Something looked a bit off about the food anyway. Couldn’t quite put my finger on it yet.

Catering set-up at BBQ Beach Catering at Casamagna Marriot.

Catering set-up at BBQ Beach Catering at Casamagna Marriott.

The next day, I ran into a crew doing a BBQ Catering on the beach at my hotel Casamagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa. First, I met Marcelito, who was firing up the Grill. In an interesting twist, he used dry Sterno Powder as an accelerant on the Mesquite Grill. I am intrigued and will look into experimenting with it sometime.

#grilling #puertovallartamexico

First Grill Master I met was Marcelito, doing BBQ Beach Catering at the Casamagna Marriot Resort and Spa. He used Sterno Powder as accelerant for Mesquite Grill.

Later I met Chef Octavio, who ran the staff with great precision. They had their Salads set up and meats grilling like clockwork before their guests arrived at 7pm. I also met the hotel’s Catering Supervisor Carlos, who invited me to stay and cook with them. It was dinner time and I already had plans. But I hung around for a while, we took some pics and I gifted them with samples POWER Rub and the brand new HEROIC! No salt/No Sugar Blend. Guess they liked it. At least Octavio’s daughter did. She “Liked” my Catering and BBQ Rub pages on Facebook by the next morning.

#bbqcatering #casamagnamarriotpuertovallartamexico

A nice variety of Sides and Salads were thoroughly enjoyed by BBQ Beach Catering guests.

Not sure if seeing a guest Chef made their guests hungrier or not, but by the time I left for dinner the Beach BBQ Catering spread was totally demolished. Carlos, Octavio and crew were beaming with satisfaction from another successful event. It’s a feeling I am somehow fortunate enough to have after every catering. Great Job Guys! In Part 2, Vamos a la Playa- or I will take you to the Beaches of Puerto Vallarta and we’ll see what’s cooking there. Until then, Eat and Be Well.

#chefoctavio #casamagnamarriotpuertovallarta

Here I am with Chef Octavio of the Casamagna Marriott Resort Catering Staff. The Chicken and two other meats didn’t have much time left on this Earth- thanks to hungry guests. Mucho Gusto.

Mick Brown is a Food Blogger/Purveyor based in Los Angeles, with over 30 years BBQ and Grilling experience. Aside from Catering, his passions are creating Easy Grilling Recipes and searching for the World’s Best Flavors. General Manager of Tastee BQ Grilling Co. and the new California Gold BBQ Rubs. He is also author of web serial blog “The Adventures of Tastee BQ.” Email- Mick@TasteeBQ.com