Bimbo Media Noches soft bread for sandwiches
La Habichuela (bean) is a Mayan themed restaurant in Cancun center. The restaurant’s outdoor garden area had plant life, wrought iron seating, Mayan sculptures and live jazz.
Initially, there was a recording of jazz standards and for some time I thought my ear was tricking me as if there was a saxophone playing. After a few measure, the musician unveiled himself. My favorite jazz standard rendition was his version of Misty.
Smooth and flavorful Black bean soup with a side of tortilla chips
After our starters, our waiter kept checking if we wanted any alcoholic beverages. Initially water was fine, however it was clear he was putting the pressure on to increase our total ticket. We caved in and ordered a glass of refreshing Superior beer and a mango smoothie.
This was the piece de resistance of the meal. I would go back to La Habicheula for this dish alone. The special of the day was Amarynth crusted fish with mango sauce and various fresh fruits. The sweetness of the fruit sauces was refreshing and the texture of the amarynth was unlike anything I have ever eaten. It was a truly special dish.I loved the fish so much, however I was already full from our starters. Our waiter was again persistent asking if we wanted to order a dessert or Mayan coffee. La Habichuela claims created since their opening in 1977, made with Xtabentun Brandy, ice cream and ground cinnamon.
The restaurant serves many desserts flambe and if I was not full, I would have ordered the Crêpes Suchard, stuffed crêpes with bananas and Grand Marnier and chocolate sauce.
As we were walking toward our dinner plans, we came across a carnival like park barricaded with several police motorcycles. Initially, we thought it was a protest area, however with a closer eye, we realized Parque de Las Palapas was an area with food stalls and lively music.
Every food stand and and stall was tempting. There were fresh pastries, savory items and snacks.
I loved looking at the variety of desserts from flan (BMH’s flan), custards and tres leches.
Every other stall was fried food heaven from fried plantains and freshly fried churros (Toro, best churros in Boston).
We had to have a marquesita. The friendly father and son team filled the crispy crepe with nutella and grated cheese, salty and sweet. It was fun to watch the thin crepe/waffle being pressed (BMH’s crepes and waffle).
We patiently waited for a freshly fried churro. It was worth every second and calorie.
My absolute favorite item is the churro and this one was crispy on the exterior and perfectly dusted with sugar. They reminded me of Rick Bayless’s churros from Xoco.
There were several elote stands which sold both on the elote on the cob or in a cup. The corn, with hints of cheese and lime was a bit soupy and had a slightly vinegar flavor. Next time I would go for the elote on the cob. The best elote we have sampled in Boston is Ken Oringer’s La Verdad, near Fenway Park and Toro.
Why would one eat teppanyaki when you are in Mexico? Mikado, the Japanese and teppanyaki restaurant at CasaMagna was a wonderful dining option for lighter fare and something different from tacos or quesadillas.
The sleek decor and cool atmosphere (figuratively, but literally the air conditioner was pumping) was a nice change of pace from the heat.
Edamame and a small bowl of miso soup
The Ozeki Hana Awaka Sparkling Sake, brewed in Kinki, Hyogo was awarded a gold medal by Monde Selection. It is similar to a light champagne with light, fruity notes and was an absolute pleasure to sip. Since the trip, I have searched Boston’s Japanese and sushi restaurants and they have not carried many sparkling sakes, including Ozeki Hana Awaka Sparkling Sake. Hopefully, Passionate Foodie can help me locate some!
Pink kimono and Ozeki Hana Awaka sparkling sake
Light soy sauce (which he joked was Coca Cola) was added to the fried rice (BMH’s versions of fried rice and brown rice with kale and scallions) and then shaped into a heart. He used his spatula to lift the rice into a beating heart. He stacked and made an onion volcano and then with “Gasolina” liquor added to onion and lit on fire.
The tender chicken and freshly grilled grouper with sesame and ginger dressings were so tasty and had great flavor.The dessert was the only lackluster aspect of our meal. The fried vanilla ice cream was overly crusted in a thick flavorless exterior. Fortunately, the mango and strawberry fruit compote saved the ending.
CasaMagna Marriot was on the quiet side of Cancun, closer to the airport and farther from hustle and bustle near the clubs and shopping centers. If one has free-flowing funds, all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort Spa seems like a luxurious oasis.
The little hotel store in the lobby which sold empanadas and other pastries.
The room was clean and had many red accents. Given how warm Mexico is, we stocked up on cold beverages at the local convenient store and placed them in our spacious room refrigerator.