I was in Mexico for just one week yet I came away with enough delicious material to go on posting about it for at least another couple of weeks. But alas, I won’t. Instead I’ll end the reminiscing with a collection of some of the best stuff we had during our little Yucatan/ Riviera Maya jaunt.
In Playa del Carmen Flaneur had the above pictured enchiladas verdes and I had the below pictured enchiladas de molè at a no-frills, definitely-not-trendy restaurant just a couple of streets off the main tourist area (known as Quinta Avenida, or yup, Fifth Avenue). The green ones were good—tangy, zesty and perfectly gooey and cheesy—but the ones in molè, a sauce made of chocolate and chilies, spoke directly to me. A little spicy and a little sweet. Yes please.
In Tulum, a smallish, quiet town with a laid back vibe, we had a heated-at-the-table dish for two at a place called El Mariachi. (No actual mariachi bands were involved, thankfully). Instead there were strips of chicken breast, pork and chorizo topped with avocado, lemon and tomato for bright, colorful flavors and spicy, seasoned meats, served with refried beans, rice and corn tortillas.
Then there was the flan at Squimoz in Valladolid. Oh that flan… so creamy in flavor but smooth and thick in consistency. So sweet, almost buttery, just perfect. So… exactly what I could eat every day.
Below, after a day sweating it out under the relentless sun at the Maya ruins at Chichen Itza, Flaneur ordered this colorful and traditional Yucatecan dish in Valladoli, cochinita pibil with rice and sweet plantains. Pork meat is marinated in all sorts of juices, bitter oranges, seasonings and spices and then wrapped in plantain leaves before being slow roasted so that the end result is incredibly juicy, soft meat that really almost melts in your mouth… while you almost melt into your chair.
At the same restaurant, Plaza Maya Restaurant in Valladolid, I had the poc chuc, a funny sounding dish also typical of Yucatecan cooking. Like the cochinita pibil, poc chuc features pork but instead of being roasted it’s grilled. It’s not as tender as the cochinita but because it’s also marinated in sour oranges and citrus juices, it has that similar flavor and zest.