Hummingbirds are incredible creatures. These little fairies are almost the length of the palm of a hand and have the weight equal to just about three raisins. Nevertheless, being so small does not mean this cutie isn’t mighty! Costa’s Hummingbirds are named after Louis Maire Pantaleon Costa a Frenchman and avid birder. This particular species is native to the Sonoran Desert where San Carlos is located. Hummingbirds are indeed unique with their ability to transition themselves into a nightly “hibernation mode” in order to make it through the cold desert nights. Not to mention they can flap their wings between 50 and 200 times per second while hovering or flying forward, backwards or even upside down. Remarkably, these little birds only interact with other hummingbirds when the guys want to show off for the gals during mating season with high flying acrobatics and piercing whistles to “capture the attention” of the less than interested females. In ancient Mexican cultures, the hummingbirds, known as Colibri, held spiritual meaning. The Mayans saw them as symbols of healing, love, joy and good luck while the Aztecs viewed these tiny birds as reincarnated warriors thus symbolizing courage and bravery.
In San Carlos, Colibri is something even better. Located on the main boulevard, Colibri is hands down one of the best restaurants in town. Not only is it beautifully decorated with an “Austin Like” artistic vibe, this wonderful place has live music from local musicians several nights a week. It’s a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the breeze and trendy atmosphere and devour an outstanding meal. Plus, the service is top notch. Our first visit to Colibri was in July of 2017 after that terrific experience we promised ourselves we would one day return. Our server during that trip was a friendly guy named Franco. We returned eight months later and as we walked up the steps to the outdoor seating area he queried, “Texas?” Franco is the server we have just about every time we walk into Colibri. He knows we are taking Spanish classes and therefore forces us to use our español by speaking to us in Spanish and guiding us kindly along as we make mistakes in his first language. I think attentiveness of that kind from the staff at this fine eatery says something about the overall expectations of the business.
Indeed, the most outstanding aspect of Colibri is their menu. In a town of 7,000 one would not truly expect the gourmet steaks, seafood dishes, salads, pastas, woodfired pizzas, and desserts this jewel of a restaurant places on the table for lunch and dinner. They are open for breakfast as well but we have yet to have that experience. The regular menu hosts among other things delicious appetizers including, mordiscos de fruta con jamón serrano, fruit nibbles with prosciutto and tartar de atún, tuna tartar along with starters of ensalada de queso de cabra and betabel, goat cheese beet salad or sopa de zanahoria, carrot soup. Entrees are as varied as they are mouthwatering. Options include ribeye con crema de estragón y champiñones, pan seared ribeye in tarragon cream sauce with mushrooms and Pescado Neptuno or daily fish special which is always fresh and delicious. Want something lighter? Try the Italiana, Italian sub sandwich or enjoy the Pizza Colibri a thin crust, crispy woodfired treat covered in arugula, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes. In addition to their regular offerings, Colibri has a monthly menu with extraordinary seasonal offerings. The current menu is loaded with options that boast figs as a main ingredient. This rotation of choices keeps Colibri on its toes in the art of gastronomy and encourages customers to return for another meal to find what new nosh awaits.
One might think, wow! This must be the priciest place in all of San Carlos. Not true. It could be and perhaps should be but it isn’t. A night out for two at Colibri complete with outstanding service, the charm of local musicians, a fabulous meal, a decent bottle of wine and delightful company usually sets us back about 600 Mex Pesos. That is equivalent to about $30 in the United States. The cost of dining out in San Carlos is constantly a welcome surprise. Salude!
As I said earlier, hummingbirds are incredible creatures. They grace those who are lucky enough to see them with beauty, amazement and joy. While the Colibri restaurant provides those feelings during a dining experience, the owners do not stop there in the way they enhance the lives of the people of San Carlos. These caring members of the community support the talent of locals on a monthly basis through an event, “El Closet” Entrepreneur Exposhow, which takes place in the plaza that usually holds seating for Colibri customers. The free venue is open to crafters, culinary experts, painters, independent small business owners, jewelers, pottery artists, multimedia artists, and others to display their wares. This location is also used during celebrations including a holiday tree lighting with children from the community and high school graduations. A Women’s Poetry Reading has graced this space as well as a weekly movie night featuring black and white silent comedies showing on the big screen with acoustics performed by a fabulous jazz musician. Throughout the year many community focused and fundraising events are woven into the tapestry of this space. It’s easy to see that in San Carlos, Mexico, Colibri while a terrific spot to dine out is very much a symbol of love, joy, courage, healing, good luck and a place to create delightful memories.
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”– Julia Child