Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Cozumel to Playa Del Carmen, the real taco
When in Mexico, one expects to find the streets littered with taco stands and homemade salsa lined up like battalions in impromptu plastic canisters. One does not expect to find swanky Italian pizzerias and suave steakhouses that reek of tourist traps. And nachos aren't true Mexican food. Tex-Mex to be exact. Entirely submersed in the Latino culture, I had more tortillas and guacamole in the past week than any Mexican in LA, I can swear by it. The reason for this obsessive mania is my soft spot for authentic tacos. I consider myself to be somewhat of a taco aficionado, and condemn all Taco Bell's to bloody hell. By no means, should one ever find lettuce in its taco. To add more insult to injury, taco shells are soft. Yes, I'm still talking to you Taco Bell.
Desperately trying to find some good ol' tacos in, yes, Mexico, the land of tacos, the birth place of it all; I failed. Alas, there's no one to blame but myself. Menus in English should've raised a red flag. I did not heed the internal warning that went off in my head like Christmas lights, but brushed it aside carelessly and as a result ended up with flour tortillas and dry bits of shredded beef. Did I taste cream cheese on my quesadilla? Or had my tastes buds gone awry with all the battery of spicy salsas. Although my taco quest ended with dismal results, I found consolation in a plate of divine pillow-y gnocchi from Antica Osteria. With the way things are going, maybe the ultimate taco is sitting in an alfresco taqueria somewhere in Florence.