Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Playa Del Carmen, week 3, in Search of Good Seafood Restaurants

We have been having quite a restaurant dilemma since we have been here, probably because we expected Mexico to be the same on the Atlantic side as on the Pacific side.  Obviously that was unrealistic, why would the food and restaurants be the same in Newfoundland and Vancouver?  We forgot how big and diverse Mexico (or any Country) can be.

Our plan to try a 7 week vacation as retired folks was based the search for sunshine in the winter, and to live on the same budget as we do at home.  Mexico seemed like a much better choice than Hawaii (for example) as the cost of food in Hawaii is much higher.

There is no shortage of restaurants in Playa Del Carmen, but at least half of them are pizza places.  We do not eat pizza at home so why would we eat it in Mexico?  (of course I might have the occasional gluten free pizza if I found a good one at home or anywhere, everything in moderation)

We love fresh seafood, so that is what we search for, should be easy in a seaside town! However we are finding that most restaurants serve Basa as their catch of the day, some call it sea bass.  If you ask for the catch of the day some places have Grouper, some say it is Grouper and bring you Basa! This is when I get really disappointed. (if you haven't had Basa it is in the frozen food section of your local grocer, it is cheap and has very little flavor or texture)   The other disappointment is when you actually get grouper and they have overcooked it.  Mexicans are usually the best fish cooks?

 I know I read many times to avoid the restaurants on 5th Ave, and mostly we have, thinking that the beach front is more where we wanted to be. So far we have found a list of disappointments  Kool Fish, La Exquisita de la 38, La Vagabunda & El Pescaore Da Ilena, none of which we will go back to.  Also 2 favorites:  La Ceuva Del Changa at 1st Ave and 38th St. (we have been there 3 times and love it!)  Carboncito's on 4th St was also great!

But we should have been looking more toward 30th Ave, as this article and many others have stated: http://www.travelyucatan.com/playa_del_carmen_restaurants.php

We are so happy to find that we really can go out for a fabulous & inexpensive seafood dinner!  The restaurants are small, but clean and friendly, no ocean view but you can't have everything. (darn)

We ate here a couple nights ago, shared whole redsnapper and shrimp tacos for 200 pesos and it was fabulous!

Next is La Bamba Jarocha, it has great reviews and is always full of Mexicans, so we are looking forward to trying this one, along with many others down the street.

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