Sunday, September 27, 2009

Notes from abroad: Campeche (5)

In the plaza you can buy baseball caps imprinted with the slogan: Más Campechano que Pan de Cazón. So here it is, the resistance piece of Campeche cooking. It's not very photogenic...

And it doesn't taste much different from the Panuchos Campechanos I had the night before.

Still, I waited to try this delicacy in the finest seafood restaurant in town: La Pigua.

The guy at the door — not in fact wearing one of those tall chef's hats — said to me as I departed: "el problema con el cazón es que es muy pesado de noche." Thanks for warning me when I came in!

Still, as I think I tweeted yesterday, now that I'm here in this adventureland of of 'kick-ass shrimp', I'm kind of missing ordinary Mexican food.

I had a very nice ceviche de concha at lunchtime today, but it didn't stay down very long. Note to self: stick to prawns dummkopff.

Playa has the same problem with regards to eating out as Antigua does, just on a much vaster scale: loads of restaurants, hardly any of which are any good.

It remains the case (regretably) that you need a substantial resident population of white-collar professionals if you expect to eat well locally. (Which is one reason why the food in Oaxaca for example is so much better.)

Eateries primarily geared up for tourists usually don't, as V would have it, "cook with passion". Winning the hearts and minds of people who may only come on one occasion is a completely different game, and if you want to see it done well, try Las Palmas in Antigua. (Just the once...)

UPDATE: One restaurant in Playa that I did rate, Agora, appears to be no more. It looks like it has become yet another one of those places where you can eat fajitas with a trumpet right up against your ear.

It still has a listing online however, so maybe I will have to look for it again tonight. Those Avenues behind the Quinta have changed so much..

FURTHER UPDATE: Nope, Agora is gone. For the past two years it's been 'El Bistro' (and onviously still attached to the La Tortuga hotel). When I passed yesterday it was completely empty. Never a good sign.

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