Posts Tagged ‘Food’

At times walking the streets of Playa del Carmen one can start to think they are vacationing in Italy. Yes, Italy. Surprised? Well, have you been to Playa lately? Italians top the list of foreign ownership and that translates into many Italian restaurants.

the taqueria was packed...

Pizza appears on nearly every block with pasta specials on nearly every menu across the countless cafes. Italian food is omnipresent. Travelers can not miss (or not taste) the large Italian influence.

But on my final night, I craved tacos. I asked the locals for recommendations and most everyone recommended one spot. So, I walked a few minutes from the tourist streets to find the top taqueria. I  arrived at El Fogon.

opening the menu made me smile..

When I think of tacos, El Califa in Mexico City, remains my first thought. The tacos hold a special place in my heart. I never traveled to DF and not made a stop. I never will. But I’ll admit, when I next return to Playa, a return to El Fogon is now a must.

A packed house with an open grill provides the smells, smoke, and sounds to start any man salavating a little. Simple plastic chairs and tables either draped with advertisements or simply plain white do not provide comfort long leisurely stays, but serious eating. Even the waiters and waitresses play a part. They expect you know your order before they hand you a menu and start delivering toppings (the salsas, picos de gallo, limes, etc..) before you receive your drink. The scene set. Tacos.

And I don’t care where you eat tacos in Mexico, it is a sin if you do not start with at least one ‘Taco del Pastor.’ A must. The gyro style pork on a small taco garnished with a slice of pineapple is a requirement. And at El Fogon – delicious.

Then I selected the ‘bistec y chorizo con queso’ for my order of tacos. I don’t always get cheese, but this time, it was needed.  I desired the extra comfort.

my order of tacos...

At first, I thought the order, roughly 4-5 tacos, might be too much. But instincts took over. And after a few nights of Italian, and on the eve of returning home to New York, I needed my taco fix. No problem. I ate every last morsel. Two frosty Pacifico cervezas aided my effort. All delicious.

But what of dessert?

Well, I still had a little room for one more item. And I did what any taco loving American might do. I ordered one more Taco del Pastor. A perfect beginning also made a perfect ending. The setting, the food, the experience. Tacos indeed. A must visit when you find yourself in Playa – and that, my friends (mis amigos) is a Fogon conclusion.

makes a perfect dessert too.

stay adventurous, Craig

Day 5 of 20 day Mexico Bicentennial Tribute


Read Full Post »

outside the shanghai museum....

Shanghai surprises.

When you walk the city you know you are not in Kansas. My friend compares it to another planet. He says it’s Mars. It’s not, but it sure is different. Very different.

Different architecture, different customs, different language.  But perhaps the biggest difference for me came when I sat down for dinner.  The cuisine.

Now, I consider myself an adventurous eater, but true chinese cuisine challenges most westerners. It certainly challenged me. No, it’s not the simple takeout menu I grew up with or the one I use to order delivery in New York City this week.  Nope. No egg rolls. No chicken with brocolli. No fortune cookies.

...are the shrimp drunk yet? hmmm.....delicious

And although I started off with a struggle, the shanghai surprise – drunken shrimp delicacy (click to read Shanghai Metro story – and scroll down) turned the tide. I even gave my TwoCents about it in the Shanghai Metro. Yes, published in print.

So, after that meal or rather dining experience, I found myself with a tad more bravado. Yes, braver and certainly a more adventurous eater.

In China, I tried many more dishes on that trip, yet there remains so much to learn, so much to sample. So if you know of a special dish (from China or anywhere), please leave a comment. Tell of your experience or even make a recommendation.

Of course, I am continuing to expand my horizons with more Shanghai style surprises.

Stay adventurous, Craig

Read Full Post »