During our hunt for a great lunch, I felt drawn to try Origenes for two reasons: I had seen really great reviews of it, and it was very close to our beach spot. It’s in a great setting just off of the beach at the north end of town. In a clean, modern space with a palapa-style roof, you can be sheltered while you enjoy the fresh air. The staff was incredibly personable and welcoming. The food here is a little bit fancier and dressed up than most of the places we were eating in Mexico. They brought out some complimentary fish tostadas with a tomato base, mayonnaise, and pickled onions. I have not ever experienced this level of hospitality in any restaurant in Playa — it was a step above the rest. Nick wouldn’t eat it because of the mayo, but I tasted one, and it was very nice. We also had this…
… and it was nice too.
We ordered this grilled chicken, vegetables, and mashed potatoes with a mole-type sauce… and it was also nice. While everything was nice, nothing really knocked my socks off. I could tell, however, that the chef took great pride in what he was serving us. Feeling like the food was of a high quality here, we decided to try it for breakfast on our last day in town. I had chicken enchiladas with black beans, and Nick had chicken enchiladas in a mole sauce. The mole sauce was fantastic and well worth a return trip. Unfortunately, my chicken enchiladas had some really nasty pieces of bone and cartilage in them. Feeling slightly disgusted, I mentioned it to our server, simply wondering if this was typical of their chicken enchiladas. Before we knew it, our entire meal was being comped. We even tried to pay for at least part of it, but the chef would not allow it, insisting that he takes great pride in his food– and that this was an unacceptable mistake. I don’t know what it’s like in the big city, but if any of you have ever been to this part of Mexico, you’ll probably agree that this level of care and customer service is pretty rare! In fact, it’s rare to find this kind of customer service in my home town. When I found a maggot in my rice at India’s Pearl in Denver, the owner smashed it in between her fingers, destroying the evidence. She then refuted our claims, while the server stood by pretty convinced it was a maggot also– awkward! They begrudgingly comped the one meal after the server noticed I wouldn’t touch my food after that. I should add, I would have understood this type of mistake had the owner handled it properly, which brings me back to Origenes. We were shocked– in a good way, and this alone makes we want to recommend Origenes for other travelers. Because sometimes it’s about integrity, and this time, their integrity (and their mole) won me over. And by the way, people LOVE this place.
If anyone has had a similar experience with a restaurant that goes above and beyond in the Mayan Riviera, let me know so I can go!