Back to the important stuff...

empanada de queso

We had to pass through Cancun today on our way to a small island just off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. I write ‘had to’ only to emphasize the fact that we're not too keen on the city itself. This feeling is easily illustrated by the many Las Vegas-esque hotel complexes that abound, as well as the overwhelming number of American tourists who apparently would rather shop at mega-corporate strip malls “just like the ones we've got back home” than actually engage in anything authentically Mexican. I'll stop right there before I begin to rant incessantly. You get the picture.

Back to the important stuff...food. We reached the Cancun bus station late this afternoon, in much need of a quick snack prior to embarking on the second half of the day’s journey. After walking just a couple blocks from the terminal we stumbled upon Quesadillas Don Javier. The joint was packed full of people fervently getting down with their food. The most telltale sign that we were in for something special: we were the only gringos in sight.

The menu was simple, but huge. Quesadillas and empanadas with an astounding number of possible additions, many of which we weren’t familiar with. We decided to stick to the basics and ordered a couple of quesadillas with rajas y papas (sautéed chile and potatoes), and an empanada with cheese. The entire experience set us back a measly 40 pesos (a little over $3). I am not exaggerating when I say that it was some of the best food we’ve have eaten throughout our entire trip.

Ten minutes at Don Javier’s was all it took to for us to reconsider our initial assumptions about the city. Perhaps Cancun isn’t so bad after all. You just have to know where to look.

quesadillas de rajas y papas

1 comment:

Flower gyrl said...

You two need to head to Oaxaca for your next Mexican trip. It is a foodie nirvana -- the 7 moles, quesadillas (call them memelas there) made with local cheese, amazing markets.

Also has beaches and ruinas....