Friday, August 19, 2011

Adventures South of the Border: Part One

My Fox and I just got back from a lovely week in Mexico and of course, I wanted to share with you all of the food that we tried and tasted! The week got kicked off really right when we got all the way to the front of the customs line in Cancun and they promptly booted us (me really) back to the US. It's a funny story and I'll tell you if you ask me but suffice it to say, when we finally got admitted onto Mexican soil two days later, I was ready to put the hurt on some food.

We decided to have lunch in Cancun before jumping on the bus to Tulum and that was the worst mistake I made the whole week. Cancun pretty much sucks as a city and we ended up at a crappy buffet with sour lasagna and some funky beef skewers. They didn't even make margaritas. Thanks for nothing, Fodor's Yucatan 2011!

After that debacle, we boarded our bus and I was very glad to see the LOVE PINK sweatsuit-clad American tourists fade away in the rearview mirror. Seriously, if I saw one more girl wearing that godawful Victoria's Secret pre-fab shit emblazoned on their ass cheeks, well, it's no wonder we're not always well-loved abroad. Because we look like this. Yeah, I'm judging, so hate me.

Tulum is a dusty little town about 80 miles south of Cancun. We got off the bus and immediately stopped somewhere to cool off with a margarita. We had some that were darn tootin', as well as some fantastical shrimp ceviche. After that,we got a cab to our new home, Papaya Playa, our little cabana on the beach! Once we settled in, we went and sat in a palapa hut that overlooked the beach and had a couple more margaritas. I think perhaps I overdid it with the margaritas but after getting deported and suffering the indignity of spending a night in a motel in Indianapolis, I thought I deserved it.

Back to our cabana (27). We could open our door and lay back in the bed and watch the waves crashing in! There is nothing quite like sleeping with the sound of the sea and then wakening to the first rays of the sun stretching across the sky. The water really is a most perfect turquoise and the sand was as white as I've ever seen it.

Ai, I didn't mean to make this a play by play, let me just get to the food! I read about this place called Urge Tacos from some food writer who said they had the best fish tacos she has ever had. I don't know about that but they were good. What was really notable was that they had this salad bar that was really a taco bar with all kinds of accouterments. So I got my plate with tortillas and fish and then went and loaded up with a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce, pickled red onions, radishes and jicama, avocado-habanero sauce and so on. Their octopus ceviche was super but the horchata was just okay.

I skipped dessert because the waiter made a face when I asked about it, as if to apologize for a meager offering, not a promising sign! Now that I think of it, maybe he was grimacing at my gringa accent. Anyway, by the time we walked from the taco place to town, we were drenched with sweat and parched. Luckily we stumbled upon this great little place called El Flor de Michoacan. It had the sweetest little courtyard with flowering trees and white cast iron tables. They also made several different kinds of paletas(popsicles) to soothe weary and overheated travelers such as oursleves. We visited this place pretty much every day we were in town, it was that good. My favorite was called gazacho moreliano and it had pineapple, mango,jicama, lime and chile. So incredible!

More to come....