Mexican food is comfort food: hearty dishes, deep flavors, rich spices and they aren't afraid of carbs - that's what I love about it. I may not be of Mexican descent, but I grew up eating Mexican food. It's one of my favorites.
While I was in Cancún, I stopped by El Rincón de Los Antojos to try some authentic dishes just like abuela would make - and yes, abuela still takes care of the cooking.
El Rincón started as a backyard operation and with plenty of community support it grew to a brick and mortar just after two years. After much celebrated success, they are now welcoming their second location in downtown Cancún, which is where I dined for lunch.
Totopos con salsa de casa.
El Rincón is located in a lively plaza alongside a steakhouse and a coffee shop that specializes in latte art.
Stepping inside the restaurant, you'll notice the brightly colored walls decorated with an eclectic collection of art and antiques and dichos (quotes). It's all very bright and inviting and curious. Many relics that signified the era my parents grew up in - like a handmade figure of the famous Mexican comedian, Cantinflas.
Collection of vintage cameras and portraits.
Their food menu offers many options for small bites - antojos - to satisfy your cravings. These items are available with different meat and vegetable-fillings. You can choose from options like: pambazos, empanadas, sopes, quesadillas - to name a few - and everything I had was delicious.
Their bebidas include many colorful and all natural beverages like: aguas frescas, jugos and licuados. They also have a coffee and espresso menu.
Aguas frescas: papaya, horchata and chaya
Huarache sencillo: crisp masa topped with red and green salsas, crema and Oaxacan string cheese.
Pambazo Mexicano: they are famous for their pambazos! Soft bread toasted in a spicy guajillo sauce and stuffed with carne asada and chorizo.
Gordita: crispy fried and stuffed with chicharrón, crema and queso fresco.
Quesadilla de huitlacoche: if you haven't had huitlacoche, you must. Huitlacoche is a mushroom (fungus) that grows on corn. It's also known as the "Mexican truffle". Great flavor.
Enmoladas: similar in appearance to enchiladas, these beauties are stuffed with tinga de pollo and slathered in a agridulce mole and crema.
Empanada: the empanadas are available with a variety of fillings and this one is stuffed with champiñones (mushrooms). Crispy fried exterior, tender and flavorful filling, and the crema and queso topping is just perfect.
If you're looking for an authentic, home cooked meal in Cancún, look no further. When abuela is in the kitchen, you have to dine at her house. This is definitely a must-eat stop for anyone who enjoys quality food.
Also, if you're looking to see how some of these dishes are made, then check out the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episode: "Kickin' It In Cancún".