A New Dress and Lunch at El Fish Market

I went back to town today in search of my friend’s elusive publication as I had finally ascertained that it was going on sale today. I left around 11:30 after doing some work.

The embarcadero on the Maz side has had a new ramp since I got back from Mérida. Was very pleased to see that since the old one was starting to get scary.


The lady who works the deli counter at the City Deli was on the lancha with me and asked if I wanted to split a pulmonía. I was tempted, but I really did want the walk so I declined. She was taken aback by the fact that I was going to the Mercado on foot and said, “In this heat?!” I replied, “It’s just normal heat…” “Well, you’re strong!” I’m not the only “walker” I know who has no trouble doing so in this weather. Just stay on the shady side of the street if possible and hydrate!

I got to the Mercado and asked a few vendors about the publication, but no one had heard of it, unfortunately. I know that it’s a European newspaper with an online American edition, so it’s probably like getting a UK newspaper in Canada where you can only find one at specialty shops in larger cities. Hopefully, I’ll have better luck with a digital edition.

Next stop was a dress vendor. I really love my pink dress and always get so many compliments about it. It is a very flattering style on me and I have been thinking for weeks of trying to find another one that is very similar. Here’s the pink one:


It has some really nice embroidery at the bottom:


And the bodice has some gorgeous detailing.


I sort of remembered where I bought the pink one and started in that corner of the Mercado. A vendor immediately zeroed in on me. I said I was looking for a dress like the one I was wearing, only in dark turquoise or dark blue. She said, “¡No problema!” and pulled this out. Seriously.


It is very, very similar to the pink one, but has some differences. The hem embroidery has hearts:


The bodice has embroidery instead of the lacy panel insert and cords:


But the sleeves are fancy and have the same type of insert as the bodice on the pink one:


Here it is on me with my huge Mérida hat! By the way, I look like a tourist dressed like this! Mexican ladies might do a lot of makeup, heals, and fancy hairdos, but they are still usually in just jeans and a nice top.


I asked the lady how much and she said $380. I had driven a really hard bargain to get the pink one for $330, so I countered the $380 with that number. The lady immediately said yes. So either she was conceding that I knew what the dress was worth or I could have gotten a better deal. Who knows. But I’m happy with the price! A couple of weeks ago, it would have been a 28CAD dress, but today it’s just 25CAD! 🙂

Next stop was lunch. Contessa has raved many times about both grilled dorado (mahi-mahi) and the restaurant El Fish Market, so with her having been to the restaurant recently, it was on my mind. It helps that I’m still “meated out” from Mérida and only in the mood for fish, seafood, and beans. So I decided to go check out the restaurant. I requested the Spanish menu after being handed the English one. It’s a bit more work, but it’s good vocabulary practice. I was surprised that the prices were as reasonable as they are. There were lots of choices under $100 and I think the most expensive platter, a whole grilled octopus, was $200. Beer was $22.

Everything looked delicious and it took quite a bit of time to decide on the grilled dorado. I was really tempted by octopus, but the most appealing way they offered it was in a taco, which wasn’t what I was in the mood for. Plus, I’ve heard so much about the dang dorado that I really needed to see what the fuss was all about!

The dorado was $150 and a very generous portion came lightly seasoned with soy sauce over a bed of romaine lettuce with chipotle coleslaw and potato wedges. The fish was absolutely perfect, so flaky and juicy, with a nicely caramelised bottom. I’m always nervous about creamy coleslaw because of mayonnaise, but this one was too good not to take a chance on. It got spicier and spicier the more I ate it. The potatoes were disappointing, though, as they are the stock frozen McCain seasoned wedges that I’ve seen at many stops between northern Yukon and the Yucatán. I had one bite of them and that was it. Had this meal had a nice rice pilaf it would have been a 6/5 (really), but the potatoes put it at a 4/5. I am very likely going to have this meal again one more time and I will ask for it without potatoes but with a couple of corn tortillas instead.


Yummy lunch with a view!


My bill was a mere $172! I really hadn’t expected El Fish Market to be this affordable for this type of restaurant. Service was really good, too, closer to what you get NOB, with the server being very attentive and checking in on you. I gave him $200 and he came back with a pile of change for me to make it easier for me to sort out a tip (smart kid). I told him to keep it all and he was obviously very happy with that. It was about a 16% tip, not great for back home, but very good for down here as 10% is the recommended amount. I usually tip around the 15% mark unless the service was particularly bad.

