Second Helpings

Yo, Rocky Point: Are there other things to do in Rocky Point besides eating dinner? (See this week's Cafe column, page 77.) You bet: Let's not forget about breakfast and lunch.

To fuel yourself for the day's rigorous activities, head to Puesta del Sol, the restaurant at the Playa Bonita hotel (Paseo Balboa #100). Set on the beach, it offers a breakfast buffet that runs from 8 to 11 a.m., seven days a week. For $5.75 American, you get to tour around a variety of Las Vegas-quality eats. And "tour" is the right word. The buffet is so ill-designed that if you move around the table in the wrong direction, you'll dead-end in another line and have to retrace your steps.

Don't automatically go past the fruit bins: You'll find melon, fresh pineapple and Mexican papaya, a product that's showing up in more and more Valley supermarkets.

However, I urge you to walk resolutely past the first bank of metal chafing pans, filled with several unidentifiable species of glop. You may pause, if only briefly, over the beef enchiladas and fried potatoes.

If you've moved in the right direction, you'll now find yourself in the omelet line. This one's worth waiting for. But don't waste any time over the rubbery pancakes and mushy French toast. Nab some bacon and sausage, and ponder why management puts out a chafing tray filled with broccoli, which every single patron in the place ignores. Then plant yourself in front of the woman rolling and grilling fresh flour tortillas. They're the best thing here.

For lunch, walk along the Malecon and nosh at a cocteleria. These amenity-free shacks sell everything from shrimp cocktails to tacos, at prices that won't dent even a student budget.

If you're determined to sit down and be served, La Cita (Paseo Victor Estrella #72) does an okay job. It's the oldest restaurant in town, in business since 1957. Some gringos swear by it, but I wasn't too impressed. Even though it's only one block from the docks, I wouldn't bother with the seafood. The shrimp cocktail features small shrimp, and it's not nearly as good as other local versions. Flounder Veracruzana is forlorn, a plain fillet decorated with a few unpitted olives. What is good are the enchiladas de pollo en mole, three chicken enchiladas draped with a yummy mole sauce ($3.75). The proprietor's mother came from Puebla, the region famous for mole, and brought her recipe with her.

And on the off-chance you're using Spring Break to improve your mind, stop in at CEDO. It's the Spanish acronym for the Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans, founded 20 years ago by a University of Arizona researcher. On Tuesdays at 2 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m., there's an entertaining (and free) English-language talk and tour.

To get there, go about a quarter mile south of the main drag's stoplight at Calle 13. Turn left at Fremont Boulevard, and go one mile. You'll see a sign on the right directing you to CEDO, which is about another mile away.

--Howard Seftel

Suggestions? Write me at hseftel@newtimes.com or New Times, P.O. Box 2510, Phoenix,

 
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