Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Great Taco Search.

I just got back from a week in Mexico with my mom.

Always being the popular option, we almost went the all-inclusive route. I’m the first one to acknowledge how awesome it would be to roll out of bed into the pool and start feeding yourself a long succession of blender drinks and cheap tequila, lying in the sunshine, swinging in a hammock...being 100% surrounded by a hotel’s worth of white North Americans like yourself...not eating anything exciting?? It was a spur of the moment trip but early on in the planning stage we kyboshed the all-inclusive vacation and found Sayulita, a little old fishing village where we could stay in a little local hotel. I also learned Sayulita was considered to have the best street tacos in Mexico. This became the goal of my trip: find the best taco of my life. That and get a tan.

Day one taught me that tacos only cost a dollar and beer is a dollar twenty and you can drink it in the street. These first tacos were awesome, although we had no comparison yet. We spent the rest of our night in our hotel, one of the greatest ones I’ve ever been in, the Petit Hotel Hafa. It had a rooftop patio that looked onto the local bar which had a great band going that night and on this rooftop patio was a bunch of tequila that we could help ourselves to. We drank quite a bit of it and, beautifully, they simply refilled it for us in the morning!

A few days into our beach and mango filled trip, this woman was kind enough to make me the best fish taco and ceviche I've ever had:

She was just on the side of the street under a blue tarp with her kids, a little deep fryer behind her and a big tub of ceviche in front. Just so you all know what ceviche is, it’s essentially raw fish (in this case it was prawns) that is cooked with citrus juice instead of heat. Then maybe some garlic and onions are added, some red or green peppers, cilantro, lots of lime and some chillies. Let it sit for a few hours and there you go. And when the prawns are straight out of the ocean and all the other ingredients are picked from some Mexican family’s garden it turns into the best ceviche of your life!! In this case it was in a taco and then I covered it with some salsa. It burned my face off and it was awesome. Not stopping there, I had to get a fish taco as well. Battered fish (no idea what kind but it was fresh), a spicy mayonnaise, and then I added some salsa and some salad of carrots and purple cabbage. It blew my mind.

At 12 pesos each ($1.20), it was my very favourite.

Next award would be best overall taco. I think this place was called Tacos Ivan and they put grilled pineapple in their tacos! They had a big rotisserie of mystery meat I believed to be chicken, and then a pineapple stuck right on top that they would swipe a piece off of and catch it in the taco. It’s all in the presentation, right?
We went here a couple times, but on our last night in town I must have had about six – and these ones were only 10 pesos! There was a huge line up of people and we were all sitting on the curb eating and drinking and meeting.
*Why can’t Vancouver dump the hot dog stands and dollar pizza and invest in some street food that actually tastes good?*
Anyways, there was a big choice of salsas and salads and vegetables to put on your taco, and if you didn’t want mystery meat you could have chorizo or fish... There were probably a million other options but I can’t speak Spanish all that well so I had no clue. I was happy.

This was my second round. Notice the red onions, which let me tell you they are ridiculously hot but then you can eat cucumbers and radishes to counter it. Also notice the street dog in the background who asked me to share my tacos with it. I didn’t.

Tacos, seven full days of sunbaking and free tequila... Such a simple vacation and it was all I needed to get incredibly excited about summer time!

And yes, I’m feeling fine. No flu whatsoever. However if I were sick, all of my colleagues are infected as well because I was double dipping in the sangria the other night...

No comments:

Post a Comment