Restaurant Review: 100% Natural

I’ve been a fan of 100% Natural ever since I first came to Mexico. When I was doing mission work in Acapulco back in 2004, I would often go there with the other interns for breakfast. 100% Natural restaurant is best known for their extensive list of fresh fruit juices and numerous kinds of agua de jamaica (hibiscus water).

My beet and orange juice, and Jorge's Conga drink (canteloupe, watermelon, banana, papaya and guava) in the background

Jorge and I have visited the Playa del Carmen location several times as well as taking my family there back in May. The restaurant has so many options that fit perfectly with my diet, but it’s delicious enough that I like to go even when I’m not watching what I eat. They serve great breakfasts along with pastas, seafood, sandwiches, salads, etc etc etc etc.

On this particular visit, we both ordered wraps. I’ve become a huge fan of the cranberry wrap, stuffed with turkey, lettuce, onion, tomato, dried cranberry and cream cheese.

I always enjoy the casual atmosphere, with a small waterfall and tons of shade with large trees and vines overhead to create a jungle-like atmosphere right on Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue.

100% Natural has always been one of my Mexico favorites. Make sure to stop by there for some amazing fruit juice creations next time you’re in Playa del Carmen! They’re located right on 5th Avenue, between Calle 10 and Calle 11.

Family Dinner at Yaxche Mayan Restaurant

Even though my family and my in-laws speak different languages, they still have a fun time when they get together!

Tuesday night we all met up in Playa del Carmen for dinner. We decided on a restaurant serving Mayan/Yucatan cuisine. It had always attracted my attention, plus I thought it would be cool for my in-laws to be able to explain a little about the dishes to us.

Yaxche looks beautiful from the outside, with eye-catching modern style with a Mayan twist. Stepping inside was no different, with Mayan artwork all over the walls contrasting with contemporary light fixtures.

I was so excited looking through the menu, seeing all my local favorites. I had such a hard time deciding that I ordered two dishes!

Euxiquia (Xcatic chile and potato soup)... spicy and amazing!

If you've never heard of panuchos, you've never lived in the Yucatan.

Several people in our group got the Queso Relleno (stuffed cheese), with Edam cheese, ground pork, olives, capers and raisins, with a side of “Mayan rice”. Sorry for the bad picture:

My suegra said that the restaurant’s recipes had the same ingredients as the more traditional, homemade versions, but the presentation was quite different. Despite the unique twist on her old favorites, she still liked the food very much.

Jorge and I would like to come back to this restaurant on our own sometime. It would make a great date night, and there were so many dishes I didn’t get to try. The service was very friendly and helpful, and the price was about $350 pesos per person, including food, drinks and a 20% tip.

It was great for both families to spend some time together. My suegra is already planning a traditional Mexican dinner for my parents next time they’re in the area… complete with mariachis!

Have you ever had Mayan cuisine?

Sunday in Playa del Carmen

This Friday, Jorge and I will have our 1-year wedding anniversary… I know, time flies, right? Since we’re booked up with plans for our friends’ wedding next weekend, we decided to celebrate yesterday by heading down to Playa del Carmen for the day.

We had a late night Saturday (bachelor and bachelorette parties) and didn’t wake up until 12:30 pm! We didn’t arrive in Playa until about 4 in the afternoon… which actually worked out great because we avoided the heat!

After a quick late lunch at Subway, we walked down to the beach. Jorge and I aren’t huge fans of the water in Playa del Carmen (we’re too spoiled from all or trips to Isla Mujeres), but you can’t beat the vibe of Playa! There were acoustic artists and bands playing at the nearby beach clubs, providing us with a great soundtrack to our afternoon.

Once the sun started to go down, we walked up and down Playa’s 5th Avenue (great for people watching!), then decided to try Wicky’s Beach Club for dinner since so many people have recommended it. It had very cool modern design, and a great location set right on the beach. When we sat down and looked at the menu, however, we realized it was a bit out of our price range for the day (embarrassing! although I suspect it’s more affordable at lunchtime), so we just ordered some smoothies. I highly recommend the blackberry smoothie. It blew me away!

Shamed by our lack of cash, Jorge and I decided to go to an old favorite… 100% Natural. This beautiful outdoor restaurant is filled with towering trees and vines, giving it a jungle-like atmosphere. As always, I had to test out my nighttime photography skills. Definitely improving! (sort of)

I had garlic shrimp with veggies (I have never had such fresh, delicious veggies in all my time in Mexico! I’ve never been so happy to see a green bean) with agua de jamaica, while Jorge got some kind of immense and amazing chicken sandwich.

By then it was pretty late, so we walked back to the bus station and made our way back to Cancun. I think I’m the only person in history who has ever been SAD to return to Cancun… what can I say, I love Playa del Carmen!