We decided to travel to Molcajetes, an authentic Mexican restaurant in East Naples.
What’s a molcajete you may ask? I’m sure most of you have seen one, the mortar and pestle type cooking apparatus sometimes made from lava rock that is used to make guacamole or crush spices.
Molcajetes is located in a small, unmemorable shopping plaza. If you have driven past it before, you wouldn’t remember it. It seems to be a place where people go to be reconnected with memories from growing up.
There’s limited outdoor seating at Molcajetes . Indoors, there’s seating at either booths, tables or at the bar. Once you are brought menus, you are served this wonderful appetizer of freshly made tortilla chips and 3 delicious salsas. Salsa roja, made from arbor chilies, salsa verde with of course, a tomatillo base and pico de gallo, that delicious mixture of tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapenos and lime juice. This was almost a meal in itself, and a glimpse of the meal to come.
There were many items on Molcajetes menu, and here are a few of them.The first thing we tried was the barbacoa soup. This is a traditional Oaxacan dish. An adobo slathered piece of lamb is set inside a roasting pan on a roasting rack with vegetables and water, covered and cooked on a grill. After the lamb is cooked, the cooking liquid is reserved as a soup and the lamb (now falling apart) is used with other grilled vegetables to be eaten with corn tortillas and dipped into the soup. This was really, really good and different from most Mexican fare I had tried before.
We then ordered a carnitias and chorizo taco, both excellent. I had to try their tostadas, and a chicken tostada was sampled. It did not look like much, but the chicken, cheese, iceberg lettuce, avocado, tomatoes and refried beans melded perfectly into an excellent dish. The price ($10.00) was a bit on the high side for this dish, but this was one of the better tostadas I have ever beaten.
Molcajetes has a number of specials including a daily happy hour and half price tacos on Tuesday and Thursdays.
The food, for the most part, is reasonably priced and delicious.
3367 Bayshore Dr.
Naples, FL 34112
Molcajetes Restaurant Website
Open from 10 AM to past midnight; All major credit cards accepted; Kids meals available