There is a new restaurant in town, at the end of Colon and across the street from the pier and malecon. Maria Isabel is the new name. It was opened by a couple recently retired from Guadalajara, Adriana and Leonardo Cornejo. Leonardo retired in September and they moved up to Ajijic. But Leonardo is a restless sort and not one to sit around. He started looking for things to do and within three months he opened up Maria Isabel Restaurant. Their son, also named Leonardo, is helping to run it.
The restaurant is easy to find. When you walk to the end of Colon, look to the left. It is overlooking the water. It is in the Old Posada. This is one of the oldest buildings in town. It was built in the 1500s. When you go to the restaurant, check out the back of their menu and you will see the history of the building. In 1530 it was a Grand Tequila Hacienda.
In the 1932 it was turned into a Gold Refinery. And in 19325it was a coffee Mill. In 1938 it came to be known as the Posada Ajijic and many artists and writers lived there off and on, including Nigell Millet, the man who wrote Village in the Sun using his pseudonym Dane Chandon. He was friends with Neil Jame who lived around the corner. It must have been a very interesting place during years. The Eager Family bought it in 1975 and opened a restaurant. At one time, there was even a swimming pool on the property. So now, as of November 2013 there are new owners and new life. This building is like a Phoenix, always rising from the ashes to something new.
Leonardo Cornejo also has plans for two other businesses there. Next door to the restaurant he will soon open up a coffee, tea, cigar room. It will have an outside patio and you can buy your own blends of herb teas from their garden. You can also buy cigars and liquor. You can buy your own bottle of booze and leave it there for when you return. You become a member to do that and membership is free.
The second shop will be a gourmet supermarket. These shops and the restaurant are going to provide many jobs. They will only hire local people. Right now they have hired 19 people to help run the restaurant plus two people to keep it clean.
They are going to be having many celebrations for different special events, including Super Bowl parties, and holidays. These events will be advertised in the Guadalajara Reporter. They have made ramps so disabled people can get in and out of the restaurant. They have also cleaned up the areas all around it.
Do you like Gelato? If so, there is a Gelato bar at the restaurant. If you are involved in a club, you are welcome to meet there. For now, the Bridge club meets once a week and the kayak club meets there too. The Red Hat Society has also had a meeting there. It is becoming the happening place!
As you can see from the photo above, the inside of the restaurant is very large. On Saturday evenings a Salsa band comes in and there is a lot of room to dance.
Above is a photo of Leonardo and Adriana Cornejo, owners of the restaurant. You can see from their smiles that they are very vital people. I am sure this restaurant and their other businesses will become great successes and help out the Ajijic community.
Their son, Leonardo, is in the photo above. He wasn’t very happy when I took this photo because he had to deal with all allot of paperwork that day.
Above is a photo of the buffet. There is one every day. On week days the price is 69 pesos. On week ends it goes up to 89 pesos but it also includes a Mimosa.
There are many things on the buffet. I had it and it was delicious. I loved seeing the food presented in traditional pottery bowls. They also will make pancakes if you like or eggs.
Above is a photo of one of the chefs. There are three chefs.
Above is a photo of fish on the buffet. There were too many delicious things to mention here but check it out for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
These beans were delicious.
They bake their own breads and sweet rolls and they are very good.
Above is a photo of their breads and sweet rolls. I loved them. Don’t go there if you are trying to diet.
I took a photo of my meal. Plus I had the fruit for dessert. They make a delicious pudding too.
If you have enough self restraint, you could go there if you are dieting. They had a wonderful salad.
If you don’t like buffets, there are many very interesting and delicious looking dishes on their main menu.
Below is a photo of some original art work. Some of it is already on the walls and some is waiting to go up. This looks like another service the restaurant will provide, a place for local artists to show and sell their work.
I walked into the back yard and saw many interesting ceramic figures. I don’t know what their plans are for these. I forgot to ask but they look pretty, lined up around the trees. I imagined all the things that must have happened in that yard throughout the years. I know that the donkey, Vino Blanco, had her baby there several years ago. Unfortunately, the baby did not live longer than a few days.
I don’t know what this outside room is being used for now. I looks like it has been there for a very long time.
One thing that I like to do when I go to a restaurant is check out the bathrooms. If they are clean and well cared for, I assume the kitchen is clean too. These restrooms were very nice.
Below is a photo of the walkway that goes into the back yard. There are many nice plants all over the yard. Someone is even planting a garden.
Below is a photo of the front patio. I notice that one man has his computer out. They must have a wireless connection.
Below is the view that the people on the patio are enjoying as they have their meals. There are very few restaurants in this area that are so close to the water. It is a real treat to sit on this patio and see the lake.
Below is a photo of a poster that will soon be out in the area about the band that will be playing on Friday nights. It looks like a high energy group.
I was impressed with the food and all the things that the new owners have planned for the restaurant and two other shops. I wish them great success. I would highly recommend that you check it out. Their telephone number is: 333 676-4042. They are open seven days a week from nine a.m. to nine p.m. On Saturdays they are open until two a.m.