Yaxche, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Just recently I had the pleasure of enjoying several days simply relaxing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Our resort was the Royal Hideaway, Playacar (highly recommend!), which you can actually walk into town from (if your knees and feet are better than mine). One of the highlights for me every time I visit Playa is the restaurant Yaxche right in town. They serve authentic old Mayan recipes that will surprise and delight you, I promise. For example…The simple dinner rolls are spiced up with some chile powder and served with butter wrapped in these cute little corn husks.Why get one appetizer when you can try them all? Great idea if you are with a group like we were. This platter included turkey salbute, pork panucho, chaya codzito, potatoes, fish kibi, and xi-xim. You’ll have to do a little research on the Yaxche website to know what all of these are!Next up, the soups. We share one large bowl of massewal soup (like tortilla soup) and one large bowl of the boxito (a creamy black bean soup with Mayan sausage that was to die for delicious).Don’t you love dining with a group that just orders a bunch of food and shares everything? Our plates never rested long before being passed on for bites. Here’s the queso relleno that was better than most I’ve had.Cochonita pibil, axiote and sour orange marinated pork that’s cooked in a plantain leaf then shredded, served with pickled Mayan red onions and tortillas – yum.This odd looking thing that did not photograph at all well in the dark lighting, is a true ancient Mayan dish. Turkey in black bean sauce with a stuffing of something I can’t recall. Again – yum!Arrachera is grilled flank steak with cactus and fixin’s – the pride of Mexico when it comes to beef on the grill.I can’t recall for sure which shrimp we had, but I think this is chac mool, shrimp marinated in tangerine and chipotle pepper sauce. Spicy, yet irresistible.And finally, it isn’t a party unless you have a flaming booze infused coffee drink at the end of a meal, right? OK, that’s how my husband thinks on vacation – but honestly I couldn’t even fit in a sip of this by then! Yaxche is a special place that stands apart in a resort town trying to lure in tourists – check it out the next time you are in Playa del Carmen.