I’m finally close to rounding out my Mexico trip. It’s hard to believe I am still writing about a time when this was going on:and this:and this:
and this:I seem to have saved the best for the end– seriously, no pun intended.
No trip to Playa would be complete without a few visits to El Fogon. A few years ago when looking for the ultimate in real, local Mexican food, we were directed to El Fogon. It is a few blocks into town and away from the tourist strip, but that still doesn’t stop most visitors for stopping in for a meal. I think many of us are in search of an authentic experience when visiting a new place, and El Fogon helps blend the travelers with the locals. I didn’t especially love it the first time I went. I think it’s because I wasn’t so obsessed with tacos yet– or meat for that matter. I’ve mentioned before that removing wheat, soy, dairy, and egg from my diet has transformed me into a carnivore. So now I can truly appreciate all this place has to offer. Once again, I must say that I devoured the tacos al pastor before I snapped out of my frenzy to remember to shoot a photo. Here is a great link I’ve posted before. I promise, there will be a tacos al pastor picture coming soon– just maybe not what you’d expect. I like to think of the taco as an appetizer, followed by this Arrachera special that I at least got to before it was ALL gone…When constructed, it became this…
El Fogon is great, not only for people looking to immerse themselves into the local culture, but for anyone looking for a delightful meal. Truly, I can tell you I know this because it happens to me every time: if you ask any local for the best local food, they will ALWAYS send you here.
And now the best for last…
Carboncitos is just off 5th Ave on 4th street. If I had one meal to eat in Playa/Tulum combined, I would pick Carboncitos. Although it is affordable, has a friendly staff, a cool atmosphere, and is unbelievably scrumptious, it comes with a few warnings. (That said, Carboncitos and El Fogon are very similar in their deliciousness.) A table outside is sure to lead to some fun people watching. The tacos are deconstructed, and I’m pretty sure it’s not an attempt to be trendy.This is Regio– the steak/al pastor combo, and let me tell you, it is the best combo of flavors. Everything at Carboncito’s is ALWAYS perfect– the beans, the guac, and the wonderfully seasoned and tender meat. Check out their YouTube video, and the woman in it will tell you that the margaritas are great too. I love her, by the way. The “cherry on top” is their dairy-free, pumpkin seed salsa that is so creamy. It offers a cool, almost sweet compliment to any spicy bite. Be careful though (this is your first warning,) you might like it so much that you’ll fill up on chips and salsa before the meal arrives. We discovered the choripollo tacos– chicken and chorizo. What is it with that animal?!?! Bacon, chorizo, tacos al pastor– it turns up the flavor intensity every time!Not only are these tacos accompanied by the best and most extraordinary pumpkin seed salsa ever tasted, but there are 4 other amazing salsas served with them so you can combine and recombine to make every bite taste brand new!Feeling a little adventurous, one cold night, I went for the pozole. I was in such a blissful state of pozole rapture, that I didn’t even realize I had somehow managed to splash little drops of it all over, staining the front of my shirt and the sleeves. So if you ever try it, be careful (that’s your second warning…) you may be in such a state that you will lose all control and awareness of what you are doing.
And, my third warning is this: Ladies, if you go to the bathroom, there is a full length mirror that covers an entire wall. Be careful in there! If you look in it during certain bathroom events, you might see something you really don’t want to see!