We arrived in Playa Del Carmen pretty late last night so by the time we got to our hotel, La Tortuga, it was close to 10pm (which is 11pm EST). Starving (shared a sandwich on the plane) and tired, we decided to just hit the hotel restaurant. During our check-in, while sipping our sweet, mixed, fruit drinks, they told us that we get 50% off the hotel restaurant, El Bistro, for our first night. Sweet!

We sat down, poolside (the pool is a nice lagoon design) to some chips and dip. The dip was extremely thick and creamy with a taste we knew but couldn’t identify immediately. After asking our waiter what was in it, it made sense. He said something about chicken soup, cheese cream, some other stuff, then cream. The two types of cream explain the ultra cream taste of it and we’re guessing that “flavor” is canned soup. Yea, not so good, and the chips were hit or miss too. Some pieces seemed freshly fried while others were stale.

dips and chips

I ordered the Shrimp and Huitlacoche Bisque, totally excited that I was going to try huitlacoche (we had just seen this on TV). Ok, so it’s a corn disease, described by words like tumors, fungus, and blue-black spores, but it’s a delicacy in Mexico. The best way I can describe the taste is it’s mushroom-y in a very earthy way, but also has a blue cheese quality to it. We’re not sure if we like it enough because the soup was really too concentrated, more like sauce than soup, so I wasn’t fond of it, but I may like it more if it was used more delicately.

Shrimp and Huitlacoche Bisque

Lon ordered Shrimp Fajitas and chose the Curry preparation. It’s a really generous portion but did not have the slightest hint of curry in it. I had a revelation though. I now know where take-out Chinese food came from (as it does not taste anything like authentic Chinese food). It must have been interpreted by Mexicans, because this dish tasted just like if you ordered Shrimp and vegetables at a Chinese take-out, with the exception of the cheese melted on top.

Shrimp Fajitas

We weren’t too happy with the food, but with the discount, it was around US $10, so I can’t really complain.

El Bistro is also where we had breakfast this morning because it’s included in our hotel stay. For an included breakfast, it’s nice that it’s not a buffet. I get really sick of those on vacation. They offer something called fruit water, in a wide variety of flavors, so I tried the papaya. It’s basically fruit puree in water… I guess. Lon had juice, also offered in tons of flavors, but his peach was so sweet, he couldn’t drink it. I also had a latte that was too watered down.


My stomach wasn’t feeling great after eating so late last nightI opted for fruit and yogurt, thinking fruit should be great here. The papaya is, but the watermelon, canteloupe, and pineapple were under-ripe.

fruit and yogurt

Lon’s Whole Wheat Pancakes were good, but average.

whole wheat pancakes

We didn’t expect too much so it was ok, but we’ll be eating breakfast here only because it’s free. We will probably skip a few days and have breakfast out too.
posted by jessica at 05:49 PM Filed under Latin, Restaurants, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.