And we were right! The place was packed, and a mariachi band was going at full tilt. We were seated and served with ceviche, toasted tortillas and some tasty and damn damn hot salsa. As white people exploring ethnic restaurants, we often deal with the reputation of white people as shy boring people who eat plain, boring food. For example, whenever we order kitfo, we’re enthusiastically warned that it’s raw, are you sure you want raw, by the way it’s raw. Same with spicy food. We are constantly warned about dishes. As purveyors of fine spicy foods, we usually brush these admonitions off, which is what I did when our waitress warned us about the sauce for the ceviche. I dove right in before we had even been served water. And good lord, was it spicy. I don’t know if it was a particular ingredient that got me, but I had tears coming out of my eyes by the time that ordeal was over.
I was too busy trying not to look like a crying weenie to take any pics of that dish, but there is one on Review Atlanta. Be sure to take the link and check out that excellent post on this restaurant.
After recovering my composure, we ordered an octopus cocktail (around $9?) and horchata ($2?) to start. I enjoyed them both quite a lot. I thought the flavor combinations in the cocktail were amazing; I would definitely recommend this dish to any seafood lover. Adam thought it was only so-so… he said it tasted like ketchup.
|Coctele de pulpo, y horchata.|
We had a really hard time choosing what to order because it all looked so good, but we finally settled on a seafood caldo ($10?) and the filete rey ($12?), both of which were HUGE. The soup has huge and tasty, with king crab, mussels, large and small shrimp, oysters, octopus and more. The filete rey came with with rice, fruits and veggies, fries, and bread. The filet itself was covered in seafood and peppers and drenched with a white cheese sauce. I thought the sides were all so-so, but the filete and toppings were quite delicious. It was so huge, we couldn’t quite make it through, and took about a third home for leftovers.
|Caldo de mariscos and bread.|
|Filete rey with rice, fruits and veggies, fries, and bread.|
Interestingly, Adam and I have surprisingly different outlooks about this restaurant. Despite my stomach taking this food a little hard (TMI, but you’ve been warned for your own protection), I still would give this place a 3 or 3.5. I think it was my fault for using too much hot salsa and for eating the bread, rice and fries, rather than abstaining from the “white foods” like I usually do. While it was certainly not a cheap meal, I felt like the value was fine enough due to the large portion sizes, and the quality of the food was good. The atmosphere was entertaining – live music and we watched the mexican version of Star Search on wall-mounted flatscreens. Adam, on the other hand, gives Mariscos a 2.5. He felt that the flavor of the food was underwhelming. In the end, we average out to 3 stars.
Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit
3979 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30329