We began our second full day in Tulum with breakfast a place that is quite popular with the locals, right on the main street: Don Cafeto's. It was good, but not our favorite meal of the trip, and we were downwind from heavy smokers sitting at the table next to us, so the experience was not the best. But it was reasonably priced and conveniently located right on the main drag. The coffee was really, really strong -- a bit too much for us.
They bring you this rather unexpected bowl of pickled vegetables and garlic (!?!) before your meal arrives. I don't know if this is supposed to be a hangover cure or what, but it didn't hold any appeal to us in the morning, and we left it untouched. The homemade salsa, however, was nice, and Barry enjoyed it on his omelet.
Barry's chaya omelet, served with a side of mashed potatoes, a traditional side dish here
My fruit plate with yogurt and granola -- very nicely presented and more than enough
For lunch after our long bike ride
, we were pretty hungry. We decided to try Charlie's on the main street through Tulum, which we'd heard was good. It really was! We had the place to ourselves as Mexicans tend to eat lunch much later than we do (like 2-4 pm, with dinner correspondingly late).
We started with a couple of brews and the complimentary chips with very, very piquante habenero salsa. Yum!
Barry's veggie quesadillas with guac
My mushroom cheese empanadas - yummy!
I liked this bottle wall behind Barry...what a great way to recycle and lets light in too!
For our last dinner in Tulum, we decided to splurge with a trip to Cetli, one of the fancier restaurants in Tulum. We'd read some excellent reviews and were really excited to try it. We had the place to ourselves when we first arrived to the candlelit garden, a beautiful spot for dining.
The beautiful setting....
The chef/owner, Claudia, does most of the serving as well and really makes this place a special treat as she explains each of the dishes. Everything is organic and so carefully prepared. It's a foodie's paradise!
Claudia first presented us with this lovely plate of starters. I couldn't begin to tell you exactly what it all was, but every morsel burst with flavor and sounds of "mmm...mmm...yum" could be heard emanating from our table again and again. There were a couple of homemade cheeses, delicious breads, and some tasty toppings.
Ordering was difficult as everything sounded amazing, but Barry decided to try the "Metzli", described as "Chicken breast roll with macho banana, covered with black mole sauce". The presentation was as special as the taste.
I selected the "Na-a-a", which was a grilled grouper fillet served with grilled vegetables. It was simple but perfectly prepared.
At a place of this caliber, of course we had to try dessert, because we knew they would be special too. We tried the "Cetli" (Corn cake with chocolate and kalhua) and "Tzopelic" (Bread pudding served over a layer of white cream sauce with strawberry and almond liqueur topping"). Mmmmmm...it goes without saying that these were amazing! We passed them around so we could both try each dessert, and licking the plates was oh-so-tempting, but we held back.
With our tastebuds fully satiated, we were presented with homemade candies wrapped in corn husks as well as a couple of bookmarks when the check came. This was our most expensive meal of the entire trip by quite a lot. With two glasses of wine each and the two desserts, we paid $80 US, which included the tip. We thought that was a reasonable price for a meal of this fine caliber and would have been much higher in the US or on Ambergris Caye for an equally fine meal.
Check presented with bookmarks and delicious peanut candy
Our final meal was a quick breakfast the next morning -- a travel day. We stopped in at a little natural cafe on the main drag on the way to the bus station and each had a lovely, large fruit cup with yogurt and granola, plus coffee. This was one of my favorite breakfasts of the trip. It was simple and delicious, and I especially liked that they had cut the fruit up very small, so it was easy to eat, no peeling or cutting necessary!
No, I'm not cold -- just preparing for the sometimes chilly Mexican buses!
Despite this promising menu, the two women working here this morning didn't seem to speak a word of English!
A good, simple breakfast before a travel day
Stay tuned for one final Tulum post, then onward to Merida!