Foodie Paradise at Taste of Playa 2013

Jorge and I don’t have the most “sophisticated palates” (a term for all the foodies out there). At our house, we eat a lot of quesadillas, sandwiches, cereal, fruit and salads. Our oven is used exclusively for storing tupperware. We (ok, “I”) spend a significant portion of our food budget on ordering sushi.

That being said, I know a good bagel when I try one, and Jorge can taste-test a beer with the best of ’em.

This past Sunday was our 4th year in a row attending Taste of Playa, an annual event in Playa del Carmen where the city’s best restaurants and bars set up stands to serve their favorite recipes. Taste of Playa gives Jorge and I the chance to be “foodies for a day”, pretending we know what we’re talking about as we feast on fancy french desserts, oh-so-trendy reinvented Mexican cuisine, artisanal chocolates, organic recipes, and some of the strongest alcoholic beverages I’ve ever had.

My favorite item were the macaroons by Café Antoinette! Jorge and I tried a maracuyá (passion fruit) flavored macaroon, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. We also split a jamaica macaroon (pronounced “ha-MY-ca”, it’s the Spanish word for a flavor taken from hibiscus flower… popular for Mexican drinks) which was pretty spectacular, too.

As for the rest, I’ll let the pics speak for themselves!

Foodies for a Day at Taste of Playa 2012

Every year, Jorge and I look forward to the annual Taste of Playa food festival in November. Dozens of restaurants from all over Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya show up to this event and offer samples of their best menu items. This past Sunday we got to go, and it was amazing! I had red velvet cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, fish tacos with chipotle sauce, sushi, a beef and cheese bagel and a torta ahogada… and possibly a very, very strong margarita. We saw tons of other things to try, but we were just too full after 2 hours.

There were lots of people just like last year, but I was glad to see that this year they set up more tables where we could eat and drink. (I’m not a fan of eating while holding plates in my hand.)

Check out the pics! As always, click to enlarge.


Me showing off my press pass!

Our friend Taelyn!

blow torching fruit... awesome.

Jorge took the best picture of the day with the Mayan warrior in the background. LOVE IT.

Have you ever been to a food festival in your city? What’s it like?

A Weekend of Triathlons and Tacos

This weekend is gonna be just a little bit crazy!

Sunday morning I have to leave Cancun at 4 am to go to the Xel-Ha triathlon. No, I’m not participating (I have a fear of bikes), but I will be part of the “press”. (How fancy does that sound?)

In the afternoon, Jorge and I will be in Playa del Carmen for our favorite event: the Taste of Playa Food Festival!!! Bring on the tacos, sliders and sample size margaritas. I’ve been waiting a year for this.

If you like running, swimming, biking or margaritas, you follow along with my adventures this Sunday on Twitter with @CancunGringa or on my Gringation Blog Facebook page.

Taste of Playa 2011

I’d been looking forward to this past Sunday for a year now, and I was not disappointed!

Jorge, Viri, Juan and I all made our way south to Playa del Carmen for the annual Taste of Playa culinary event, sponsored by Diamonds International. For those who haven’t had the chance to explore the Riviera Maya, the city of Playa del Carmen is well-known for its charming bars and restaurants. The entire Quinta Avenida (Fifth Avenue) is filled with all kinds of dining venues, ranging from casual sandwich shops to chic upscale restaurants. Local bars are open-air, ideal for people watching while indulging in a margarita or artisan beer.

At Taste of Playa,  the best of all these unique options come together at Parque Fundadores, set on the Quinta Avenida right by the Caribbean Sea. Guests lined up to purchase “Playa Pesos”, each costing $10 pesos (roughly $1 USD) each. With just 1 Playa Peso, you can purchase some mouthwatering tacos, a cold cocktail, a spicy ceviche or even sushi!

We each wandered around on our own, sampling from almost every vendor we saw. The favorites among our small group were the crunchy tacos and some chocolate-covered cream puffs. I’m always surprised how the simplest dishes often turn out to be the best.

After an hour or two of culinary inspiration at Taste of Playa, our small group walked up and down Quinta Avenida to enjoy the laid-back vibe of Playa del Carmen before heading back to Cancun (where we immediately went to a taco joint, surprise surprise).

Since a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’ll let the slideshow do most of the talking. Try not to drool onto your keyboard:

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

Taste of Playa Returns to the Riviera Maya!

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve already got my calendar marked for November 20. The city of Playa del Carmen will once again be hosting its annual “Taste of Playa” event, where guests can sample the favorite dishes and drinks from the city’s most popular bars and restaurants all in one stunning beachfront location.

My long-time readers may remember that Jorge and I got to go last year, and it was an amazing day filled with beer, cupcakes, shrimp and Caribbean views. (They obviously know exactly how to win over this couple!)

