Just returned last week from a much-needed vacation (9 days!) in Mexico. It’s been years since I have been on a “real” vacation (meaning no family members, as much as I love them, were with us) and I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this relaxed. After a relatively smooth re-entry week, I think my mind (and my tastebuds) have only halfway returned. So, before I lose my motivation (as I did earlier this winter with my San Francisco trip) I want to share a visual tour of some the culinary high points with G3 readers.
We stayed in Puerto Morelos, a small low-key fishing village on the “Riviera Maya” (about 40 km south of Cancun), but happily, there was nothing Riviera-like about the town other than the abundant sea and sunshine. We met a lot of American expats and wanderers along with (mostly) loyal repeat visitors, mainly from Northern US, Canada and smatterings of places in Europe and South America. PM is not necessarily a foodie destination, but the local offerings were fine enough (right on the square is one of the best Chinese places we’ve tried in a while – seriously!) and we found it to be a good base for venturing off to experience more serious Mexican culinary and historic treasures. We visited the ruins at Tulum, and luckily were able to locate the hard-to-find restaurant “Oasis” with some help from the locals and a post on Chowhound – several blocks off the main road in the town. We also ate well in Playa Del Carmen, which we once considered as a vacation spot several years back but now it is REALLY crowded and touristy – not like I imagine Cancun, but kind of – a Riviera-Maya-take on South Beach – definitely not my thing. But luckily, we had some fun shopping for beachy surfer stuff and we had an amazing lunch at a place we read about in our guidebook called La Cueva Del Chango.
In Puerto Morelos we enjoyed Rosie’s Juice Bar (even with the s-l-o-w pace – it helped get us on Mexican time!), Dona Triny’s, as well as some of the traditional/familiar offerings at a restaurant on the water called Paneros, and other fine enough local finds (e.g., Caktuz for Argentinean/amazing grilled beef, Cafe Habanero, the expat hangout, Spagettino for great pasta, El Pirata for local fare). Since Lenny speaks fluent Spanish I decided to turn my brain to zero and not try to speak at all, which helped even more with my relaxation state – but he obviously was able to engage more with the locals who don’t speak English (and sometimes not even Spanish as a lot of the locals only speak Mayan). Anyway here is his mini-take on Rosies:
Rosie is not from the Yucatan but another part of Mexico (Guerrero?), and is sometimes too overwhelmed with customers to provide quick service, but it was vacation so we relaxed. Rosie’s featured a Super Green Juice as well as other fresh fruit smoothies, but we opted for the super green which included radishes, chaya (a local plant similar in some ways to spinach), pineapple, and orange juices. It was large, inexpensive, and delicious, and set us right for the rest of the day (see the photo below).
In Valladolid, where we stopped for lunch on the way to the ruins at Chichen Itza, we had our (well, my) favorite meal at the Meson De Marques, on the main square. It was the most typical Yucatecan fare (although definitely a more sophisticated take) we were able to try and we thoroughly enjoyed both the food and the setting.
So without further ado here is a “taste” of what we were lucky enough to experience on our trip.