For the trip home, I ended up getting a seat on the fancy lancha with a bathroom. For this one, the captain sits at the front and has a wheel and a throttle (I’m not a boater, so excuse me for getting the terms wrong). It was a lot more work to navigate than just using an outboard motor and docking was difficult.


It was another great day in Centro, days that are numbered, I’m afraid… The urge to have a cold beer on the Malecón will not be ignored from this point forward as who knows when, and if, I will get a chance to do that again once I leave next month…

24 thoughts on “A New Dress and Lunch at El Fish Market

  1. I just can’take get away from the shrimp tacos at El Shrimp Market. I know that I “should” try something else on the menu, but I’m addicted. They are so simple, but perfect. At least for me. Your dress and hat combination is a real winner!

    • You’re mixing up El Shrimp Bucket and El Fish Market, LOL. The former does have great shrimp, but the menu is very $$$.

      The hat and the dress do look good together. I had a lot of compliments in Mérida with this combination. 🙂 My new earrings from yesterday will cap off the outfit perfectly!

        • Yes, they have shrimp, octopus, or dorado tacos. But Kathie did mix up the two restaurants, so I’m not sure which one has the tacos she prefers. 🙂

          • The one you went to. I recognized the view from your photo. Shrimp Bucket is only for breakfast for us. And yes, the tacos are 30 pesos at El Shrimp Market. I’m frugal. The apt where we used to stay backs up to the Shrimp Bucket.

  2. I like the new dress. If it doesn’t get as many compliments it’s because the color won’t draw quite as much attention as the pink one. It’s still a beautiful dress. I also like the hat; it looks cooler temperature-wise than your scarves.

    • The colours are a bit off. The pink one is more of a coral and not as “hot pink” as it seems in the pictures, so it’s really not a more dramatic shade than the turquoise dress. The shade will also look good with my skin tone and I inadvertently matched my nose stud. 🙂

      The hat is as warm as a scarf, actually, and a lot less comfortable. The brim is really too much for me since I have no neck. I end up having to turn up the back. I have a smaller brimmed hat that is much more practical.

  3. I love mahi-mahi. Yours looked very good. I can eat most seafood a lot down there. Can’t go wrong most of the time. Try an octopus cocktail…not my favorite but you might like it. Not a drink but an appetizer.
    That dress does look good on you! Comfy too, uh?
    Beer, yes, why not?
    Your summer, um, winter has gone by fast! I mean I blinked & now you’re talking about leaving then Europe. Gosh 😉 😀

    • This was my second time having mahi-mahi and I am in love with it! I’m not crazy about the seafood cocktails (coctels) since they have cold tomato juice, the only way I don’t like tomatoes!

      The dress is very comfy. It’s easy to wear in this climate.

      Beer is a given! 🙂

      The winter has flown by. I’m a bit shocked by how fast.

  4. We love to have mahi mahi when in Hawaii and we enjoy dorado here in Mexico, all the same fish of course.

    Sorry to disappoint but I have never ever had the dorado fillet at El Fish. I may have had a dorado burger there years ago but the last few years we only ever have the shrimp fettuccine, totally decadent.

    I saw a teal dress at the mercado last week and thought of you, wonder if this is the same one. It slipped my mind to tell you but glad you found yet another great dress.

    • I’m not disappointed that you never had dorado there. I just wanted to try the dang stuff and this seemed like the place to try it! 🙂

      I resisted the fettuccine! I may go back and have it with octopus though, but only after a very good day of walking! 🙂 If I do that, I will have the wine since you recommended that on your blog.

      I doubt you saw my teal dress because it was bundled up in a bag, but I bet it’s similar! I want one more in this style in a deep purple! 🙂

  5. Kathie, you did it again, merging the two restaurant names, LOL. I’m frugal, too, but sometimes I want something beyond tacos and the like. I found El Shrimp Bucket was expensive with poor value, while El Fish Market was reasonably priced with good value.

  6. Wow, those dresses are beautiful for the price! Do they have pockets? That’s always the deciding factor for me and very hard to find in Canada any more even in pants! I find that those kinds of dresses often do.

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