Mescalito's
Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Prior to traveling to Cozumel, I imagined myself eating shrimps and drinking cervezas on the beach … non-stop, all day long, until I blew out my flip-flop and stepped on a pop-top. (!) The reality is, most of the dining locales in San Miguel (the main tourist area and only town on the island) suck ass. What they offer is a deeply compromised mish-mosh of traditional Yucatecan and good ol' non-authentic American-style Mexican cuisine. I'm not even remotely Mexican, yet even I am offended by some of the shit they serve here.

But, "Glory Be," a half-hour taxi ride to the island's east coast (along the sole road that bisects Cozumel through its jungly interior) will bring you to Mescalito's, which might more properly be called "Margaritaville." This place is hilarious in virtually every respect, and yet also fucking awesome in virtually every respect.

Mescalito's is a beachcomber shanty shack with a slew of hammocks (!) and an outhouse (!!), right on the shore of the unbelievably beautiful coastal waters, and they LITERALLY have Jimmy Buffett's Greatest Hits playing overhead. My galpal and I ordered some margaritas, frozen … but were told that they didn't have any electricity, so margaritas by necessity were served straight-up. It wasn't until much later that I wondered how they were playing the Jimmy Buffett CD with "no electricity." Then again, Jimmy Buffett's music has "no electricity," so perhaps his CDs do not require any.

The drinks were good, but even better was the food – the fish was so fresh, you could almost taste Nemo being found. (Huh? Eh, I don't know what the fuck I mean by that either.)

We had some shrimps and shrimp-tacos, and then some more shrimps. Holy shit, was it good. They even brought me a marker so I could write on the table (each table having been signed by numerous previous visitors).

The whole experience was almost enough to make me want to drop out and start some totally underachieving business nearby, like selling Mescalito's t-shirts and/or Jimmy Buffett fan fiction in a shack of my own. But sadly, I like Starbucks® too much; I don't think, long-term, that I could really be down with the island life. After all, it wouldn't have nearly enough resonance if the lyrics were "Burned up my paté / Then dropped my latte."

Review by Elroy Washi, October 2004