*The simplest shrimp or fish tacos from small places along the highway. Two plump, batter fried shrimp on a five inch white corn tortilla, shredded cabbage, add your own hot sauce from the assortment on the table. 16 pesos each, about $1.30. Add your $2.00 Dos Equis with all the juicy lime you want and lunch is a bargain. Check out La Floresta or El Oasis, rt. 307 on the service road through Playa del Carmen.
*The flavorful hot sauces, condiments, relishes and pickled vegetables to try! Goodness, every place has a different sauce and the variety is huge. Many restaurants offer the standard salsa with chips, tourist style: chopped tomato, onion (heavy on the onion!), chopped pepper, cilantro and lime. When you venture off the beaten path, the accompaniments reflect the cook’s style. Cooked sauces with deep tomato and smoked dried peppers add real depth to your food when you liberally sauce it, so experiment! Another specialty is pickled vegetables and peppers. When this is on your table, do taste but proceed with caution!
Walk the main street in Tulum pueblo and stop at any street side table where you see locals eating.
*Flat chickens. Chickens are split and laid flat over wood coals, roasted to perfection.
Pick one up in Tulum pueblo on your way to the beach. All ready to go in the box: small whole grilled chicken, chopped into 8 pieces, corn tortillas, rice, cabbage salad and a thin tomato salsa, about $8.00. Try Bronco Chicken on the left as you go south through Tulum Pueblo, service road.
*Mangos. Visit the local produce markets and see variations on mango to expand your palette! Small fruits with slightly banana, citrus, and bitter flavors are wonderful with yogurt smoothies in the morning or sauces for chicken and fish. Larger, dark fruits with lush, juicy characteristics of peach or pear slice up nicely for any meal or right into the blender for mango margaritas.