(You may need a treasure map to find this restaurant, but the trip is well worth the trouble).
I would like to tell you about all the great seafood at this restaurant but I can never get past the appetizers; in particular, the shrimp tacos, and the shrimp tostadas.
The shrimp tacos are sinfully delicious and are not for one with a weak heart. They are made of shrimp and cheese that fill a taco, then deep-fried. They look like cigars but the taste is outstanding. Be careful with your first bite, the cheese can be hot.
The Shrimp tostadas on the other hand are more of a healthy choice. A tostada is covered with mounds of fresh shrimp mixed with fresh tomatoes, onion, avocado, and small pieces of jalapeño pepper (you can order without).
When you are seated they bring plates with different nibbles such as jicama or coconut meat and fresh cucumber slices.
Three shrimp tacos and two shrimp tostadas cost $118 pesos and are a flavour burst for your taste buds as well as filling.
The bad news is the location. The restaurant is located behind the Manzanillo bus station and is a bit of a challenge to get to from the main boulevard. If you happen to be coming from Centro Manzanillo there is only one right turn, otherwise turn right after the Auditorio. When you pass the senior’s home turn left and turn at the sign for Mariscos Carlos (before the Bus Depot). The road in front of the restaurant is dirt and could use a grader to level the roadway.
Parking is available in a lot on the side and in front of the restaurant.
The restaurant itself has been renovated last year and is very nice inside. The restrooms are extremely clean and sanitary. In the older section, the floors are well worn but clean. The new section has new tiles and wooden roof. They are now adding a second floor which will provide additional seating. It is sometimes hard to get a table on weekends; people wait patiently to get in to enjoy the bounty.
The serving staff was friendly and even though our Spanish is basic, they were patient and helpful. We had a nice conversation with our waitress and as we were leaving she hugged my wife and me goodbye.
I really have to get past the appetizers and try some of the seafood dishes. The ones I have seen look like they would be excellent. But those shrimp appetizers are so good!! Maybe the next time we go.
Maricos Carlos is closed Tuesdays but is open for lunch all other days until 7:00 PM. The restaurant is very busy Friday through Sunday.