I’ve been in Playa del Carmen 3 days and so far I’ve been asked twice, on the street, by the same guy, if I wanted any cocaine. Um, no thanks, I’m good.
The three days have been wonderful. I’ve been able to take a much-needed break from the mountains of stress caused by being unemployed in Los Angeles (sarcasm) and this is a nice change of pace from the snow and cold of Michigan (not sarcasm). All I keep hearing and reading about is how there’s rain, rain, rain, rain in Los Angeles, so it sounds like I’m not missing tons, except the friends and family I have there.
My eating in Mexico has been pretty good. I’m proud of myself. It hasn’t been easy, especially since I’m dependent on restaurants for pretty much all my food. But we’ve bought apples and bananas to keep in our hotel room, and our hotel has a continental breakfast (included with our room rate) that has fresh fruit, so I’ve taken advantage of that every morning. At the restaurants, I’ve been pretty good at scoping out the healthier options, and balanced them with trying things I want to try. I haven’t been carrying my phone with me, as I don’t get service here, so I haven’t taken photos of most of the food, but last night I brought my camera along to the restaurant we went to, so I snapped photos of everything I ate. It turned out to be the best meal we’ve had so far.
Here’s the restaurant. According to their website, it’s pronounced “Jag-Shey,” although I’m pretty sure the locals were pronouncing it more like “Yock-Shey”:
It was a Mayan restaurant, and the menu had icons noting the items that didn’t stray from the traditional old Mayan recipes. I thought “when in Rome,” and ordered a couple of those. But before they arrived, I tried a few other things.
The first thing out was a roll, with three dipping sauces – the black was the hottest:
I tried all three individually, but kinda liked it best when all three were mixed together. It seemed like the green and black ones were salsa-esque, and the white one was sour cream-ish.
My sisters ordered a couple appetizer combo platters to share, and so I tried 5 bites of 5 different appetizers. I have no idea what any of them are, but they were delicious:
The one at 5 o’clock was similar to a quesadilla, and the one at 3 o’clock was a pork-stuffed pepper that was terrific. There are marinated onions on top.
For a starter (or, my next starter, I should say), I ordered Shecc (pronounced, I presume, “Sheck”): It was pieces of pineapple, mango, jicama, and cucumber, marinated in lemon juice, paprika, and salt:
It was light and tasty – the salt and paprika added flavor but wasn’t overbearing. The menu noted that this dish was “very refreshing!” and I have to agree.
For my main course, I ordered Tikin Xic (pronounced, um, I’ll get back to you on that). It was fish marinated in sour orange and axiote, wrapped with onions in banana leaves, and grilled. When it arrived, it was still bundled up in the banana leaves:
And here it is unbundled:
I just looked up what axiote is, and it’s a spice blend, in paste form, that’s very popular in the region, that’s built around annato seeds, which come from a local flowering shrub. There was also a small piece of corn on the cob, and about a half-cup of rice served in a boat fashioned from a corn husk. When the plate was set down in front of me, I thought the stuff at 4 o’clock was fruit, but it was actually steamed (or roasted?) vegetables – mostly zucchini, carrots, and onions. All of it was tasty. It was delicate, and the fish was flaky and perfectly cooked (I don’t know what kind of fish it was), and I ate all of it.
There was 8 of us at the table, and some of the others ordered desserts. I tried a bite of their pumpkin ice cream, which was good and tasted like pumpkin, but wasn’t spectacular.
OH! I promised you gym pictures in my last post! I have two to share. Here’s the gym from the street:
It’s called “The Gym” and it’s about 5 or 6 blocks from our hotel. Here’s their website. They offer lots of classes (none of which I’ve taken so far), have a nice assortment of cardio machines, and a lot of weight training equipment, which I also haven’t used yet (mostly because I’m trying not to aggravate my healing shoulder). Here’s the main room – cardio in the back of the photo, weight stuff towards the front:
It’s a gym, as you can plainly see. It’s been nice to start my days here with a great workout. Yesterday, I did 55 minutes on the bike, and today, 45 minutes on the Arc Trainer elliptical.
Keep it up, David!
PS – If I don’t blog again in the next two days (and I don’t know yet if I will or not) – than Happy New Year, and I wish you health and happiness in the new year! KEEP IT UP!