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Breakfast/ dessert/ dinner/ Mexican/ Seafood/ travels

Cancun: Tropical Paradise Ready for Tourists

Paradise: clear waters, beautiful beaches, lots of sunshine…why did I leave again? This trip was a great break from the snowy winter. Reading about Cancun,all the guides talked about fresh seafood, Mayan foods, and alcohol in the forms of magaritas, pina colodas, and Mexican beers. Of course it is also known as a spring break destination. This post is about highlighting the dishes that I ate during my trip at my hotel, downtown Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Chichen Itza.

One of the first stops was at a really touristy restaurant called La Parrilla. They come with English menus prepared, a guy that goes around taking photos of you, and large alcoholic drinks. Pictured above is the five taco appetizer which has one of each: pastor (pork), sausage, grilled chicken, grilled steak, and tilapia. They were okay but nothing really stood out.

This is a traditional Mayan dish – Cochinita Pibil. Basically it is marinated pork meat in citrus juice with annatto seed. They roast pork meat while it is wrapped in banana leaf underneath the ground for a long period of time. The result? Fall-off-the-bone meat that is nicely spiced and flavored. Clearly the Mayans knew what they were doing when it came to pork.

A very typical dish in Mexico – seafood ceviche. I got to eat this right by the water on the Isla Mujeres right after snorkeling. It was very refreshing and the seafood tasted very fresh. They add lime which added a slight citrus tang and helped highlight the flavors of the shrimp, octopus, and fish.

Grilled shrimp with vegetable rice, lettuce, tomato, and lime was very good. It was simply cooked and nicely cleaned (no shrimp vein!). It’s great island food and definitely a pleasure to eat. The shells came off very easily and paired nicely with the tortillas they provided along with the meal.

A whole fried fish served with vegetable rice, lettuce, tomato, and lime is pictured above. Unfortunately I’m not sure what type of fish this was, but it was very easy to eat because it was lightly fried. It had a crunchy exterior to the soft white meat, and not oily at all. I certainly wouldn’t mind eating some whole fried fish again.

The last savory dish is comprised of two fried eggs, cheese, ham, peas, tomato sauce served on an English muffin. It was served fried plantains. It felt like a brunch dish I would eat at a Mexican brunch in New York. I devoured the whole plate because it was so good. The combination of runny eggs with ham lightly sprinkled with cheese gave this dish a two thumbs up.

And onto dessert! Churros are always good – crispy outside, soft inside, lightly coated with sugar. They weren’t very big but just enough to end the meal.

Maquesitas are thin waffle crepes, a easy dessert to eat whilst walking around. I ordered the banana with nutella and caramel. Oh, it is as good as it sounds. I would definitely order a few of these at once if I had the chance in New York.

Last but not least, a picture of a huge margarita. Mexicans definitely take pride in making tequila (shots, shots, shots) and fun tropical drinks i.e. pina colada, margaritas. It was pretty intense but all in the spirit of Mexico!

Cancun isn’t a culinary capital and many dishes are often overpriced, but at least you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and sunshine. It was a great to leave the cold, enjoy some fresh seafood, and see Chichen Itza.

dessert/ dinner/ drinks/ Mexican/ snack/ Taiwanese/ travels

Worldly Travels: Acapulco, Mexico and Taipei, Taiwan

Okay, I know it’s been a while since I’ve last updated, but it’s because I’ve been traveling the world! That’s right, Taiwan during a random week in February and Mexico for Spring Break. Both trips were a lot of fun, especially since I can get out of the cold New York weather. As usual I took plenty of pictures during my international journeys but I’ve decided to highlight the beautiful dishes that I ate:

Feb. 13~23 – Taipei, Taiwan

This is a picture of the first bowl of noodles I had when I got to Taipei. It may mean nothing to you, but it was really good. It helped me forget about the 18-hour layover in Anchorage, Alaska…taking away from my already-short trip back.

I found this at a department store in the basement levels. If you don’t know about Asian department stores, their basement levels are always filled with food courts and supermarkets. Deliciousness~

This is how Pork Chop Rice works. They give you a yummy bowl of minced pork rice with your pork chops on the side. Damn, this was a good piece of pork chop. You can see the pepper flakes on the chop, which made it real yummy.

These are scallion pancakes done in a Shanghainese style. Yeah, they’re huge and luckily they were cut into 4 smaller pieces. Otherwise I probably would have eaten the whole thing by myself. hahaha. Not to mention, because my aunt is baller, we ate this at a high-class department store. (Yes, there are also restaurants in baller high-end department stores in Taiwan.)

This is also eaten at the New Sogo Department store in Taipei, which was baller as well. This is their eel roll with cucumber inside. It was as good as it looks.

If you couldn’t tell already, the Japanese have a huge influence over Taiwan. All that red bean, matcha goodness is attributed to them. hahaha. Trust me, sometimes pictures can’t even do it justice as to how delicious these desserts were…you’ll just have to go to Taiwan yourself and try them out!

I was definitely sad to leave Taiwan so soon because there were SO many foods that I didn’t get to eat, but I suppose this summer will be the time to go back…heh heh.

Mar. 08~14 – Acapulco, Mexico

Mexico was a combination of sweet fruit, nachos and salsa, and scrumptious seafood. I gotta say, I did start get irked by the excessive shouting of taxi drivers and men in general, but there were definitely good eats down there. Mexicans sure know how to make a mean salsa. Here are my pics:

This smooth is called “Oasis“. How fitting. Before I saw this huge drink, my mouth was like a desert. hahaha. This drink saved me, and the best part of it was that it was all natural! Might I add that the restaurant that served this drink was named 100% Natural, just in case you thought you were getting something unnatural. Ha.

They also gave us these muffins, and we almost thought they were complimentary. No, they’re not…and thank God we asked. Otherwise, we probably would have scrambled for those muffinsbecause they looked so tempting.

Quesabrosas anyone? Yes, also from 100% Natural (can you tell that we loved this place?), it was delicious. The best part of it was I didn’t feel like I was eating anything unhealthy…but I think it’s because of the restaurant name. Damn, but it was a hella good quesabrosa.

Tacos? This is a picture of a real Mexican taco, not the ones you see at Taco Bell, but from a place called Tacos Orientalex. That’s right, you read it correctly. Orientalex. Despite the deceiving name, these tacos were EXTREMELY good. Highly recommended to anyone who goes down there to try some.

Shrimp Tacos. They look more like spring rolls to me, but they were good too. Eaten at a place called Julio’s. They have some great seafood there as well.

Want to go for some swanky seafood? Linda Vista is the place to be. Has a great view of Acapulco and its marvelous lights in addition to its high-quality seafood. This is a picture of an appetizer which was shrimp covered in bacon and tartar sauce on the side. Yummm…

Can’t forget the bread there. This is just one of my numerous pictures of baked goods. I actually didn’t get to eat this, but it looks like it would taste like creamy heaven.

Chicken with Mole Sauce. Don’t even ask me what mole sauce is. I can’t even describe it well…I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not sweet, sour, salty, perhaps slightly bitter? However, I enjoyed it enough to finish a decent portion…

Ice cream anyone? Yup, lots of ice cream stores down there, since it’s so hot.

This is a picture of the ultimate Mexican burger – not only does this include hamburger meat, but hot dog, avocado, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and probably a few more items. It may not look like it’s huge to you, but trust me, this burger from the cart was one of my best meals there.

I love traveling. and eating. =]