Life in the Slow Lane: Sandrina’s Celebrates Mediterranean in Bucerias

By: Kelly Wilson

You can feel the pride.  You can taste the passion.  Since 2001, Sandrina and her husband Andrew have been serving sumptuous treats at Sandrina’s Restaurant & Boutique in Bucerias.  Initially an internet cafe with eight computers and a cooler, offering such delights as homemade mac and cheese and shepherd’s pie, Sandrina’s has bloomed into a sophisticated yet casual eatery with a Mediterranean flair.  Andrew’s Greek ancestors have been in the restaurant business since 1918, and the menu includes many authentic family recipes created and passed on by his grandmother, “yiayia”.  From western Canada, Sandrina has mastered numerous roles in the restaurant industry since she was fifteen years old.  To succeed with her business here in Bucerias she worked fourteen hour-plus days preparing, stocking, cooking, serving, and managing paperwork and banking.  Along with her daughter Chelsea, and her sister Roberta, whom she says are “her right hand people, and she couldn’t do it without them”, she now relies on many employees but still marvels in the day to day operations.  She says she, “finds it interesting, the least boring business in the entire world, although it can be incredibly stressful.”  But the rewards are reaped when she greets repeat customers who once brought their little children and now bring their grandchildren.  The courtyard, or, “back garden” was eventually designed for outdoor dining after so many requests from customers to enjoy their meal outside.  “It was not very pretty at the time.”  After landscaping and finishing the space, including adding an elaborate water fountain that spans the back wall, the restaurant had changed.  These days the courtyard, full of lush tropical plants and twinkling lights, draws people to it’s romantic, cozy, musical and artsy ambience.  You name the occasion, wedding rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, a quiet corner for two, and Sandrina’s back garden will shine.  Aside from serving as a dining area, the back garden is also the location of the Arte y Vino sessions.  Although not formally trained, Sandrina patiently walks her group of students through brushing paint on canvas as they each create their personalized art.  This author can attest to the fact that everyone goes home with their own masterpiece. “It’s super rewarding and I love to encourage people to paint, to find their talent”, Sandrina says, “Enjoy a nice lunch and share time together.”     

On top of all this, the boutique in the front area of the restaurant displays stunning art pieces, paintings, statues, colourful glassware and entire sets of hand painted pottery dishes.  When asked how the boutique sales started, Sandrina explains, “Customers kept wanting to buy their glass, or inquired if they could purchase the plates they used for lunch. I ended up ordering extra dishes and it grew from there.”   

One of the chefs has been with them since three weeks after opening, and several other employees have worked as team members for many years.  “I’m very proud of our restaurant, and it is what it is because of our staff”.  Sandrina shares, “We have many long term employees, really loyal and amazing staff members working here and I love them all.  Muchas gracias to all of our staff” 

Sandrinas is located at  
Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 33 
Bucerías, Nayarit 

329 298 0273 

www.sandrinas.com 

Open noon-10:00pm. Closed Tuesdays