March 29, 2012 at 9:24 am , by Serina Patrick
On my recent trip to Cancun, I was just as excited about the tacos as I was about the sun and sand. Not the chain restaurant variety often passed off as authentic in the states, but real Mexican tacos!
Another recommendation by our hotel, Taco Grill was across the street at the open-air mall smack in the middle of the hotel zone. You have to question the authenticity of mall restaurants, particularly those catering to tourists. But with its sunny setting directly on the water, the quality of the food was almost secondary.
On our first visit we were in full vacation mode, ordering margaritas with salt at lunch, lazily munching on chips and a variety of salsas, including one made with avocados….too thin and too spicy to be guacamole. We loved it. LC ordered the taco special, a choice of four, while I tried two a la carte: carne asada and pork, all on corn tortillas. Like most gringos, we requested them with cheese.
Shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes topped our tacos. Little ramekins of cilantro, jalapenos, and diced onion were served with them, along with the salsas and guacamole. The tortillas had decent corn flavor, although they were probably not made fresh at the restaurant. My pork and beef were unremarkable, as were LC’s fish and tiny shrimp, but topped with the spicy fixin’s they were better than most in the states.
On our last day in Cancun we had about an hour to grab a quick bite and decided to return to Taco Grill. We ordered the exact same thing but this time, the tacos came to the table utterly unadorned. We had forgotten to order the cheese and the kitchen apparently forgot the lettuce and tomatoes. They did pile the tortillas with tons of meat to which we added tons of the salsas. We sucked up our drinks, inhaled the tacos, then ran across the street to our awaiting taxi.
So I started thinking….here we are, eating tacos in Mexico, so aren’t they authentic by default? Yes they are. But sometimes authentic is not amazing, it’s just OK.
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