Bicycle touring through the Yucatán peninsula I got to try lots of different traditional and typical Mexican food. As we cycle along, we love to stop at small family-owned restaurants rather than the big touristy places. By doing that I got some unique insights not only into typical Mexican food but also into the daily life of the people.
Typical Mexican food along the road
One of the staples of Mexican cuisine are corn tacos. You can get them everywhere! I still remeber our first stop at one of the road side restaurants. It was the usual small family business and they presented to us all the toppings we could choose from. For the second plate I went for a homemade mole (sauce) and some cactus. Yes, cactus! It tastes a little bit like cucumber and paprika. Definitely worth trying!
The standard is normally a chicken taco served with some kind of spicy (really spicy!!) sauce and cut tomate and onion and also these green leaves, what was the name again? Koriander! But there are many variations and it is served different in every restaurant.
Rice & Beans
Another staple of typical Mexican food is rice and beans. On the photo here you can also see some meat. It was a pork stew.
Empanadas are some kind of fried dough filled with your choice of cheese or chicken (or whatever the restaurant has on offer). Three would be enough for me but I can also eat four after a long day of cycling! 🙂
In some restaurants you can get a selection of soups. The one here was our first course on what was probably our best lunch in Mexico. It was a small local restaurant in Piste (near Chichén Itza). For only MEX$ 105 we got this wonderful noodlesoup and a main course of…
…grilled chicken, rice, a small salad and grilled pineapple. Yummy! We even got a grilled banana with it. That was a very big meal and very nice.
Grilled chicken or “pollo asado” as it is called in Spanish is available almost everywhere. Ususally the members of a local family stand outside their house and prepare some chicken on their BBQ. The Mexican way of streetfood!
Salad and also vegetables are unfortunately not a very big part of the local Mexican cuisine. Nevertheless on our way to Chichén Itza I was able to eat this nice salad in a more tourist oriented restaurant next to the road. “Tourist oriented” also had an impact on the price which was unfortunately much higher than usual.
Salad in Mexico comes most of the time plain and without any spices or dressing. I usually just squeezed some lemon over it. That makes a nice dressing!
It is always a stable in my diet and no matter where I go I can always find it: Pasta! I can still remeber the best restaurant for pasta on the Pacific Crest Trail. It was a ranch-style restaurant in Etna.
Allthough we cook pasta every night when we are camping, I never get tired of eating it and order it occasionally at restaurants. Brad doesn’t like our pasta experience, though. It was in Valladolid and during the day a guy on the street promoted his pasta special 2 for 1 for the evening. When we went there in the evening no pasta special was going on and we had to pay the full price. Well, it happens!
So far I liked typical Mexican food a lot but often missed some salad or vegetables. It is very easy to get a chicken taco along the road but very hard to get some fresh salad. A good alternate for us is cooking healthy meals by ourselves as often as we can. It’s healthy and also cheap!
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