Viva Mexico

The culinary options in New York are endless, but there are few top-notch offerings that the Big Apple still lacks — Mexican food is one of them.

So why not go to Mexico?

A lot of sun and warm temperatures were in order after this harsh, mostly gray winter in New York. A friend and I found one of those last minute bargains for three nights in Playa del Carmen last week. Roughly an hour south of touristy, spring break mecca of Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a short bus ride away that has beautiful beaches, fewer American tourists and a small-town feel.

But most of all, I was there for the food and some R&R.

After lying on the beach and catching up on some reading, I was more than ready to eat.

Ceviche, tacos (fish, shrimp, pork), fresh guava juice and mole were only some of the items I devoured in one day.

The food is simple in comparison to the French dishes we cook at school. But it was the fresh ingredients that made the meals satisfying. Even grilled shrimp tasted better than they usually do at home (I guess the warm weather doesn't hurt) - plump, juicy and cooked just right.

So why does New York - a city with multiple four-star restaurants - still lack high end Mexican food? Or for that matter, just simple and good Mexican food.

Some argue that it's because Hispanic immigrants haven't been here as long as people with European or Asian ancestries in New York. Also, the concentration of the Hispanic population isn't as big as say California or Texas.

For New York, I think it'll only be a matter of time.

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