Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eating Our Way Through Playa del Carmen, Part 1

My blogs almost always follow me for a day, but I don’t usually have a day where I’m going to eight restaurants. That was the planned schedule for our first full day in Riviera Maya's – eight restaurants in Playa del Carmen.

We actually started the day with some free time. I met up with the PR rep to learn more about Grand Velas Riviera Maya, an AAA Five Diamond resort. We were staying in the Adults Only Grand Class section, but it turns out that the main resort has quite a family following and even more restaurants. I was fine with the delicious breakfast we had at the Bistro, with my Egg White Omelet with Spinach and Tomatoes, Hash Browns, Beans and Pineapple. All served by two attentive waiters as we overlooked the Caribbean Sea!

I had a short chance to look a bit more at the water as I took an hour to lie by the infinity pool before getting ready for the Playa del Carmen food tour. The first restaurant, La Casa del Agua, was up a long flight of stairs and I’m still not climbing because of my back. I heard from my colleagues that the food and drinks were delicious. I spent the time with Amber, our host from Riviera Maya's PR agency, and bought a great hat to help block out some of the strong Mexico sun. We then waited for the rest of the group at our next stop, Mi Pueblo.

We were served a Mexican feast of Chips & Salsa, Quesadillas, Tostadas and Cochala. Everything at this restaurant (which has only been open for six months) was delicious and we wanted to stay and finish it, but we had to get to Tropical, where there was a Fondue Cheese waiting for us in a large bowl. It was a bit sweet and a bit spicy, very good overall. We also ate an excellent Chicken & Mushrooms dish, which had been wrapped in a pineapple leaf to bring out more flavor from the chicken. It was hard to leave on any food on the plate, but we had more places to go and food to eat.

The sun was getting stronger and we had a bit of a distance to our next stop, so we hopped in our air conditioned Riviera Maya Tourism van and headed to the newer section of Playa del Carmen. It was hear that we would take a “food” break and focus on dessert. Ah Cacao Chocolate CafĂ© was founded in 2004 and is definitely my kind of place. I have never met something in chocolate I didn’t like and since my job for the day (fortunately not every day) was to taste, I had no problem with being here.

We learned about how chocolate is such an important part of this culture as it goes back to the ancient Mayans. The Mayans are still a big part of the Yucatan Peninsula, especially in this area. We also listened to how the chocolate comes from the cacao bean and how the Mayans (and Mexicans) often add chili to their chocolate. And then, we started our tasting from the bitter to the sweet. First it was unsweetened chocolate with almonds before we moved to a perfectly dark chocolate and Tejati, a drink that is a spicy hot chocolate. After I had the most delicious chocolate milk I’ve ever had, someone brought out a small serving of a perfect Mocha Frappe!

It was fortunate that we had some time to walk around Playa del Carmen a bit before our next food stop (which would not be or last). Although this is not the end of the day, I am going to stop here. I don’t think I can possibly do these places justice in one column, so forgive me if I make you wait a bit to continue the end of my day. Use this time to grab some Mexican food (with a chocolate dessert, of course)!

1 comment:

  1. muy rico ! ! !
    try allso churros bueno in playa del carmen... 5AV between 2 y 4