Thursday, December 30, 2010


In the month of January, Cancun has the best weather. The food and cost of things are just so affordable and perfect, that you cannot help enjoying your vacation. We traveled to Cancun in January of 2008 and I did not want to come back. But all good things must come to an end and we had to return to the cold weather in DC, yet it is good to be home. While in Cancun, we chose to move away from touristy areas and the Hotel Zone,  venturing out to eat what the locals eat trying everything from fast food to fine dining. 

I must admit that this is how I became obsessed with freshly made salsa. I was introduced to real Mexican tacos and salsa---that's when I realized what I had tasted in the US were just westernized versions of tacos with lettuce and cheese. The real stuff is meat and freshly made soft corn tacos that are so scrumptious that you can eat to your heart’s content without feeling guilty.

I had done a little digging around before we left and heard about this restaurant that had good reviews so we took time to find this place.La Habichuela is a restaurant that does not fall in either category, and falls in the mid to average level. This restaurant has been a legend since 1977 and has a very romantic sculpture garden. Although it is not a fine dining restaurant, I would say it is one of the best places in Cancun in service and food quality. I ordered the famous Cocobichuela with large chunks of lobster and shrimp in rice and coconut gravy- lip smacking good!! Before they brought out the salsa and entree, the waiter served a palate teaser of orange and lemon sorbet artfully scooped into a half lemon shell. The Palate teaser or 'amuse-guele' are known to invigorate the appetite and are more whimsical than hors d'oeuvres. This indicates that the cooking style of this restaurant was ideally favored to customers starting with a warm welcome. The Cocobichuela was so delightful that it proved every bit the exemplary culinary skills of the chef. The restaurant is a hidden local gem in the downtown area, and I must say it was a bit off-track from the normal tourist areas.

Besides food, we also enjoyed our trip to the breathtaking ruins of the Mayan civilization- Chichen Itza and the local flea markets, soaking in the heat of the January sun. The beach with its white sand is pretty clean and lounging on the chairs for some rest and relaxation so calming to the senses.  To add to it, you can watch yachts and balloons in the air over the crystal cobalt blue sea..........with a cool drink!!

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