Puerto Morelos is a small little fishing village that isn't all that touristy, halfway between cancun and playa del carmen. nice place to visit.
Suckling pig (cochinita pibil apparently) tacos from El Tios in Puerto Morelos... Had these for breakfast actually... Very good... Marinade was vinegar based and you could really taste it. Didn't feel so good not too long after though
John Gray's Kitchen ... if you visit Puerto Morelos or even Playa del Carmen, go to John Gray's Kitchen (his location in Playa is just "John's Kitchen") for a nicer dinner. (or apparently, even people visiting Cancun regularly drive to Puerto Morelos to go here). In a setting of a typically run-down-looking Mexican street sits John Gray's Kitchen, a nicely painted house he built specifically to house the restaurant. Prior to opening his own restaurant, John Gray was the head chef for several different Ritz-Carlton locations, moving to the area as they expanded into it. after leaving one of the mexican locations he later decided he wanted to move there and open this place (his playa del carmen place came later). I didn't take any pictures... For dinner I started with a Tuna prepared in what he described has a Hawaiin preperation on top of an asian salad ... SO started with mushroom soup with truffle oil. Main course for me was a flank steak of sorts (he described it as being not marinated, but instead cooked for a very long time and charred on the ends, then he cuts off the charred outside to reveal the inside). The other half had a local deep channel fresh fish that was somewhat steaky with a Spanish (different than Mexican!) chorizo vinegerette (very very good).. Sides involved Yucas and other veggies.. The Yucas are very starchy. IIRC, he said cooking them is always an experiment in progress, but he basically braises them in white wine for a long time. Dessert was a chocolate torte topped with figs. He was good to talk to, and helpful for getting the inside scoop of various local unknowns. Prices were very reasonable, I think our meal, drinks (including wine and several cocktails) came out to be about the equivalent of $100. It was a bit of a slow night there, so we sat at the bar after and had drinks and talked to him and his crew until after closing.
In Tulum we were in a hurry and couldn't find the place we were looking for (actually, I think we found it but it had closed). so we ended up at a place called Charlies, which I'm sure is touristy but looked like we could get reliable food..
I had a so so margarita, which are suprisingly hard to find in Mexico (though Tequlia Y Fresca is an easy thing to order if you want a quick substitute, and is very very good).
lunch@charlie's in Tulum:
chicken mole enchiladas ... they were good, a little hot and heavy perhaps for such a hot day though.
fish tacos (the brown stuff is actually from the other plate...)
guacamole/chips were excellent...
...the house cat who eagerly awaited leftover food...
...back in Puerto Morelos. Some places have fish tacos, Puerto Morelos is big on shrimp tacos. At the Le Marlin Bleu, this is their specialty.
... very good. a little skimpy on the shrimp (only 2 per taco). 3 tacos was about $4 US. your choice of a corn or flour tortilla... served with a strip of red pepper and avocado, and some sort of mayo. 3 sauces served on the side, watch out for the dark brown one, its not all that spicey but it will come back to haunt you! For drinks we both had limonade (which is not to be confused with Lemonade... its lime). Freshly made, delicious and refreshing. The owner is a French man who moved to Mexico City over 20 years ago, then he moved to Puerto Morelos and opened Le Marlin Bleu over 15 years ago.... we went back at night to chit chat with him, in English, Spanish, and
...Breakfast at Ojo de Agua in Puerto Morelos.. there were cops there eating, so how bad can it be right? We both had chilaquiles, which is basically leftover tortillas topped with meat and cheese and onions and baked. it was so so. upon leaving, we ran in to the guy running the dive shop (who is from Houston), who said the restaurant wasn't that great but the hotel was a good place to stay. (where was he before
we sat down?
...lunch at some road side place near the road to Puerto Morelos. The sign said Tacos Y Tortas...so tortas it was. The only choice for meat was Carne Asade.... they were good.. It was one of the sketchier looking places we ate at, so I was a little worried, but it was very delicious. (Also, it seems that in mexico they don't refrigerate open Mayo always...??? this worried me a bit but I survived it)
... Dinner at Pelicana in Puerto Morelos.... mostly seafood choices, we started with ceviche. Very good... For entrees we both ordered fish (which was a white fish of some sort...). There were a number of ways to get fish prepared, we got one in a garlic butter and another ala Veracruz (a tomato based sauce). Both were excellent
, but the garlic butter one was just marvelous. and it was very cheap (equiv $8 or something).... Probably one of the better inexpensive seafood places in town.
...Dinner (& spa) at La Ceiba resort in Puerto Morelos... this was one of those nights where the appetite just wasn't there, but somehow I found the initiative to order a whole fish (grouper) that was salt encrusted and baked in a wood fire oven. The waitor takes it out of the salt crust tableside and plates it... (I believe this is more French than Mexican). It was for 2 people to eat, too. Very very good, couldn't eat the whole thing though.
overall the food we had was good, I don't think there was anything we didn't like... I think the sun and heat got to us and there were two nights where we just didn't even feel like eating (unfortunately..). I wanted to try rock lobster, which is a local specialty. but when it came down to dinner time it just seemed like too much food, which is very unusual for me! closest I got to rock lobster was seeing a few while snorkeling at the reef in Puerto Morelos.