Saturday, December 14, 2019

La Cancilleria - Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico

In September 2019 while my nephew, John Pedroza, and I traveled through the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico into deep southern Texas, we stopped in Matamoros to take a look at Our Lady of Refuge Cathedral (Catedral de Nuestra Senora del Refugio) and then to eat at La Cancilleria, just a few blocks away and very close to the U.S. border and the Texas city of Brownsville. 
Matamoros Cathedral
There is a park across the street from the cathedral and some kind of outdoor fair was going on, with vendors lined up along the street and into the park, taking up any good views to photograph the cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1833 and has been through several hurricanes that knocked down the towers, one in 1844 and another in 1933. It was last restored between 1982 and 1987. We went inside and a mass was going on. We sat for a few minutes and I did not want to take photos and detract from the worship service. It was very light and bright inside. 

Entrance to the cathedral from the park across the street. 
Then we drove to La Cancilleria, the chancery in English, a very nice restaurant which was rated the number 2 restaurant in Matamoros on Trip Advisor (out of 48). It is a place I would love to go back to. The atmosphere was very nice, the food looks amazing (go to Yelp and look at the photos) and what we had was very good. The only thing that detracted was a party going on that hired a traditional Mexican singing group to come in and entertain that had a particularly loud trumpet. A little bit was nice, but it went on and on. 

Restaurants in Mexico are so good with added sauces. The closest one was an Argentine-like chimichurri sauce. 
John mentioned before our trip that Matamoros was known for jaibas rellenas, stuffed octopus. He ordered it, wanting to focus on the regional specialty. I'd gone in wanting it, but got distracted by other items on the menu. 
John and his dish of jaibas rellenas.
I got a tortilla mounded up with smoked octopus and avocado. It looked great and tasted pretty good - the octopus was a little mushy and had a vinegar on it that was not my favorite. 
We got a baked cheese dish full of mushrooms and it was divine. We'd had baked cheese at El Rey del Cabrito in Monterrey earlier on our trip and it was so good that I wanted to try some more. It did not disappoint. In line with Dr. Seuss's "Sam I am," I would eat it on a boat, riding a goat, taking a hike or on a bike. I would eat it anywhere, and what else was going on, I would not care. 
Baked cheese in a very hot pan.
Some of the cheese on a tortilla, revealing some of the mushrooms. 
Finally, for my main course I got a leg of roasted meat - I believe it was lamb, covered with a sauce which I think consisted of roasted chiles. The meat was very tender and there was lots of it. 

Aside from the baked cheese, which was about as good as it gets, what we had presented extremely well and tasted very good.  From some of the pictures I've seen, there are lots of other good dishes at the restaurant that look like they rival the cheese. 


  1. Wow. If you DO go back, please take me along.

  2. That place was very fancy (not too expensive), but I remember Matamores being a very modest town. I also remember that leg on your plate was HUGE!