42° Raw closed in 2013 & Papaya Playa Project has lost ALL its cool.
Avoid staying at Papaya Playa – it is now overpriced, under-whelming, dirty and haughty.
Original Post from 6/30/2012
Next to the reception at the Papaya Playa Hotel, a member of Design Hotels™, is the super yummy 42°RAW. This is a branch of the raw food bar started in London and Copenhagen by Jesper Rydahl. What a great surprise it is to find modern raw cuisine right in Tulum!
The 42° Raw bar has a botanic selection of fresh juices, and staple mains such as the raw Thai noodles and raw lasagna. This is perfect beach dining, starting with the raw hummus appetizer, one of the big salads and ever-present aguas. As always, the beauty of raw food is the guilt-less dessert! Decadent, rich, full of flavor but instead of bloating that bikini bod you’ve been working on for months for your trip to the beach, they are the nutritional equivalent of a protien supplement!
Unfortunately, we were not able to get inside the Papaya Playa Hotel, but we did get a look at their events schedule. There are all sorts of activities perfect for vacation – from movie nights under the stars, to sunset bar-b-que on the beach, to packages at the well known Spa. The trip we really wish we had time for, was the visit to the Tulum Ruins via catamaran! You arrive by ocean in style, like the 14th century Spanish – except this trip comes complete with champagne! Next time!!
The design pulled us in, and the coffee had us coming back. We were pleasantly surprised by La Colombe (no relationship to Colombia, fyi). The Soho, New York location is excellent in its centrality, you are sure to be near it on any journey downtown, and it fills a major geographical coffee gap between the East & West Villages’ cafes. There are 2 other locations in New York city, 2 in Philadelphia and a representative in Chicago and Seoul, South Korea.
The Soho location, the only we have been to, is a bustling low-key affair with the chimes of clinking cups on saucers and the hum of conversation, pleasantly without any of the attitude that can invade other cafes serving premium coffees. All coffees are served in beautiful ceramic cups and that certainly helps the flavor. The Cappuccinos and Macchiatos are made with care and come out very smooth and creamy, with a nice balance of coffee to fat. They have a few pastries and savories to enjoy along with the liquid happiness. They also sell a “Cold Pressed” bottled coffee that looks quite serious and could be a go-to item come summer.
While the store is blissfully free of propaganda, it is good to know that La Colombe a is Fair Trade, organic certified, child saving do-gooder organization. The matching badges that can make you feel as justified as you need to are on display on their website. I believe that this type of activism is quite effective, and I appreciate it more then someone using their actions to sell product. Thumbs up to La Colombe for creating an effective, quality and well-rounded brand.
At first you think ‘another college burrito bar’, and as Cosmic Cantina is nestled in the midst of a myriad of NYU dormitories, in a sense you would be right. What sets Cosmic Cantina apart, is that all the ingredients are organic, the tortillas freshly made and everythnig is topped with a broad variety of fresh herbs.
The still warm tortillas come made with spelt, corn, whole wheat and white flour. The menu is basically a mix-n-match type as you create your own burrito or quesadilla from the extensive list of choices. The mole sauce is delicious and any combination you choose has the wholesome feeling of what it is: Quality.
There are a handful of preselected combos on the menu, but the nice touch is that you can add your own personal creations to their database, making for easier ordering of your favorites when you surely return! Combine all this with a nice selection of juices, beers and organic coffee, it is not surprising that Cosmic Cantina is a hit with many outside of the college crowd.
Another interesting item is that you can ask to see the accounting of the restaurant. Taking open-source to the next level, the owner has opened his books for all to see. Fare trade, Organic and transparent. All this along with their late closing time, you can be sure to get an honest burrito fix when you need it most!