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The inspiration for many of Gabbi's creations are rooted from her love of traveling.


Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

I was sad to leave Catemaco, it was such a gorgeous little town. But we were off to Xalapa, which was approximately four and a half hours away. The drive was be beautiful. Xalapa was a little hectic for us, but we managed to find La Churreria del Recuerdo – I actually met the owner in Napa. La Churreria was very traditional. Two ladies were making fresh tortillas and steaming tamales. We ordered horchata and jamaica, it was so authentic I could taste the rice in the horchata, yum! Once again, we ordered too much food. After our meal, we got caught in these rainstorms that came out of nowhere. It rained for only two hours, but it poured so hard it made it impossible to find our hotel. But we eventually made it. I’m hoping we can get back out to the city later for another dining experience.

The city of Veracruz is only an hour away, so we decided to go there for our last meal at Brisas del Mar. We got there a little late, but we made it in before they closed. We ordered everything at the same time to start. Coctel del mar (Mexican seafood cocktail), moros y cristianos (white rice and black beans), platanos fritos (fried bananas) and Sea Bass al la Veracruz. The waiter told me they had fishermen just for the restaurant. The coctel had octopus, shrimp, avocados, sweet broth and they even brought hot sauce on the side. As I inhaled the coctel, they brought out the Sea Bass. It was a big portion enough for two. They had the best Veracruzian style fish I have ever tasted. Capers were not pungent or salty, which is usually what I don’t like about this dish. The broth was light and didn’t over power the fish, tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley. So simple and tasty. Fresh fish is a must to try to duplicate this dish.