Apparently mom was right — my eyes ARE bigger than my stomach. Still, I gave it a good go as I scoffed my way through my recent trip through the Yucatán. From the colonial cities of Merida, Valladolid, Izamal, San Pedro Nophat, Kanasín to the Gulf beach towns of Progreso and Telchec, to the tourist city of Cancun… I enjoyed the regional Yucatan, local Mayan, and traditional Mexican cuisines. Here are some examples… which ones look good to you?
Salbutes, empanadas, and flan, Hacienda Teya, Merida
This was probably the best cuisine that I consumed in the Yucatán, especially the salbutes, which are an authentic Yucatán specialty. They are small, puffed, deep fried tortilla topped with pulled pork, chopped cabbage, tomato, pickled red onion, avocado, and pickled jalapeno pepper.
Filete de Yucatán, Kinich, Izamal
Pork fillet marinated in tamarind seeds and chile peppers and sour orange then sautéed and served with pickled onions and black beans.
Tamale and chaya drink, La Susana, Kanasin
The huge tamale was an appetizer shared by our table. Chaya is a drink made from spinach, considered to be refreshing by local Karen Kruse, however, not by me.
Churo, downtown Kanasin square
Who doesn’t like donuts? These deep fried treats are crisp and coated liberally with cinnamon sugar. I have to admit, I ate the whole bag while walking around the Mexicana fiesta of local music and art on Saturday. I didn’t even share.
Ice Cream, Plaza Grande, Merida
By now, nearly everyone in the world knows my appetite for ice cream. I plan to eat ice cream around the world.
Jalapeño nachos, La Exquina, Merida
The nachos at this little eatery located right on Merida’s fashionable, tree-lined Paseo de Montejo were good, but the margaritas were phenomenal. Close second to Hussong’s in Baja, where they originated. That’s saying something.
Chimichangas, Eladio’s, Progreso Beach
A burrito, delicately fried to a satisfying crunch and filled with shredded beef, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Unlike the Tex-Mex version, the Yucatan chimichangas are not filled and folded over before deep frying, but just folded over. Messy to eat, but delicious.
Street tacos, Valladolid
No English spoken here, and I’m still not sure exactly what kind of meat was in these tacos!
Chorizo quesadillas and the mother of all margaritas, Carlos ‘n Charlie’s, Cancun
The quesadillas were good, the margaritas were fun but weak but who cares? Carlos ‘n Charlies is my favorite place to go in the evening in Cancun. What can I say? I’m partial to dancing on my chair!