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Friday, January 23, 2015

Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit (Atlanta & Norcross)

Toddler Foodie Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) = Lots of space, semi-noisy (meaning kid noise won't bother anyone).  Huge portions of tasty and unique Mexican seafood dishes.  Attentive staff who seem comfortable around children.  Complimentary ceviche.  Mariachi band and bright fish décor that toddlers find entertaining

:( = Multiple bottles of hot sauce on the table for toddlers to knock over.  Some spicy dishes on the menu (make sure to ask the server if something is spicy before you order it).  Meals may take some time to prepare (have something on-hand to entertain the little ones when the mariachi band and fish décor lose their luster).  No desserts on the menu.

It was a cold and rainy Friday evening.  Rain is wet and makes us want seafood.  So Mommy and Daddy brought us to the Norcross location of Mariscos La Riviera Nayarit, a Mexican seafood restaurant.

When we walked in, we were greeted by loud, upbeat music and a spacious dining room.  The hostess told us we could pick any table we wanted.  We ran back and forth between tables for 5 minutes before Mommy wrangled us into a booth.  The best part was, nobody at the restaurant seemed to mind - in fact, they found us amusing.  Our kind of crowd!

Almost immediately after we sat down, someone brought three plates of a colorful mixture atop a crispy corn tortilla.  Mommy called the dish "ceviche," but it looked like a small pizza.  She said the dish was made of fish.  We like fish, but we didn't eat much of this fish.  Daddy and Mommy must have liked it, though, because they fought over our leftovers. 

For our meal, the four of us shared the Mojarra a La Diabla (a whole fried tilapia topped with shrimp and "Diabla Sauce," served with rice, salad, French fries, & garlic bread) and the Pina Rey (shrimp, scallops, octopus, crab, peppers, and mushrooms topped with a mushroom cream sauce and melted white cheese, nestled inside a hollowed out pineapple, plus rice, salad, French fries, & garlic bread).  Mommy warned Daddy that "Diabla Sauce" was probably too spicy for us, and she was right.  So we only ate the Pina Rey.  It was yummy - creamy, oozing with cheese, and full of large chunks of seafood that were cooked perfectly.  And, honestly, is there anything better than a meal that's served in a pineapple?!
A 3-year-old took this picture while a 2-year-old tried to eat a tilapia tail.
(Pictured: Rear, Mojarra a La Diabla; Front, Pina Rey)
What we liked best about the entrees is that they were garnished with fresh orange and pineapple slices.  A healthy, toddler-friendly dessert built into the meal... what a treat!

Our plates were the size of brontosaurus bones, so Mommy and Daddy ended up taking plenty of food home.  Our server offered to box up the food for us, which made Mommy swoon.  We really enjoyed this dining experience and will be back soon.  Maybe even the next time it rains.

Until next time, fellow eaters!

"Cheese is fun!"
"Do you have to take pictures while I'm trying to eat?"


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