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Playa del Carmen


MaryIsobel
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We have been here for a week today, two weeks to go. I was looking forward to cooking while we were here but so far have made quesadillas and saladūüėā. A number of things derailed my plans. The first being that many reviewer's idea of a "well equipped kitchen" are very different from mine. Two small non-stick frying pans, one 2 litre saucepan, a large plastic spoon and a plastic ladle, and two "chef's knives that can barely cut butter, and one 6-cup mixing bowl. Appliances consistst of a toaster, a blender, a two burner cooktop that I am pretty sure I could put a pot on water on to boil and have a long nap while I wait, and a microwave. So... we have been eating out at least one meal a day. Fortunately the area we are in has a plethora of authentic, reasonably priced restaurants within a couple of blocks in any direction. Also two great bakeries a block apart.¬†

Our first morning here, we had not a morsel of food at our condo so found Papa Charly's a few steps away where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast; cheese enchiladas for me and a spinach and mushroom omlette for my husband. Didn't even think to take a picture.

That evening we went back to the same place as we were both exhausted. We were surpried to find that their evening menu is Italian! However, they make the the pasta and it was very, very good. I had fettucine pesto, my husband the chicken parm which was served on a bed of perfectly cooked vegetables. I thought I had taken a picture of his, but I guess I didn't.1.thumb.jpeg.ec255572a4263ef5525fe2cade642465.jpeg

Edited by Smithy
Corrected title spelling (log)
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This is pretty typical of our "at home" breakfasts. Assorted fruit with a pastry de jour. This was pineapple, papaya, bananas and grapes. The pastry was a puff pastry filled with a coconut custard - delicious but we will share one if we buy them again - very rich.1245427398_5-1.thumb.jpeg.ab8db93ea77b0a7919c7b5782d5d25f4.jpeg

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Next night was El Fogon, very popular with the locals and again very reasonable. I had quesadillas al pastor, husband had sirloin tacos, both were lucious. They came with a trio of sauces, two of which were incendiary, and a plate of radishes and cucumbers and a plate of nopales.

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Last night we went to the "Gourmet Food Park", again about a block away. It consists of 6 food trucks and a bar truck  around a central courtyard with tables. There is a schwarma truck, a fried chicken truck, one that served Argentenian sandwiches, The King of nachos, a taco truck and a crepe stand. We weren't overly hungry so shared a plate of vegetarian nachos; cheese, onions, tomato and beans with pico de gallo and guacamole. I had a mango "mezarita", husband had his usual lime marg. I had never had mezcal, this drink was quite smokey, but good.

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Today's late lunch was our best meal to date. My husband learned that a "large margarita" there is the size of a small child. He had lime again (he likes what he likes) and I had a passion fruit margarita - normal size. I had the mixed ceviche; octopus, a couple of types of white fish and shrimp, served with tostadas. My husband had the most sublime octopus, we've never had anything like it. The entire exterior was crispy and just a bit charred, the inside was incredibly tender. It  was served over rice with a very flavourful sauce and a side of black beans topped with chiccorones. He said it is possibly the best thing that he has ever eaten. (Could have been the giant margarita talking) I will definitely order the octopus next time and there will be a next time. I brought almost half my ceviche home and they brought me 1/2 a dozen tostadas with it. Dinner will be at home, a salad with my leftover ceviche incorporated. 

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2 hours ago, heidih said:

Thanks for sharing. Thoise nopales - the prep?  Oh that octopus your husband had- sounds wonderful. Keep on!

We were trying to figure out the nopales. Definitely not pickled but maybe brined? My Spanish is not good enough to ask nor understand the answer.

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Fruit smoothies (banana, papaya, mango and pineapple, greek yogurt and mango juice) for breakfast. A bollio with ham and cheese and tomato for luch, all "at home." Tonight was La Bamba Jarocha https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063520245329. I had camarones mojo de ajo (shrimp in garlic sauce) with rice and salad. In BC, we would call them prawns. Husband had Sopa de Marisco (seafood soup.) We are finding the portions here quite large so might start sharing a main and a salad (until we don't!) The broth in my husbands soup was fabulous, I would have been happy with just the broth and a salad. Both dishes were very tasty - no complaints.

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Things will change significantly today as one of the reasons that we are here is for my husband to have extensive dental work/dental surgery done. Our dental benefits were clawed back shortly after he retired and it is less than half the cost of having it done in Canada. (27,000 vs 60,000) He has a full day appointment today which involves among other things the extraction of ALL his bottom teeth. I will probably be on my own for a few days as far as venturing out. I walked (carefully - note the sidewalk in the picture below) to the Mega - a very large grocery store. I perused every aisle, something I like to do on vacation. I bought ingredients for smoothies. I have the carcass from a rotisserie chicken from which I will make broth and I bought some pastina - called Estrella here. I came across the chorizo verde and might buy some to try in a few days. We don't get these smooth-skinned avacados at home - this one had to weigh a almost a kilo!

