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Mayan Food on 5th Avenue (Mexico)

I’m here, I’ve eaten, and I have wifi in my room!  We arrived at about 7:30pm last night and rented a car in preparation for a week of exploring.  Once we dropped off our bags in our hotel, we set off to find a quick bite.  We live right off of 5th Avenue, which is the main tourist strip where there are loads of souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars (having come from NYC, funny that 5th Avenue is also a big deal here…).  Most of the little taco stands and such off of 5th Avenue had closed so we were forced to stay on the main strip and eat with all the other tourists – yay.  Prior to coming, I knew this would happen at some point or another, so I looked up some of the better restaurants on the strip.  Yaxche is one of them; it serves traditional Mayan cuisine with a bit of a Disney-fied experience and hiked up prices.  AH weeeellllll… we were starving and it was close and it smelled good.

5th Avenue and 22th Street
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico


They started us off with a big basket of gleaming chips and dips.  The chips were very oily but were delicious, especially to two hungry travelers.  The dips were interesting and I’m glad I had the options.  One was a tomato paste that tasted oddly like ketchup but had a much thicker texture – that’s homemade ketchup for you right there.  Another was a creamy sauce that was deliciously garlicy and … well, creamy.  The last was an extremely spicy pepper sauce that went really well if you mixed it with the creamy sauce.  I never think twice when eating “extremely spicy” things in NYC because they never are that spicy.  Here, I’m going to have to take caution… one tiny drop of that pepper sauce was enough to burn a hole through my tongue.

We ordered two apps, one of which is called Tsic, a ceviche of shrimp and fish that are marinated in orange juice, xcatic pepper, and coriander, garnished with avocado, tomatoes, and coriander.  The seafood was not completely raw and tasted like they were poached.  I was a little put off at first but decided that I loved the sweet taste of the poached fish and shrimp.  The “fish juice” as LAW called it was deliciously fresh tasting.  I’m pretty sure there was lime juice added though not mentioned on the menu.  They came with, surprise surprise, more chips.  This time round instead of triangular.  Let’s see how many shapes of chips we will find this week…

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