About six weeks ago, when my friend Ric was down visiting, he and I, along with my friends Kathi and Warner, went to a new restaurant in Jocotepec. The really odd thing about this restaurant is that it is very upscale. Not just for Joco, where, frankly, a Burger King would be kinda upscale, but upscale even for Ajijic or Guadalajara.
I mean, this place has a waterwall!!! And white cloth tableclothes with brown runners! And fancy silverware and foo-foo drinks! In Joco, mind you! And, yes, yes, I know that with the writing on the windows it looks like a diner, but it’s truly not!
Kathi, Warner, and I were pretty much gobsmacked. (You can probably tell that by my excessive use of exclamation points!!!) I mean, in Joco, our finest dining places had previously been a place in a garage with plastic tables and chairs and a sandwich shop which is only open on weekends and serves, well, only sandwiches.
Both of those places are fine and I still love them, but El Quinto Sabor just towers over them in the “fancy dining” category.
I mean, this place has a BAR! Yeah, a pretty-much fully stocked bar!
Today, Sunday, 2 September, my friends Jonnie and Sher and I went to El Quinto Sabor (The Fifth Flavor….go figure) for breakfast. And it was a treat! I had been there for breakfast before with my friend Barbara Lauer, and I was so much more impressed with breakfast than I was with dinner that I insisted that my friends check it out.
Dinner was very good, but breakfast was spectacular! Not only are the prices less than one-half of the lunch and dinner prices, I personally preferred it. One of the things I liked the most is that the “breakfast” menu (served until 1PM) doesn’t just have breakfast items on it. It’s really more like a brunch menu.
Oh, sure, there are things like omelets
and pan dulces [Mexican sweet buns], but there are also things like Pastel Azteca (a stacked-enchilada dish with chicken, beans, chiles poblanos, and Oaxaca cheese served with two choices of salsas):
which is what Jonnie and I both had.
Another thing I like about El Quinto Sabor is the fact that the kitchen is glass-plated and therefore open to inspection:
And see that young man right there in the middle? That is Francisco, the executive chef at El Quinto Sabor.
One of the things I like most about Francisco is that when he’s not in the kitchen, he’s checking out things in the restaurant.
I’ve worked in restaurants off and on for many years in the U.S. and it is absolutely vital that the chef/cook (call him what you may) knows how his dishes are being received. And yet so many of them never venture out of the kitchen. I have seen Francisco out on the floor, not only speaking with the customers but bussing tables as needed. Now that’s a guy who cares about his restaurant!
So if you live on the north shore of Lake Chapala and you haven’t been to El Quinto Sabor, I urge you to go. And if you don’t live here and you come to visit me, we’ll go.