Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mexican Shrimp Tacos (Tacos De Camarón)

Shrimp Tacos (nirvana)

Recently, I had the good fortune to spend a week on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, in the area known as The Riviera Maya. This magnificent beach runs from Cancun South in the direction of Tulum.  
On the main drag, (the West side of highway 307 near Calle 8) I discovered La Floresta. After reading all of the stellar reviews, I was sold by the fact that this spot is a favorite of the taxi drivers...I was then on a mission to find the amazing shrimp taco place next to the tire store on the highway. Can you say Camarón Nirvana?  

Parking lot

The moon and the stars were aligned as I arrived to find one small table available. I was surrounded by businessmen, families, lovers and kids, all native. I spoke little Spanish and they spoke little English, but the international language of food was our guiding light! I immediately ordered a cold Mexican beer w/ lime and a Shrimp Taco. 


The waiter brought a bowl of sublime cilantro spiked salsa, with some freshly made tortilla chips, (yum) and then set down one half of a Haas variety avocado on a plate in front of me, with a spoon and a lime slice. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but this wasn’t rocket science. I salted the avocado, squeezed some lemon on it and started spooning the creamiest, ripest and most delicious flesh into my mouth. A plastic ketchup type bottle of hot sauce was on the table and packed the heat punch and another with mayonnaise, from which I happily abstained. The shrimp taco arrived moments later, on a small salad plate. A warm, homemade, soft tortilla was topped with two of the most crispy, firm and sweetest shrimp imaginable and a large slice of lime. I wrapped it up with some hot sauce and began to eat my savory treat slowly, washing it all down with the icy cold brew.  

Open kitchen
The kitchen line

The second round brought a Pescado (fish) taco, prepared the same way, only made with Red Snapper. The batter was light, golden and crisp, the perfect jacket for the super fresh fish. Other choices, which I did not sample, were Octopus, Marlin and other sea creatures. As food is ordered, the servers bring the plates ala minute from the open window kitchen. As unsexy as La Floresta may feel upon arrival, this spot is exactly the way I want to experience “fast food”. Fast & fresh, you must make time for a quick trip (or two) if you ever find yourself in this heavenly beach locale. (P.S. my bill totaled $6)

The lovely proprietors and avocado

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