When describing Culebra's cuisine, the phrase most commonly used is latin tropical. But before describing the Caribbean fusion cooking style, where the ingredients stem from must be discussed. Since the time Arawak Indians inhabited the island of Culebra until today, the art of fishing, not catching, has been a staple of the community. Whether its relating the story of your last fishing trip or having a neighborhood seafood bake, seafood is an integral part of the Culebra lifestyle.
Local fisherman set out early in the morning in their handmade seaworthy fishing boats, called yolas, in search of what might very well wind up on the Mamacita's dinner menu that evening.
An abundance of lobster, fish and shellfish also call the island and its surrounding cays home, and local fisherman are experts at reeling them in. One of the most popular menu items is lobster, and for obvious reasons. Normally grilled with steaming butter and lightly seasoned with local herbs, Caribbean lobster differ slightly from their crustaceous Northeastern cousins. Commonly called langostinos, Caribbean style lobster have feeler antennas instead of claws. Many claim the meat is more tender, but you will have to be the judge of that. They are usually caught in traps or buy hand by local fisherman. If you happen to be enjoying happy hour at the Mamacitas bar in the early afternoon hour you will probably witness local fisherman selling live lobsters to Mamacitas chefs. Average size for one person is around 1Ω pounds; but lobster in local waters can be as large as 3 to 5 pounds, taming any lumberjack appetite. Since our lobster is caught fresh from the sea, it is common practice to sell lobster according to size at Mamacitas restaurant, so remember to clarify with your waiter or waitress the size available that evening.
Aside from lobster, Culebra hosts a great deal of fish and shellfish. One of the most popular caught in local waters are grouper, mahi-mahi, snapper, tuna and the ever evasive Capitan. The Capitan is a legendary fish only caught in Culebra, where as in other surrounding areas it is nearly non-existent. The tender, white, flakey and succulent meat is comparable to Lobster, and if you happen to find it on the menu, you'll be in for a treat you won't soon forget. Ask your waiters at the Mamacitas restaurant for availability.
Another favorite among both vacationers and locals alike is the whole fried red snapper. At first glance it appears a bit unusual, considering Culebra chefs prefer to cook the fish whole after it has been thoroughly cleaned. Since the red sapper is generally not a bony fish, it falls right off the bone into your plate and is absolutely delectable! The bonus is once you finish one side of the fish, lip it over and eat the other side. A very fulling meal usually seasoned by Mamacitas chefs with lime, garlic, butter, cilantro and local herbs grilled to perfection. For the less adventurous, it can also come filet. Just ask your waiter depending on your preference.
Additional fish available to include mahi-mahi, grouper, tuna and others usually run "special of the day"ù and are sold fillet.
An abundance of conch and caricol are also present in local waters. Season for the two shellfish run November until August, all other months are off limits. Culebra is famous as well for its conch salad or caricol salad caught from local waters usually served with smashed plantain. Mamacitas chefs take great care in preparing the conch and caricol salad. Although you didn't hear it from us, local legend states the shellfish is an aphrodisiac! What we do know is the luscious seafood prepared similar to ceviche is tender lusciousness.
On Land Creations
For those who prefer to stay on land, juicy rib busting steaks headline our menu and are flown in fresh to Culebra by local airlines weekly. Selections vary, but usually include cooked to perfection T-bone steak and Argentinean style churrasco, or skirt steak prepared with a chimi-churri sauce. Chicken breast is always available and is usually complimented and prepared by our chefs with local citrus or fruit seasoning that will savor your taste buds. Bellybuster cheeseburgers in paradise are also always on the menu at Mamacitas and sometimes are just what the doctor ordered. All burgers are served with french fries and lettuce, onion tomatoes and Mamacitas special sauce. The menu also includes a childrens selection and a vegetarian choice as well. Our menu at Mamacitias is always evolving and improving based on our 25 years of experience. We are open for lunch and dinner daily. Certain restrictions and variations apply. Our staff at Mamacitas will gladly answer any questions on updates or changes. All items are based on availability.
The blender is always running on high at the Mamacitas Bar mixing up tropical creations by local bartenders. Come in and join the party as locals in Culebra are friendly and outgoing. Mixologists at the bar are experts with frozen daiquiris, pina coladas and the legendary Bushwacker; a synthesis of coconut cream, coffee liqueurs, rum, cinnamon and rum that is a favorite at the bar. We also have most top shelf alcohol and beer selections to include Medalla, a locally brewed light beer from Puerto Rico, our sister island.