Chris Guzmán, the Taste of the Pacific
By Jade Arroyo
Primer Patio is the only botanero in the historic center of our city, a place where friends get together to grab a bite or a drink. Friends come and go, and time there just flies by. But what is a botanero? In the Mexican tradition, a botanero is a popular place straddling between a restaurant and a bar, a hybrid without the formality of the first or the heavier drinking crowd of the second, where you can find delicious food and refreshing beverages. Each week the snack menu changes, and for the cost of a Pepsi or a michelada, you can taste a portion of enchiladas, bone broth, pambazo, gringas, or even a delicious ceviche.
The chef in charge of Primer Patio is Chris Guzmán, a young cook from Mazatlán and Buenos Aires, who combines the best of two worlds: the gourmet touch from the old world and the flavor of the Mexican coast. “We’re all friends in here,” Chris says.
Chris made a tuna ceviche for us with her personal twist, and the result was an explosion of flavors: fruity, fresh, salty, and spicy. Ceviche is good as an entrée accompanied by a margarita or cold beer. Primer Patio is located a stone’s throw from the Jardín, in a courtyard filled with ferns and natural light in the historic Mansión Virreyes on Canal 19.
Primer Patio is open Wednesday to Sunday; on Thursday, and Friday there is live music, and drinks are half price on Thursdays.
1 tuna medallion or 70 ounces
Juice of three lemons
1 tbsp. orange juice
1 tbsp. soy sauce or to taste
Red onion diced to taste
Fresh habanero chili to taste
Fresh mint to taste
1 tbsp. cucumber chopped and marinated in
1 kbps. pomegranate
1/2 cup cubed manila mango
1/4 cup avocado cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the tuna into half-inch cubes and marinate in lemon juice for three minutes. Add the soy sauce and taste. If necessary add a touch of salt and pepper. Add orange juice and leave one minute for flavors to blend.
Add the onion, finely chopped habanero pepper, mint, cucumber, pomegranate. Add the mango and avocado last. Serve with corn chips or crackers.