Monday, August 23, 2010

Down on the Boardwalk (Penny’s Palapa)

Hola Bloggies:

It’s Monday and I’m finally back in the Rocky Mountain casa. It feels so good to be home. Aside from the ridiculously joyful reunion with Daisy, it’s just nice to be in my own space. In fact I slept like a baby.

It was the sleep of the happy.

Although, I’m completely enjoying my return to the Rocky Mountains I can’t help but reminisce about my last couple of weeks spent by the Ocean shore.

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There’s just something about living so close to the water that is soothing to the soul.


Walks on the boardwalk, views across the great blue escape, and drinks at the yacht club. I relished in every Island moment.


Of course, I did my best to enjoy as many meals by the waterfront as possible. One of my favourite came at a wonderful Nanaimo spot, Penny’s Palapa.




Located on a floating barge in the middle of the harbour, Penny’s Palapa is a super cute and colourful restaurant. A perfect place to spend a leisurely summer lunch.


The menu was as unpretentious as the locale.


It only took one glance at the menu and I knew what I was going to choose. You see, once upon a time I visited Ensenada (Baja California, Mexico) and had fish taco perfection. Ever since I have been looking for a taco that could stand up to the Ensenada tacos of my dreams.


Since I knew this would likely be my only chance to visit this particular restaurant, I indulged in a bit of over ordering and started with a Mexican tortilla sauce.


I’m far from a Mexican tortilla soup connoisseur but one thing is for sure – this soup had flavours that reminded me of home. Given, that my mom is a fantastic cook, that is indeed a good thing.

I ate about half the soup and didn’t regret one bit of my over ordering.


I have to confess I was a bit disappointed to see the use of what looked like rather huge flour tortillas. I like to keep it genuine (i.e.: corn).


Still, the big pieces of red snapper filling more than made me forget about the tortilla. In El Salvador (where I’m from) we’re quite partial to red snapper so I was thrilled with this fish taco.





I filled my tacos with all the greens and salsa that I could find on the plate. While this may not have been the most genuine fish taco it was nonetheless a quality dish. I was one very happy camper.

Question: Have you ever had a fish taco? Thoughts?


Jaime said...

Since Nanaimo is my home town, I have already threatened my Mom with death if she doesn't take me to Penny's the next time I am home.

Gina's makes a quite tasty fish taco as well...but for some reason I only ever seem to go there in the Winter!

A Toronto girl out West said...


Despite the fact that it was right in front of the courthouse I didn't go to Gina's. Mostly 'cause I wasn't in the mood for heavy Mexican food in an indoor setting.

I'm sure you'll love Penny's!

Kelsey said...

i was really hoping to head up to nanaimo this summer but it doesnt seem like its gonna work out! so sad cuz places like this are so worthy of the trip! theyve got such amazing cafes too!! <3

Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) said...

I've had the fish tacos at Cactus Club, and I quite enjoy them. I know nothing of their authenticity though.

FYI - red snapper on the menu here is probably not true red snapper. It's usually just a red rockfish - they always call them snapper in the stores though.

Jessica said...

I loooooooooooove fish tacos... they are one of my favorite foods!

I have never heard of this little place, we'll have to check it out next time we are in Nanaimo!!

Rhonda said...

Sounds like a fabulous vacation! Fish tacos are my absolute favorite and I'm salivating while reading!