Barrio Bonito Mexican Food: Lonely Beach
One of the best things about living on Koh Chang is the chance you get to meet people from all over the world. Number two is the chance to see how people cope with Thailand and still bring their own unique perspective into play here. It can be quite the mash up some days!
Take Barrio Bonito, located at the southern end of Lonely Beach it is run by a great couple who are of French and Mexican extract respectively. If you have never actually had Mexican food it rates way up on the scale of “must have” and having it often is also a great idea. Here in Thailand it just goes naturally with the heat and humidity, a little like Mexico, at the end of the day.
We had the luck of getting Mariana, one of the owners of Barrio Bonito and originally from Mexico, to sit and chat with us for a wee bit. She is usually pretty busy running the kitchen and making sure the tortillas are not burnt, the salsa is perfect and things like that! But she was able to take some time out of her day and talk to us.
Making Mexican food in Thailand is not that easy. Contrary to popular belief the chili was not a Thai invention, in fact it came to Mexico thousands of years ago and has inspired their cooking ever since, along with corn as the basis of the food. Mariana has taken the time to grow what she can but the climate is a bit different, but she still gets some good ones, tortillas were unheard of and well… it has not been easy but she has managed to make some of the best Mexican dishes certainly on the island and most likely on the eastern Thai seaboard.
She uses recipes from her Mother and has modified them a bit to suit what she can get for ingredients here. So if you expecting Tex-Mex you will be a bit out of luck, she does the original family recipes from Mexico City. The best thing she says about Mexico City that they have the best in all the Mexican food, so many people come there from every region in Mexico they have the pick of what is exactly best.
So far we have come to love her burritos and her fajitas but she says next time I should try the alambre which includes marinated sirloin with grilled peppers, grilled bacon and whole bunch of other great ingredients. Which we will next time we come. She wanted us to also know that the burritos are made with shredded meat, not ground… a real Mexican touch. One thing to certainly try is the mole (thats Mol-a) a sauce that is unique to Mexico with over 50 spices to make and a very long prep time, and has chocolate (although it is not a chocolate flavor), hard to explain - just try it!
Mariana and her husband have paid attention to details here at the restaurant. There are great touches everywhere from the white-washed walls to the amazing amounts of plants that are everywhere, to the nice cutlery… That could be a bit of the French touch of course A book reading corner, a small lounge area, easy seats and a lot of personal touches make this restaurant unique in Koh Chang. If we have to say it again – the food is great and of course the service is good. Mariana is a gracious lady and a great host…
Oh, and if you want you can head into the pool before or after supper. Yes, they have a pool out front. Like we said it is a bit of a mash-up here at times. It works great at Barrio Bonito. So, take a bit of time and try some real Mexican food- here in Thailand!
They are open for breakfast and into the later night.
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