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?

Yucatan Seafood on New Years Day (not for the squeamish… you've been warned)

Well, I had a very busy but very fun New Years weekend! Jorge and I went to visit his family in the towns of Chabihau and Yobain (near Merida, Yucatan) for a few days.

My first meal of 2011 was filled with traditional Yucatan cuisine, made mostly with fresh seafood caught by Jorge’s uncles and cousins in the beach town of Chabihau.

For my first meal of the new year, I had "Chilpachole", a soup made with shrimp and "jaiba" (a Mexican crab). I also got to try the jaiba meat straight from the shell. This is one of my favorite soups!

fresh local "jaiba"

Jorge's uncle shows me the "tikinxic" (Yucatecan dish with enormous grilled fish) before going on the grill. It's split open and covered in bright red achiote sauce.

Tikinxic on the outdoor grill

Tikinxic... ready to eat!

Would anyone like to venture a guess as to what this is? It's a mass of fish eggs! Roe! Yummy...

Jorge's family gathered around for a meal of tikinxic, chilpachole, and frijoles charros (Mexican version of pork and beans)

And just so we can end this post on a non-queasy note, here are some photos of Chabihau on New Years Day, 2011…

What did you have to eat/drink for New Years?