Joe the Birthday Boy

San Clemente 1.17.2013 017

Like most celebrations this past few months, Joe and I tend to always go back to Viviana’s for all the right reasons. Sitting at a beachfront restaurant sipping a cold Pilsener is probably one of the most perfect things on earth to do at this stage of our lives. As you see by Joe’s smiling face he and I are in total agreement on this fact.

Next, the food. Perfection. Yesterdays birthday boys choice was Arroz Con Mixto. This is a rich brown rice packed with your choice of two fresh from the sea treats. Joe’s choice – shrimp and calamari. When he was given his plate Eva the chef had thrown in baby pulpo (octopus) as well. AND papas fritas.

San Clemente 1.17.2013 018

Now don’t say a word, Joe wanted french fries (papas fritas) but Eva said that she did not have any so he changed his order from Shrimp in Garlic Sauce with French Fries to the Arroz con mixto  dish. But when his plate was delivered Eva had found him the potatoes he wanted…a starch fest for sure. Joe did not complain.

San Clemente 1.17.2013 020

San Clemente 1.17.2013 050

Viviana and her cousin were out walking on the beach and stopped by to say hello and brought Joe a piece of birthday cake. This was tres leches which is a very rich cake with three different types of cream added to make it even richer.

San Clemente 1.17.2013 058

Viviana and Joe sharing a hug. She is a lovely young woman, a great entrepreneur and has a wonderful family that is so supportive of her and the business.

San Clemente 1.17.2013 060

On our walk back down the beach, Joe had to show his cliff diving stance with the beautiful South Pacific sunset in the background.

San Clemente 1.17.2013 063

What a great way to celebrate a birthday….we need to do this every week. Oh I forgot we do make it our Sunday ritual to visit Viviana’s for a late lunch each week. How blessed are we?

San Clemente 1.17.2013 080

One last photo of last evenings sunset. Happy Birthday Joe may this year be filled with blessings beyond your wildest dreams!

Dinner at Hotel Palmazul

It was a perfect evening one Friday to try out the restaurant at the Hotel Palmazul a few blocks from our house. Joe and I were given a bit of a tour while we were visiting a few months back but did not have the time to try out their restaurant.

You can eat on their pool deck or in the 2nd floor restaurant that overlooks the pool and ocean.

We started out on the pool deck with a cocktail of Club beer but, as soon as the sun set, the wind off the water was a bit too much for us.

Next time I would take a sweater or light jacket because it was a beautiful spot and would have been perfect for a wonderful evening out. We moved upstairs to a table right off the patio area allowing us to view the water from behind huge glass sliding panels.

After a second cocktail, I ordered the three pepper steak described as lomo on the menu which is written both in Spanish and English. It was three thin slices of beef cooked medium with a pepper sauce. Served with what looked to be mashed squash but had a bland flavor.

The dish was served with the long beans popular here. The steak was difficult to cut and even more difficult to chew. If it was lomo it was not very good lomo. I would not order this dish again and was very disappointed because I think this was over $14 which is a huge price for a meal in San Clemente. Joe had ordered a cheeseburger served with a mound of french fries and he loved it and would order this again. His only negative comment was that the roll was kind of chewy around the edges. We ordered coffee and one dessert to share. The coffee was fresh, strong and good. The dessert was not a traditional tiramasu recipe –  it was more just whipped cream in a martini glass, nothing exceptional.

Total bill was $37.21 which included the 12% IVA as well as a 10% service fee. I was disappointed in the food, but the service was excellent and the atmosphere was most enjoyable. We will try it again but probably order a fish dish to see how the chef handles a local item. And, anyplace where you can have a drink and watch a blood red sun dip into the blue Pacific through swaying coconut palms is fine by us.