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Oh Mexican food, our favorite, we crave it and we do love it! There are a few dishes we love and thought we would share them with you. Some are on the menu at Carboncitos, some are not. But all of them are delicioso!We want to thank our guests at Hotel Cielo for helping us put together this list of the favorites.
1. Chiliquiles – This is true Mexican nachos that is normally served for breakfast but has been known to turn into an all day breakfast item. Think nacho chips, green or red salsa, Oaxaca cheese all mixed together so the nachos chips soak up the salsa and combine with the cheese. Serve it on a plate, top it off with an egg or sliced chicken or red meat. Have to admit this is a great hangover killer but truly a delicious combination of all things we love about Mexican cooking!
2. Tacos El Pastor – This are really specific tacos to the area and are a great snack or a good dinner. For 5 pesos a taco, really you can not go wrong. The pork is marinated in an achiote chili paste, cooked in a vertical spit and when the meat is cooked, it is shaved off the spit right onto your fresh corn tortillas. Put on your favorite salsas, some fresh sweet onion, cilantro (coriander) and eat away. Your tacos will also come with roasted pineapple, a sweet signature of this taco that cuts the chile of the achiote chiles. Spicy, only as spicy as you want them to be when you add your salsa.
3. Chile Renellos – Now this chile dish has to be searched out in Playa del Carmen as not a lot of people are making it. It is a bit of a high maintenance recipe but well worth it! Think roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a ground pork and some cheese, red salsa and many put a touch a cream on the top. The chiles are battered in egg whites and slightly fried. Spicy, dreamy and of course delicious.
4. Pico de Gallo – This is everyone’s favorite and differs from chef to chef. The basic ingredients of this fresh salsa are tomatoes, cilantro, onions and chiles marinated in lime juice. Some make it hot and some don’t. What we all love about Pico de Gallo is the freshness, the sweetness and the spice as a combo. There is nothing better on a hot day, Pico de Gallo, chips and cold beer or margarita.Now that is a vacation!
5. Rosca de Reyes – This fab dessert bread comes out once a year. It is like a sweet challah bread, egg bread with dried fruit and a surprise inside. It commemorates the Kings day which falls on January 6 each year. Families buy this great round bread, have a party and each person gets a piece. The person with the inserted plastic or ceramic baby that is baked in the bread is then responsible to have the fiesta in February. Yummy, and only in January. But a real treat
6. Cochinta Pibil – This traditional meat dish is made with pork or goat but it is now found in chicken as well. The meat is slowly baked in achiote chile paste, tomatoes, sour orange juice (yes sour oranges) onions and chile in a banana leaf. Historically a fire pit is made in the ground, the coals are made super hot, the wrapped meat is put in the fire pit and covered with dirt so the meat slowly cook for 24 hours over the coals. The result is the most tender meat in the world that is filled with flavor and tons of juices from the cooking. It is eaten as a breakfast item in a torta or served as a main meal with veggies. It is also served as tacos.Just think really super delicious pulled pork sandwiches.
7. Tostadas – This is the pile high taco that is hard to eat but well worth the mess. A taco shell is fried and used as the base then the mountain is created. Salsa, chicken (or seafood or beef) then lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cream and the final topping cheese! Folding can not be done and the first bite will have everything fall apart. But in a good way!
There are many more great Mexican dishes that we have not suggested, but not to say they could be suggested in the future. Salbutes, empanadas, ceviche, and many more could be on this list, but start with these flavors and tell us what you think of these authentic Mexican dishes. Remember Carboncitos has many of these dishes so check out the restaurant downstairs at the hotel first before you venture out to other family run traditional restaurants in Playa del Carmen. If the item is not on the menu, then we know where you can find it and will make sure that you get there!
What is your favorite Mexican food or Mexican dish? And where do you eat it in Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya. Let us know and share your food experiences with everyone. The best recommendations come from your are guests so share!