Ocho Tostadas is Much More Than Eight Tostadas

Early October on the west coast of Mexico does not mean falling leaves and cooling temperatures. Venturing out of the cool of the house for an errand run to Puerto Vallarta is not an attractive prospect. Until Ocho Tostadas comes to mind. Lunch! We get to have lunch in Puerto Vallarta! Yes! I want to go to town today! I don’t care if it’s a humid 92 degrees. Now that shrimp cocktail is fixed in our thinking for today’s lunch, 92 farenheit, (“feels like 101”, says weatherdotcom) is no deterrent. Cool camarones, here we come.

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Shrimp cocktail took some getting used to when we first came to Mexico. Brothy. Warm. With catsup instead of horseradish sauce.  Some things you just have to accept as a difference in culture, and cóctel de camarón is one of them. Peeled shrimp are served in their cooking liquid, with a healthy topping of chopped tomato, onion, cucumber, avocado and squeezed lime juice. But for us, hold the catsup. And order it cold.

We sought shade in Ocho Tostadas and began with a starter of fresh, delicious ceviche on crisp tostadas, totally blanketed with perfectly ripe, sliced avocado.

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Our favorite hot sauce, Salsa Huichol, added heat and color. Ocho Tostadas, like many restaurants in Mexico, does not skimp in the bottled hot sauce department. And among the table offerings, there is invariably Maggi, a hydrolysed vegetable protein based sauce used to impart a meat flavor. Its ubiquitous presence is one cultural anomaly I haven’t got my head around yet. Nor have I ever tried it.

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As fluent as mi esposo is, when he asked for the fresh veggies on the side, our waiter thought he meant broth on the side also. So Russ was served this beautiful dish of brothless shrimp, which was nothing to complain about; we knew it would become so much more.

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A quick word to our waiter set things right for my order. Next came generous servings of cool broth for Russ, and cut-up vegetables and excellent tostadas for both of us. They will always bring more veggies, for — what has become for us — a liquidy, cool shrimp salad, full of good things. Perfect for a hot Fall day.

Cócteles can also be ordered with octopus, snail or scallops, or any combination of these, including shrimp. We have tried all the combinations, and have settled on shrimp cocktail as the favorite. But don’t let our tastes stop you from trying something new.

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Tostadas always accompany cóctel de camarón and Ocho Tostadas prides themselves in their proprietary tostadas, a new concept for us. They were so good — corny, crisp, with a light taste of salt on the surface. Russ tried, but our waiter would not divulge the maker. He did send us home with a bag full, much to mi esposo’s delight. The rest of the menu looks inviting, but so far we can’t get past the cocktails and ceviche tostadas.

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If you go to Ocho Tostadas, or have a Mexican shrimp cocktail anywhere else, I suggest you order it cold, not hot. And ask them to hold the catsup.

Mariscos 8 Tostadas (its proper name) has three locations in the Puerto Vallarta area, and has recently opened in Guadalajara. We ate at the marina location on the corner of Calle Quilla and Calle Proa. They are also at 344 Calle Niza in Colonia Versalles, and in Nuevo Vallarta at Junto al Antiguo Delfines. In Guadalajara, you can find Mariscos 8 Tostadas at 1053 Avenida Terranova. Check Trip Advisor for map locations. Open 11 am to 6 pm, seven days a week.

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8 thoughts on “Ocho Tostadas is Much More Than Eight Tostadas

  1. Anneke Jennings

    Yum Yum Yum!!! We used to go there so often, right from the time they first opened at their Marina Vallarta location. I always preferred the “solo camarón” (shrimp only) version, however Lew liked the “con todo” kind as he loves octopus, etc. We always just ate the regular luke warm version. I never knew that you could ask for it to be served cold.

    Someday you might like to at least try a little shake of Maggi. It is actually really good instead of salt on fried eggs for instance. :)

    There is no better place to try Cóctel de Camarón anywwhere in Mexico, in my humble opinion!

    They used to only serve lunch, throughout the Mexican late lunch hours. Unless things have changed in the last few years, they are not open for breakfast or dinner.

    Memories!!!! Thank you so much Kathleen! Loved this post!

    1. I will try your suggestion of Maggi on eggs someday. Since it is described as giving a meaty flavor, it didn’t seem the taste I wanted to add to shrimp. But this is just my opinion.
      Thank you for bringing up that cocktails can be ordered with more than shrimp. There is also pulpo (octopus), caracol (snail), and callo (scallops), and any combination of these four. We have tried all of them, and agree with you that cóctel de camarón (shrimp) is best. I will add this information to my review.
      Their hours are 11 am to 6 pm, so unless a late morning seafood delight counts as breakfast, this is not the place for something like huevos rancheros. Dinner in Mexico is served late, so this is not considered a dinner location for Mexicans, as Ocho Tostadas closes at 6.
      Thanks for your comments, Anneke!

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