Ansinita - On Zocalo, in north side Portal, towards the back.
"Eronga" is one of the oldest settlements on Lake Pátzcuaro. Travel west from Patzcuaro, about 17 km around the Lake, to visit one of the nicest villages in the area. But restaurants have always been scarce.
In 2004, Charles and David opened Los Rosas, serving coffee and homemade pies with a great lunch menu. But, it closed and a great clothing store, Las Rosas, took its place.
A few doors up is a new restaurant, Ansinita, but the locals refer to this place as "Vasco's," after the owner and chef.
The outside tables offer a peaceful view of the main Square in Eronga, with children playing and families visiting. There is no traffic around the Square causing a very tranquil atmosphere.
The menu was small, but offered several Torta sandwiches and a selection of fabulous pizzas. The lunch menu changes weekly but offers 5 types of specials: Fish, meat, vegetarian, pasta and a dessert. Most dishes were $7.25 with desserts around $1.75.
The Saturday I visited, the fish was a sautéed fillet of Rabalo in a macadamia nut sauce. The beef was 2 tender filets covered in a delicious Dijoneese sauce and served with a mound of saffron -ish yellow rice. Included on the plate was a green, birds nest- looking side dish. Closer inspection showed 3 whole green onions, sautéed, and served with the white onions in the center and the tender greens wrapped around like a nest. Delightful to see and delicious to eat.
The Falafel was the traditional fried balls of garbanzo beans and served with grilled pita bread, hummus and yoghurt sauce. The Tagliatalle Marina was a large bowl of pasta with a tasty marinara sauce. The only disappointment was the fresh muscles that were flavorful, but too rubbery to chew.
The dessert of the week was a Linzertarte, which those in the know order first, to "save" a slice after their meal. On the table was a basket of locally made whole wheat bread.
People like Vascos because of the food and have go with the flow of this "old style" of service. Each dish is served hot, one at a time, as it is cooked in the kitchen. My steak arrived first. About 5 minutes later, the pastas arrived. Lastly, the Falafel was served. All hot and all fresh! Just don't think about the service and enjoy the lovely village setting while sipping the inexpensive house wine or cold beer.
This spotty service could change when competition moves in next door. Jorge and Rose are currently remodeling a store front to include a small restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. The back room will have Erongas first bookstore and gift shop with an art gallery featuring local artist, Carlos Dews.
Eronga also has a small B & B hotel just west of the restaurants. One word of advice: visit Eronga now, before the rest of the world discovers the charming village on the shores of Lake Pátzcuaro.