Best Seafood Dining in Puerto Vallarta: Fredy Ocho Tostadas Restaurant Review
As good as the seafood from the street vendors along Malecon Walkway were, and as good as Margarita Grill’s seafood molcajetes were, if you’re looking for a truly authentic Mexican seafood meal, head on over to Fredy’s a few blocks inland. My oh my do they ever do things right!
As we were coming back from Los Veranos Canopy Tour, I asked our bus driver where he recommended for good seafood dining. I mentioned some of the places listed in my Lonely Planet guide, and he said they were good but were not really “Mexican” seafood. He thought about it for a while, then said he knew just the place. He actually drove us right to their door, taking the other bus passengers along for the ride. Once there, he got out of the bus and went in to tell the owner what we were looking for and to make sure we got treated right. What great service the Los Veranos team provides.
Great Service at Fredy Ocho Tostadas
I’m not sure if it was our bus driver’s efforts or if their staff is always this friendly, but we were treated amazingly well. They only take cash, and we were short. But the owner seated us and told us we could worry about walking to the ATM after our meal. My girlfriends dad had already gone to get the money by then, but what a great gesture anyway. Additionally, they did everything in their power to make us feel comfortable and welcome, checking in on us frequently and offering suggestions from their menu. This was unusually helpful because we were the only non-locals in the place. The place was packed… that’s always a very good sign.
We were all really tired from our long day at Los Veranos Canopy Tour, not to mention very hot and sweaty. Again, Fredy’s staff took notice and brought us ice-cold bottled water immediately, as well as some tasty chips and salsa to help get our energy up quickly. The restaurant has open air roofing, as you can see in the picture above, but the ceiling fans did an incredible job of keeping the sweat off us.
Delicious Seafood Cocktails at Fredy Ocho Tostadas Estadio
Seafood is what Fredy’s is known for, and seafood they have! The menu was full with just about every Mexican style seafood dish you can think of, including their “famous” seafood cocktails. These sounded good and interesting, and I knew I wanted one. I was very intrigued with the sea snail, as I had never eaten sea snail before, so I ordered the sea snail and scollop cocktail.
What an interesting concoction this thing was. It was sea snail, scallop, onions, tomato, cucumber, and avocado, all mixed in a sea-water brine for broth with lots of lime in it. It was very refreshing, but odd, if only because of the brine broth. But the sea snail certainly added a funk. Sea snail has a very interesting flavor. That flavor reminded me of the smell of science lab chemicals, but in a fishy way. It was very firm in texture, and was cool to eat, but I’m not sure if I would seek it out again or not.
Best Coconut Shrimp Ever at Fredy Ocho Tostadas Stadium in Puerto Vallarta
The other appetizer we ordered were the coconut shrimp. These were the best coconut shrimp I’ve ever had. Seriously. They were completely amazing. The shrimp were moist and succulent. The breading was terrific, and had a lot of fresh coconut in it. But what really brought it all together for me was the amazing tequila mango dipping sauce. It was sweet, but not overly so, and had a touch of hot chili in it. The mango flavors were at the forefront, and the whole thing tasted like it was made with mangos picked off the tree that morning.
Fredy’s knows they are good. And they are so generous with that knowledge that they actually printed the recipe (most of it anyway) on their menu!
Best Italian Seafood Pasta in Puerto Vallarta at Fredy Ocho Tostadas Stadium
This next experience confused the crap out of me. Sadie’s sister, Markie, decided that all the Mexican seafood we were ordering wasn’t her thing, so she ordered a bowl of Linguini with Pesto and Shrimp. We all thought she was nuts, and even went so far as to make fun of her/chastise her for such a lame order. But little did we know that she was a complete genius, ordering one of the best things on the menu. I have eaten many a pesto in my day, and make it every summer from basil in my garden. I make a mean pesto, but I don’t know if mine is as good as what came out on Markie’s plate. This stuff was light, full of basil flavor, had just the right amount of garlic, and wasn’t greasy or overly cheesy. It was perfect. The shrimp was very fresh and was perfectly seasoned and cooked. Oh Markie, you wise little brat. How did you know that you would get perfect Italian pasta at a Mexican seafood restaurant in Mexico?
Amazing Grilled Seafood Platter at Fredy Ocho Tostadas Estadio Mexican Restaurant
When our bus driver recommend Fredy’s to us, he must have been thinking of this dish. This platter was the perfect representation of Mexican seafood. Just look at it!
Where to even begin! Let’s start with the mixed seafood served in the very cool looking large scallop shells you see on each side of the platter. It was prepared in a hot chili sauce which I wasn’t able to identify very well, other than chili and tomato, but it was very good. The funky sea snail was in this mix, but even with its funk, the dish was good. The spiny lobster you see in the center was cut in half and baked with chopped garlic all over it, which would have been awesome had it not gotten burnt a bit. Regardless, it was moist and very sweet. The fried fish filets you see in the top center were excellent. They were extremely moist, very crunchy, and were served with a fantastic dill tartar sauce. They were perhaps the best fried fish I’ve had.
But the real show stopper for me were the giant shrimp you see in the large scallop shell in the bottom center. They were grilled, then quickly sauteed in melted butter, chopped garlic, and dried red California chili pod strips. I say California chilies, but they could have been anything. I don’t really know, but they were sweet and had a very mild heat just like California chilies do. The chili and garlic flavored the butter so that every bite all over the shrimp was as succulent as the one before. Simply fantastic! The mussels in their half shell were also ridiculously good, served in the same chili garlic butter as the shrimp. Muy Bien!
Whole Fried Snapper at Fredy Ocho Tostadas Restaurant Not as Good as the Rest
Oh how I love whole fried fish. It almost always comes out super moist and perfectly delicious. Not quite so at Fredy’s. Their version was tasty, don’t get me wrong, but just wasn’t as good as it could have been, or as compared with the rest of their menu. The possitives it had going for it were: a super crunchy skin; and a moist flesh. The negatives it had were: it needed more seasoning; and it was a touch dry. How could it be both moist and dry at the same time? I don’t know and it confused the hell out of me. Maybe that’s why I didn’t love it. Who knows.
A Perfect Ending to a Great Time in Puerto Vallarta
Satisfied beyond belief, we said our thanks and our goodbyes to the staff at Fredy’s and hit the streets to find a cab. After haggling with the toothless cabby we eventually found, we jumped in his van and headed back to our hotel. We took things easy that night, packing our suitcases and eating our last deserts at Riu’s buffet. What a great vacation…. food adventures and street finds, canopy zip lining, snorkeling, para-sailing, beach lounging, icy cold tropical drinks, and luxury accommodations the entire time. All with a beautiful blue-eyed girl. I don’t think I could ask for more.
The Bald Gourmet falls in love with Puerto Vallarta and the blue-eyed angel at his side during a Mexican summer vacation.
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