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Edited by MaryIsobel (log)
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3 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Wow, that's a lot of work.  I hope he comes through ok and isn't in too much "discomfort"...

You and me both! He had a Rx for pain killers filled. When I sent the name of it to my RN daughter, she said it is basically like very strong Advil but it works well for pain. Fingers crossed.

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The chorizo verde looks interesting. Those big avocados I find hard to judge ripeness. I would not hesitate to ask a person in dental office for advice as people generally respond well when one shows interest in their cuisine and culture.  Avocado smoothies - nutritious too.. With condensed milk for a sweet treat. 

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@MaryIsobel, oh wow, I feel for your husband. That sounds brutal. How long until all his dental work is completed? Will he be getting implants? Poor guy, when will he be able to chew again? I see your plans for smoothies, broths, etc. Makes sense. Hugs to you both and hope he heals really quickly. 

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Here is my "stockpot" with a banana for scale. It will certainly be a concentrated broth, not a bad thing at all. I also bought the Caldo de tomate con condiments which translates to Tomato Flavor Bouillon with Seasonings. Not sure if I will need it. Once the broth is strained, I will add finely diced carrots and cook them to mush and eventually the pastina. Hopefully this will provide the old boy with some sustanence without chewing. I dont think he will feel like eating anything tonight so will likely just let the broth simmer away for the rest of the day and finish it off when he feels like eating.

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5 minutes ago, FauxPas said:

@MaryIsobel, oh wow, I feel for your husband. That sounds brutal. How long until all his dental work is completed? Will he be getting implants? Poor guy, when will he be able to chew again? I see your plans for smoothies, broths, etc. Makes sense. Hugs to you both and hope he heals really quickly. 

Thank you. His bottom teeth will be replaced by a one piece implant. A temporary one for now. They said he could come back for the permanent one in 6 months but that would have put us in Mexico in July/August. Not ideal. He asked if we could postpone until the fall and they said that would be fine, so that's the plan. He is also getting his upper teeth capped. His teeth just started to disintegrate. He is a terrible grinder which is a contributing factor.

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Oh gosh I feel his pain.  I hope he heals quickly.  I know I didn't feel much like eating for a while after my surgeries.  That little pasta will be great.

 

Not that you asked, but here is a link to a topic on EG about what to make and eat after dental work.

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1 hour ago, Shelby said:

Oh gosh I feel his pain.  I hope he heals quickly.  I know I didn't feel much like eating for a while after my surgeries.  That little pasta will be gre

Not that you asked, but here is a link to a topic on EG about what to make and eat after dental work.

Thanks Shelby - lots of good ideas. I wonder if I can pull off rissotto here. I didn't take a close look at the rice section, but I will tomorrow. 

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Last night was rather mundane but suitable for dental work. My husband felt the need for "more than soup." Thankfully I had bought a package of Knorr Swiss Mac & Cheese. It is different than KD in that you cook it in 2.5 cups of water, then add butter and milk. I also added some extra cheese and I had pico de gallo with mine. It satiated us and actually, I liked it better than the KD of my memory and it wasn't fluorescent orange. Tonight we are going to go across the street to Papa Charly's again, as my husband feels that pasta is about the most he can do chewing-wise. One of the things in his post-procedure instructions was "no spicy food." I intend to get my Mexican fix at lunch tomorrow while he is at his next dental appointment.

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That is cool that you found a new more enjoyable mac n' cheese. and that Mr was able to eat. In one of our beach rentals I had a moment. They encouraged peiple to leave their leftover non perishables. I'd never had fennel seed as the poaching broth well or for anything. So the old jar of fenel seed was so so nice  with some cold water lobster tails I found on sale at the market. Part of the adventure

 

Edited by heidih (log)
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Back to Papa Charly's last night.  We were served a basket of bread with our drinks. Corona for my husband and a vodka tonic for me. The bread was accompanied by a thin pesto type sauce which was very cilantro forward with a fair amount of heat, it was addictive.

Fetuccine carbonara for my husband, gnocchi puttanesca for me. Husband devoured his, I took half of mine home. The carbonara was made with bacon but very tasty. My gnocchi were light and fluffy and the sauce was spot on.

We shared the flan for dessert which was accompanied by a  dish of dolche de leche. The flan itself was not overly sweet and was perfect with the dolche de leche.

Another several hours of dental work today so while he is gone I will make the chicken soup that I made the stock for the other day.

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