Monday, February 1, 2010
Mango Cafe-Isla Mujeres, Mexico
If someone asked me what gift I would cherish most, I would probably say time--time with my husband, or for myself. As a mostly stay-at-home mom with two kids, balancing time seems to be the hardest thing to do.
I felt so lucky that I had a chance to indulge in time for myself when I traveled to Mexico recently with a friend (thanks, husband!!) to scout my culinary tour. But what I found that I cherished most was actually being served delicious food and drinks daily. I didn't have to cook for 4 days! I love cooking, don't get me wrong, but I have to say, having someone else do it for me was truly a treat.
I ate (and drank-- coffee, and spiked lemonades) mostly at my friend's restaurant, Mango Cafe and her new deli, the Blue Iguana. Lori, owner and chef, has an amazing ability to blend flavors in unexpected but effective ways.
The first morning I indulged in the Eggs Benedict with a Curry-Hollandiase Sauce. The eggs rested on moist blue corn cakes and were garnished with bacon pieces. I'm not normally a runny egg person, but these were delicious.
For lighter fare, Lori serves up a simple bowl of yogurt, granola and berries, and highlights the flavors with herb-infused honey.
The Concha Bread French Toast is soaked in eggs and milk, then perfectly cooked, topped with almonds and served with a side of orange-rosemary syrup.
By day four I was feeling pretty bold. I tried the Chile Relleno, stuffed with eggs, two cheeses and bacon. For breakfast. The poblanos are lightly fried in Panko bread crumbs and served with tomatillo salsa. All the egg meals are served with cheesy potatoes (a mixture of potatoes and different veggies, such as onions, peppers, corn and beans, topped with cheese).
Friday night is fajita night, and I ordered the Steak Arrachera Fajitas. Flank steak is marinated in
lime, onion and other spices, then sauteed. It was served with green and red peppers, beans, sour cream, salsa and guacamole.
I ate the Smoked Turkey Bagel with Chipotle Cream Cheese at her newly opened deli, and tried to find room for the Korean pork barbeque sandwich with jicama slaw and picked jalapenos, but couldn't.
I returned home to my family inspired to create amazing Mexican food for them. Visions of omelets and enchiladas with daring fillings filled my head. The reality has mostly been scrambled eggs, grilled cheese and oatmeal. If only I had a little more time....