In my excitement to go back, I scored an interview with friend, Playa del Carmen resident and fellow blogger Michele Kinnon from Life’s a Beach, who has helped organize the event ever since its beginnings. I love her insights on PDC cuisine!

Michele, how are you involved in Taste of Playa?

My husband Rob and I are proud to be corporate sponsors for Taste of Playa. This is our third year supporting this community event. As expats and business owners in Playa del Carmen, we are always looking for ways to give back to the community that has given us so much. Taste of Playa is exactly the kind of event we try to ally ourselves with as it truly celebrates the diversity of the region. For the first two incarnations of Taste of Playa I had the role of Marketing Chairperson for the event, a job that I found challenging but rewarding in many ways. I got to work with an amazing group of women, all business owners in Playa del Carmen and all committed to promoting the Riviera Maya as a tourism destination.

How did Taste of Playa begin?

The idea for Taste of Playa was conceived in 2009 by a group of Playa del Carmen businesswomen. We were looking for a way to draw positive attention to all the wonderful things the Riviera Maya had to offer, ultimately increasing tourism to the area. This new culinary event was the culmination of hundreds of hours of planning and preparation volunteered by the Executive Committee and dozens of committed and passionate sub-committee members.

Why do you think this event has become so popular so quickly?

I think the event has been so successful because it appeals to many different people for many different reasons. For locals, it is a fun, affordable festival to enjoy with family and friends. For foodies it is a chance to scope out new restaurants and get some face-time with favorite chefs and restaurant owners. For tourists it is a destination event, one which many people now plan their travel around, that offers the opportunity to try the signature dishes of 40 plus local eateries all in one place, something they would likely not be able to do within the span of the average vacation week. For everyone, the event is a way to try great cuisine at a very accessible price whether you go for the VIP pass or buy individual tasting tickets.

What makes Taste of Playa different from other culinary events throughout the world?

What distinguishes Taste of Playa from many other food festivals and culinary events is its diversity. There is no one cuisine that represents The Riviera Maya. Certainly, we are in Mexico and Mexican and Maya cuisines are well represented here in hundreds of restaurants and eateries. What is different here is that unlike in most cities, which are divided up into neighborhoods such as Chinatown and Little Italy, all of the chefs and restauranteurs who have brought their unique cultures and cuisines to the Riviera Maya are working and living side by side with chefs from the local Mexican community. Walk down La Quinta in Playa del Carmen and you will find an Indian restaurant next door to a sushi joint, next to a taqueria, an Italian pizza place, an Argentinean steak house and so on. It’s like a great big culinary melting pot and Taste of Playa was designed to reflect just that!




What kind of cuisine can we expect to see at Taste of Playa this year?

As the Riviera Maya has a culturally diverse population made up of people from all over the world, we can expect that the cuisines represented at Taste of Playa 2011 will be equally diverse! Expect to see influences from France, Italy, Thailand and Spain mixing it up with traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine! Many of the participants from years past will be returning but we also have quite a few new restaurants coming on board. I’m excited to see what they will bring to the table!


Thanks, Michele!

All photos courtesy of tasteofplaya.com

Disclosure:  I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the Mexico Today Program.  All stories, opinions and passion for all things Mexico shared here are completely my own.

A Taste of Playa

This past Sunday was the annual Taste of Playa event in Playa del Carmen.

The event was held at Parque Fundadores, a beautiful area by the beach. Many of Playa del Carmen’s best bars and restaurants set up their own table, serving samples of their more popular dishes and drinks.

I’d been dying to go for months, but Jorge wasn’t as excited about it. Good husband that he is, he agreed to tag along. By the end of the day, I think Jorge was more excited than I was!

 

First, we went to buy our “Taste of Playa Pesos”. This little chips costs $10 pesos (or $1 US) each. With these, you could buy a drink or sample dish from the different restaurants and bars.

Jorge and I were able to try quite a lot for $200 pesos ($20 US)… not too bad!

Fried shrimp with sauce, and a side of rice with lime

"Sex on the Bar" by Luna Blue... best drink ever?? I may or may not have had 3 of these...

Cupcakes by Turtle Bay Cafe and Bakery ... God bless you

Red velvet cupcake

Overall, such a fun event! I was surprised by the number of expats I saw there (probably way more expats than Mexicans!)

We’ll definitely be back next year.

Exploring Playa del Carmen

This Sunday was one of the funnest days ever!

Jorge and I took the bus down to Playa del Carmen for their annual event, “A Taste of Playa”. WordPress is being a little screwy, so I’ll have to show you the event photos tomorrow.

We got there a little early so that we could have some time to walk around, since Playa is one of our most favorite places.

Here are some of my photos from Playa’s famous “Quinta Avenida” (Fifth Avenue) and the beach.

 

Check back tomorrow to see what we did at “A Taste of Playa”!