Bringing the Tropics to Saskatoon

October 3, 2017

We all know that people from Saskatoon enjoy visiting the tropics — especially during winter! Most go south to places like Mexico and the Caribbean for a week or two to escape the harsh Saskatchewan temperatures, then return home with dark tans, great memories and dreams of visiting again.

Talk to any of these people and, chances are, they’ll be more than willing to share stories about their favourite vacation restaurants or watering holes. About befriending locals, trying the indigenous cuisine, swaying to the musica tropale under the palms and palapas.

Talk to these people long enough and eventually you’ll see their face light up and it’s as though they’ve escaped their regular workaday lives and returned to their place in the sun.

It was this look on people’s faces, the longing to be back in a tropical paradise, that gave our owner Johnny K an idea.

“What if we could grant them their wish — on a daily basis?”

For  more than a decade, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing. Providing people with a year-round vacation hideaway right here in the heart of Saskatoon! A hideaway whose main goal is to serve good food and leave you with a smile on your face.

Origins of our Coconut Shrimp

If you’ve ever been to Las Palapas, there’s a good chance you’ve tried our coconut shrimp. But have you ever wondered where the idea for the dish came from?

Well, we’ll tell you.

The coconut shrimp that has become a signature dish — and that was recently awarded Best Shrimp during Best of Food Saskatoon 2017 —  was born out of a request from a friend who had tried some in Playa del Carmen and was wondering if we would be willing to make a similar dish for the restaurant.

We were.

But the coconut shrimp you’ve come to know and love didn’t happen overnight.

We tried and tried, experimenting with a number of recipes until we finally came up with one based on a coconut shrimp dish Johnny K tried one day while on vacation in Mazatlan. Oh, and the sauce our coconut shrimp is served with? It’s the recipe of an old friend who used to work with us. Put it all together — the coconut, the shrimp, beer batter, garlic, honey and chipotle peppers braised in adobo —- and what you get is dish that will instantly transport you to the beaches of the tropics.

Best Burrito in Town

Do you know where burritos originated?

Yeah. Neither do we.

Some people say they originated with vaqueros (cowboys) in Northern Mexico during the 19th Century ... others think burritos were  invented by farmworkers in California’s Central … and still others maintain the burrito was created by a man named Juan Mendez in the Bella Vista neighborhood of Ciudad Juarez.

Anyway you roll it, the origins of the modern burrito remain shrouded in mystery.

The same can’t be said for the variation of burrito we serve!

Our burritos don’t  come from as far south as Mexico. Instead, we decided to create a burrito served in the Southwestern States. In places like Austin and Galveston, Santa Fe and Taos, Phoenix and Tucson, Los Angeles and San Diego.  

What we’ve done is take the kind of burritos popular in these places, morphed them into something of our own creation, and stuffed them with ingredients created for the local palate! Everything from chicken to charred corn to camarones y chorizo … all for your culinary pleasure!