Pasta La Vista, Baby

I'm a sucker for pasta. When it comes to carbs, the more the merrier.

While in Cancún, I found myself at Cheester - a local restaurant with Italian roots. Cheester has quite the following and has expanded to multiple locations - lucky for me - and I went to their location in the Zona Hotelera.

Cheester is anything but traditional. Yes, they're truly kitsch with tables draped in plastic gingham tablecloths and typical family-style servings, but they're so creative with their interior décor and menu. Vintage Italian posters adorn the walls while bird cages and baskets are used to encase the light fixtures, large paint buckets are used as barstools and everything is so vibrant and colorful.

Frida Kahlo: Horchata, rumchata, vodka, milk, espresso and cocoa powder.

The cocktails are all given fun names or are named after famous people, like the Frida Kahlo cocktail pictured above, which was a refreshing and creamy cocktail. Similar to a White Russian but with a Latin flare.

Gloria Trevi: Bailey's, tequila, mazapán, cajeta and dusted peanuts.

This cocktail was perfect but my favorite part of it was the mazapán - I love that candy!

Ferrero Rocher: Nutella, vanilla ice cream, chocolate and milk.

Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Plenty of smoothies with names just as clever as the cocktails that are made with fruit, ice cream, juices and milk to create some very delicious blended drinks.

For starters: Underneath all that mozzarella is a Portobello mushroom stuffed with spinach, cream cheese, artichokes and dried tomatoes.

Mussels sautéed with basil, tomato, white wine and cream.

Dubai salad: lettuce, spinach, heart of palms, nuts, strawberries, balls of goat cheese and honey dressing.

Keeping true to their moniker, all of the appetizers were exceptional and had some degree of cheese in them. The stuffed mushroom "dip" was very cheesy, the mussels were perfect in their light tomato sauce, and surprisingly, the salad was one of favorites. I don't usually opt for salads but I really liked the overall flavors: sweet, nutty, tart and savory. I fell in love with the goat cheese balls.

Angry Shrimp: Thai sauce bathed tempura shrimp atop pasta mixed in a chipotle sauce.

This was the star of show - about a dozen spicy battered shrimp neatly organized around a mound of creamy and spicy spaghetti. If it wasn't apparent yet, Cheester specializes in fusion cuisine drawing from many regional flavors. This bowl may appear small but it comfortably fed five with some leftover. See what I mean about large portions?

To finish things off, a whimsical dessert was carted to our table, literally. A wheel barrow - one of those that you may have played with as a child - was carrying a decadent brownie sundae. Anything chocolate is always the perfect end to any meal.

To my traveling foodie friends heading south of the border, I highly recommend Cheester as a gastronomic destination in Cancún.


Zona Hotelera