Anyway, I pulled in to the restaurant parking area and it looked like there was only one other car there besides mine. It is a Wednesday morning, the first week of "off season" and past the time folks stop in on the way to work or on the way out to fish. Perfect...I was in the need of a little quiet and I had a book. I was open-minded and ready to relax. Boy, am I glad I made THAT decision!
The server told me to sit anywhere so I took the table in the middle - the only other patron was on her cell phone and obviously just finishing up. I ordered coffee and perused the menu. The coffee was good and the cream was not skim milk (that's a good thing) and was in an icy cold little stainless pitcher. I like half and half in my coffee and I despise when I ask for cream and I get skim milk. I'd rather skip the coffee if that's the way it is. So, off to a good start. One of the first things I noticed was a plaque on the wall from Coastal Living magazine naming them one of the Best Seafood Dives. I thought that was a good sign!
They had a good menu selection - basic breakfast combos (eggs, meat, potatoes, and toast), breakfast tacos in burrito-sized tortillas, omelets, migas, breakfast gorditos (a kind of Mexican pocket bread) are the items I remember off the top of my head. The server brought my attention to the dry-erase board for the specials of the day - biscuits and gravy for $1.99 and sausage and egg taco for $2.50. Once I'd confirmed the taco with sausage and egg was not involving chorizo (not my favorite), I decided to order that and had cheese added for an extra 50 cents. My sister's family said to order the breakfast tacos...I assumed they knew what they were talking about!
Just goes to show you - always try, again, a restaurant everyone says is wonderful - even if your first try is not so wonderful. Now, I'll have to go for a lunch and a dinner...but maybe not Sunday lunch like we did before...when it was packed and rushed. Marchan's reminded me of the places my parents took us for breakfast when we travelled. It's old school - nothing fancy - far from it. The boats coming and going, the pelicans swooping in to land (less than gracefully), and the people chattering all around will keep you entertained - and now I know, the breakfast is DEFINITELY worth returning for!
Side note - I saw someone's biscuits - they were open faced and grilled - just like at Grapevine Cafe. Is this a Rio Grande Valley thing? Or have I just missed out on this concept? I'm still inclined towards fluffy biscuits - but thought I'd mention it since I saw it on a plate going by!
SPI FLIP FLOP FOODIE RATING:
2.5 – A satisfactory meal –I’d try it again
Updated Rating Due to Below:
1 – Okay – but I’ve definitely had better – not sure that I’d return
December 19, 2010 UPDATE
We had some errands to run in Port Isabel at the noon hour and my son asked if we could eat lunch "at that place we go fishing". I asked "Do you mean White Sands - where you meet Captain Jack?" He replied affirmatively and I said, "the restaurant there is Marchan's - you want to go there?" He again said yes, so in we rolled.
At 12:30 on Sunday I was surprised to find only a few tables filled and the water front area wasn't even open. Huh. So, we took a booth with a decent view of the water from afar, commenting on how smooth the bay was after days of choppy, windy weather. Our waitress was really nice, prompt, and friendly. I ordered Carne Guisada plate with corn tortillas and the teen ordered a burger and fries as usual. Our food came out really quickly. The menu said mine came with a salad - but there was just beans and rice (both were dry) but the carne guisada looked good and I didn't really care about the salad so I didn't mention it. The tortillas were flour instead of corn - but oh well - I wasn't in a complaining mood and I didn't instantly see our waitress so I just started with what I had. The teen and I were having a lively conversation and I didn't want to upset the flow (it's rare that we have a lively conversation at a restaurant - but this one had no background noise - so it was possible to converse!). All was well until I bit into a twig of something...I thought maybe it was from some thyme or some other herb (not that I could see ANY visible herb in the sauce). Two bites later, something else felt funny in my mouth and I pulled out "something" - again, favorably thinking of the cooking process, thought maybe it was part of a dried chili pod. THEN, two bites later...a big piece of plastic was pulled out of my mouth...and that was the end of that. I let the waitress know when she brought my check - by pointing out the items on my napkin. She looked appalled and snatched it up and said she would let the kitchen know - that was absolutely NOT okay. She then brought me a revised bill with the carne guisada plate charge removed. Fairly disappointing meal but excellent and appropriately responsive waitress. Here's a photo of the two bigger "items" in my food. Diners beware! I know that "stuff happens" in kitchens - but really - 3 different ickies???
|Items found in my Carne Guisada Plate|