Mazatlán, a city on the Pacific coast of Mexico, is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich culture. But it is also home to a culinary legend that has been part of its history for almost five decades: El Mamucas.
El Mamucas was a restaurant that specialized in seafood dishes, prepared with a unique touch and flavor by its founder, Armando Arce Gordillo, also known as “El Mamucas”. He opened the restaurant in 1961, first in a palapa (a thatched-roof hut), and then in a larger location on Simón Bolívar Street in 1967.
The restaurant soon became a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike, as well as celebrities, politicians, and writers. Some of the famous guests who visited El Mamucas were Raúl Velasco, a popular TV host who invited the restaurant to his shows; Pedro Infante, a legendary singer and actor; and Carlos Fuentes, a renowned novelist. The walls of the restaurant were adorned with photos of these and other illustrious visitors.
The menu of El Mamucas offered a variety of seafood dishes, such as ceviche, Campechana (a cocktail of shrimp, octopus, and oysters), Parrillada de Mariscos (a grilled seafood platter), Camarones a la Naranja (shrimp in orange sauce), Ostiones a la Rockefeller (oysters with cheese and spinach), Pulpo al mojo de ajo (octopus in garlic sauce), and Jaibas al horno (baked crabs). The restaurant was famous for its exquisite sauces and seasonings, which El Mamucas created with his own recipes, using wine and spices.
El Mamucas was not only a restaurateur, but also a carnival king. In 1986, he was crowned the Rey del Carnaval (King of the Carnival), an honor that he cherished for the rest of his life. His image as a carnival king became part of the logo of the restaurant: a cartoon of him wearing royal attire, holding a tray with a seafood platter, riding on a turtle, and accompanied by a mermaid.
Sadly, El Mamucas passed away in 2010, leaving behind a legacy of gastronomic excellence and cultural pride. The restaurant continued to operate until 2023 when it closed its doors permanently due to the economic crisis and the lack of customers. The closure of El Mamucas marked the end of an era for Mazatlán, but its memory will live on in the hearts and palates of those who had the privilege of tasting its delicious dishes.