Ceviche diving in Puerto Escondido … kinda like buljol … but not really

In Trinidad, the closest thing we have to ceviche is buljol. I didn’t grow up eating sushi/sashimi but I quite like it – I had the same taste evolution with ceviche. It was a natural extension of the sushi/sashimi flavour palate, and in my travels across Central and Latin America, it’s always a staple in my food hunting. As for the similiarity to bulojol … it’s practically the same thing as traditional ceviche except that we use “salt fish” rather than fresh raw seafood. I mean take a look at the ingredients

  • 1/2 lb saltfish (salted pollock or shark )
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp hot pepper sauce or half a hot pepper (or add pepper to taste)
  • 1 sprig chive chopped
  • 1/2 lemon or 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes chopped
Notice any similarities there … however aside from the ingredients – there is nothing similar about the taste. Today’s adventure in Guatemala City involved going to a sort of “Ceviche Alley” in Zona 5. It’s always a sign of things to come, when even the locals don’t know about the place.

It seemed that in the midst of Zona 5, there was a sort of “Ceviche Alley”, since I counted no less than 5 other cevicherias within walking distance of Puerto Escondido. I can’t lie … the place is in a rather sketchy area of town and if you’re not going with a local person, it is rather difficult to find.  Once you get there though, it was PACKED! There are three floors to this place and thankfully we ended up with seating on the top floor, where I could take pictures of the surrounding cevicherias.

Since we had the help of locals, I could sit back, play dumb and just observe and order whatever tickled my fancy. In the end, we ordered a couple things off this menu

In the end, we started with some beers and 4 bowls of ceviche mixtos – I don’t really know what the difference between the small, medium or large was … but I do know what the extra large looked like.

The apple on the tray of ceviche or fried shrimp confused everyone … including the Guatemalans. I love D*’s awesome reaction to the apple on the plate – it truly made no sense to us … and the Guates couldn’t explain it either. If someone else is reading this blog, please let me know why they put the apple there (I did see locals eating the apple)

As for those shrimp that you see on the plate … and yes, they were shrimp – I wasn’t terribly impressed. For an example of fantastic fried shrimp, I highly suggest that if you’re ever in Edmonton, try the Shrimp Pakoras at Guru Indian restaurant. It is the epitome of what spicy fried shrimp should taste like! Anyway, back to the Guate shrimp – it looked like a chicken leg.

Next on the block, was the portions of ceviche and a vat of seafood soup (caldo de mariscos). Latin American seafood soup has to rank as one of my favorite dishes in the world, when it’s done right – since I do love soup. I don’t know what size we ordered but I think we ordered the medium soup, and this came out.

The reaction to the soup was also epic … more awesome reactions from D* … and even the chick behind D* was impressed … maybe she was enjoying our reactions to the nonsensical size of the bowl.

Our ceviches weren’t left in the dust either … those “tiny” bowls – I think each one was about 1 1/2 lbs each of assorted seafood nonsense in a bowl. I love how almost every bite had tons of cilantro on it. They must go through a lot of cilantro …

In the end, here was our entire spread … note that everyone was digging in … there was Carmen ready to mug for the camera. Normally, it’s Maria Jose in the far background to mug for the camera. Here is the before ….

and here is the after … any questions about what we thought of the meal?

Here is the address :
21 CA 35-01 Z-5 – Guatemala, Guatemala

Here is a good link to an old ceviche forum : Maximum Velocity.
A couple more places I found online …

  • Boca del Rio (unmatched)
  • The Safari (Puerto Barrios)
  • The Estero
  • The Gabiotas
  • Cocos Drive (by the Landivar)

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at rishi@rishiray.com

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