On a trip to Cancun and back yesterday, the Critic and his Better Half had enough time to stop for a ‘nice’ restaurant lunch as opposed to the usual (but always delicious and eminently satisfying) Doña Tere at the toll highway isla near Valladolid.
This time, the Critic veered off the highway and landed – after some meandering among the twisting yet bewitching back streets of Valladolid – at the Taberna de los Frailes restaurant, reviewed previously by the Critic. Yesterdays visit was as good, if not better, than the first one.
The menu is a real mix of things innovative and things Yucatecan and things both innovative and Yucatecan. Think Thing One and Thing Two. No, on second thought, don’t.
For example, the Critic ordered a Valladolid Temptation appetizer. What the hell is that you ask? It is two slices of grilled watermelon with a thick, gooey semi-melted (molten?) slab of panela cheese in between. Served with a little fruit sauce dip and grilled tomatos and a sprig of lettuce
bathed in balsamic vinegar, it was completely out of the ordinary and quite delicious not to mention unexpected. Is this Valladolid? A glimpse at the crumbling stone wall of the monastery across the tiny street confirms that yes, it is.
Then there were the nachos. Thankfully ordering only this one other appetizer the Critic, who is not shy about finishing his plate, could not finish these nachos. Arriving on a very hot plate the size of a small indoor swimming pool, the nachos featured tostadas that were thin and crispy, not the thick and crunchy ones usually found here. The cheese was apparently cheddar but the Critic can’t be sure but what was innovative about these nachos is that they were made with Longaniza de Valladolid, the citys famous smoked sausage, and served with a small dish of chopped pickled onions along with the usual jalapeno peppers. Again, please be aware that the size of this platter is on the huge size and the contents will feed a small village the size of Xcunya without much
Better Half ordered a lime soup and Dzotobichay aka Brazo de Reina which is a Yucatecan treat that must be tried at least once during any visit to this part of the world. The tomato salsa on top was fresh and very tasty. Again, the portion was quite large.