Father’s Day in Puerto Morelos

Jorge and I spent all day yesterday with my suegros for Father’s Day. After a call to my own dad (miss you!), we had tacos de lechon for what can only be described as pre-lunch.

After a quick siesta, my suegro wanted to go to Puerto Morelos for lunch. (Mexican lunch is around 3 or 4 pm.) We drove half an hour down the highway and looked around for a beachfront restaurant.

We tried a fun place called La Panza Es Primero (The Tummy Comes First), but decided to only get appetizers because the service was snail-pace slow. The food was delicious! Jorge and I shared a spicy seafood soup that was amazing, but the poor service was too much to handle.

La Panza Es Primero

La Panza Es Primero menu

For our real lunch, we went to the popular Pelicanos restaurant, right by the main plaza of Puerto Morelos. I had a Cuban sandwich that was to die for!

Pelicanos

Sorry I didn’t get any food pictures, but here are some shots from our day in Puerto Morelos, Mexico:

What did you do for Father’s Day this year?

El Pescado Ciego

Friday night, I got to try a restaurant I’ve been curious to check out for months now.

I met up with my friend Nadia and her boyfriend’s cousin Jorge (yes, another Jorge… there are many) at El Pescado Ciego, a small seafood restaurant on Avenida Nader in downtown Cancun. I was trying not to spend too much so we’d have money to go to Isla Mujeres on Sunday, so I ordered the cheapest things on the menu. It was the best decision I could have made because the result was delicious!

The atmosphere was beautiful, with a palapa out front and fun yet elegant decor inside. It had the same “upscale Caribbean hippie” vibe (I made that up) that many other bars and restaurants on Avenida Nader are known to have. I found the ambiance to be quite romantic, but I was surprised to see that almost every table was groups of friends, not couples.

(Please forgive the poor picture quality. El Pescado Ciego has very “romantic” lighting.)

To start, churritos with cream cheese dip. If I weren't on a diet, these would have been gone in 5 minutes.

They also gave us these shots of seafood soup. It was good, but not as flavorful as the shrimp soup at Muellecito (a post for another day).

My lobster quesadillas with mango sauce, a new favorite!

My "Dragonfly" Taco (fried shrimp): very good, but the sauce was a little overpowering

Jorge's Catch of the Day: very garlic-y, but that's how I like it

Nadia's tuna: I hate tuna so I didn't try it, but Jorge and Nadia gave it rave reviews.

Nadia, Jorge and me! Why do I look so frightened in this photo?

Overall, everything that we had was very tasty, but the only dishes that really stood out to me were the churritos and the lobster quesadilla. (Granted, I have very simple tastes.) I will be back for those!

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?

I Famosi Italian Restaurant

Some friends of ours had recommended an Italian place near Plaza Las Americas way back in early February, and last weekend Jorge and I decided to try it out.

I Famosi is a small restaurant on Acanceh Street (behind Sports City, for all my Cancun friends). Their menu is pretty extensive, with lots of unique pastas and a wide variety of pizzas.

To start, they brought out a bread basket with a tomato dipping sauce. I could only have 1 bite because of the diet (had to save room for pizza), but it was delicious!

Jorge ordered an eggplant pasta and I had the Riccotini pizza, which was amazing. With my diet I’m only allowed thin-crust pizzas, and this one fit the bill.

When they brought the check out, the waiter mentioned that they weren’t charging us for Jorge’s meal since they gave him the wrong pasta, even though Jorge liked it so much he ate it anyway. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

We couldn’t finish a lot of it, and we ended up taking enough home for lunch the next day. (2 meals for the price of 1!)

Out total was around $120 pesos (my pizza, a water and Jorge’s Sprite). With Jorge’s discounted pasta added in, it would have been a little over $200 pesos. Not bad for a romantic evening!

5 Year Anniversary Surprise

Can you still celebrate dating anniversaries once you’re married?

Well, we did it anyway.

On Friday we had our 5 year dating anniversary, and Jorge wanted to take me on a dinner date to a surprise location. I wore my favorite yellow dress because I don’t get many fancy occasions for it.

I was really excited when we got there and I found out we were going to Elefanta, an upscale Indian restaurant at Plaza La Isla. We had a table under a palapa by the lagoon, which was lovely. About halfway through the meal, we felt water misting our feet. The waiter explained it’s their bug repellant spray to protect the legs. Pretty cool.

We’d never had Indian food before, but it was DELICIOUS. We started with potato and cheese naan bread, then had saffron and cheese shrimp and some kind of amazing spiced chicken for the main course.

I didn’t take many pictures because who wants to take pictures on a date? Plus “romantic lighting” isn’t very photo-friendly. You can check out Elefanta’s photo gallery, though. It’s a really, really beautiful restaurant.

All I have for you is a shot of my view of the lagoon:

I love upscale restaurants, hotels, etc, but for some reason I always feel out of place in fancy venues. What if the waiters find out that I’m not rich like the rest of the customers? That we had to save up for months for this dinner? That this is my only (sort of) expensive dress? That we took the city bus to get here? Totally irrational. But I love going anyway 🙂

 

**Update: By “popular” demand, here’s a picture of my favorite yellow dress:

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!