Tag Archives: “Riviera Maya”

42°RAW @ Papaya Playa Project – Tulum, Mexico


2014 UPDATE:

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.


42°RAW @ Papaya Playa Project

(52) 984 127 2339
KM 4.5 Bocapaila Road
77780 Tulum, Quintana Roo ,Mexico

www.papayaplayaproject.com
www.42raw.com


2014 UPDATE:
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!!

Papaya Playa Reception

Raw Energy Ball
Raw Thai Noodles
Raw Chocolate Cake
Raw Chocolate Cake
Raw Peakan Square

Raw Hummus

Raw Lasagna

 

 

Mateo’s Mexican Grill – Tulum, Mexico

Mateo’s Mexican Grill

(52) 01 (984) 114 2676
Boca Paila road, kilometer 5.2
77505 Tulum, Mexico

www.mateosmexicangrill.us

OPEN HOURS:
8:00 am – 11:00pm Daily

As noted previously, Tulum is a hippy-chic hangout that makes room for all demographics. It is basically one beach road and all the hotels, restaurants and hangouts that fit long its 5k corridor. Sitting about in the middle is the the kitchy Mateo’s Mexican Grill.

Some might complain that Mateo’s is not “authentic” and too gringo friendly, but they would be missing the point. Like modern television, Mateo’s is a comfortable, friendly, easy place to go when you don’t want to think to hard about what you are doing.

Mateos_015

They seemed to be open whenever we needed them to be and had the best coffee in the area. Sorry to report, this is not saying much as Mexican coffee in general is almost always like bad camping coffee, over-boiled café con leche. They do have a nice breakfast selection, tasty fajitas, totopos and of course a range of tacos. The kitchen is open and colorful with pyramids of fresh produce displayed in brightly painted crates.

Perched above is a viewing platform that in theory is an evening cocktail lounge for sunset viewing or maybe its a yoga platform? or a tanning deck? While it looked very interesting, it somehow wound up being closed for 3 different reasons over the course of our 3 days in Tulum. Maybe they just have it open in high season? Still it looks like it would be a lot of fun!!

While in Tulum we stopped by Mateo’s almost daily for the excellent smoothies and juices (and coffee fixes). Our favorite smoothie, which we have been recreating at home is the ‘Mayan Power Boost’. A vitamin packed cocktail 0f chaya (spinach), strawberry, pineapple and lemon. A wonderful way to get the day going as you head out to check some cenotes.

We can just about promise you that if you stay in Tulum, at some point you will find yourself at Mateo’s. Enjoy it for what it is and you will be a happy person!

Mateos_012papaya agua and ‘Mayan Power Boost’. A vitamin packed cocktail 0f chaya (spinach), strawberry, pineapple and lemon.
Mateos_017quesadilla
Mateos_019grilled fish tacos with mango salsa
Mateos_014

 

El Tábano – Tulum, Mexico

El Tábano

(52) 984 134 8725
Carrettera Boca Paila Km 5.
77780 Tulum, Mexicoo

eltabano.teatrobar@yahoo.com

OPEN HOURS:
8:00 am – 10:00pm Daily

El Tábano is first on the list of many a foodie review of Tulum.  So it was with some excitement that we ducked through the driftwood gate, into the open garden littered with tables and easing with well curated music.  The short answer is that El Tábano has by far the best dining in the area and owners Paf and Laura deserve all the kudos they receive.

Our lead was the cold tomatoe and papaya gazpacho.  Spectacularly refreshing, cool and sweet it was an instant winner, reinvigorating the palate on a hot afternoon.  Next the plates started coming quickly, a fresh guacamole salad, an organic bean salad, huitlacoche crepes, chili ancho stuffed with shrimp and nuts – each plate radiating forth with its own perfumed flavor contour, as dishes in Mexico tend to do.

The fresh fish tacos were quite good, but not quite as mind-boggling as those from the Viceroy in Playa del Carmen, which are very very very hard to top.  A highlight was the hot pepper salsa which was made fresh on our request.  The tomatillos and chillies were still warm from the stove top!

The menu changes consistently, and is quite malleable, as it is only chalk on the large blackboards by the entrance; easily alterable.  It is good to arrive early as items are only available until they run out, which they did 3 of the 3 times we were there.  Pricing is quite reasonable and many of the ingredients organic.  El Tábano was also where we were able to purchase the flowery local Yucatan honey (you should do this too!).

In the evenings bug spray and/or long pants and chosed shoes are recommended for dinner.  As you are dining in a garden, there are plenty mosquitoes at night.  Though as we forgot, the waiter was on-hand with a solution!  The staff is relaxed and friendly, happily chatting about each dish.  If you find yourself in Tulum, for everyone’s benefit, please remember that you are in the Caribbean, and probably in need of a vacation.  So please don’t get short if the staff runs at a slightly slower speed then they do at home.

~abv

Avocado, Mint, Cucumber Soup
Fresh Hot Pepper & Tomatillo Salsa
Fish Tacos
Plantain Rolls filled with Cheese
Roasted tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Diced Apples