The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

Back to Tulum

Back in the beginning of summer, Boom Boom and I sat down to coordinate our calendars.    Anyone with kids in this age of signing them up for all kinds of shit when school’s out for summer to keep them occupied which ends up with you spending your day in a car schlepping them around town while our parents were perfectly fine with just opening up the door and saying “go do something” but we can’t do that because we feel guilty…. would understand.

Anyhoo, we wrote in the calendar that the girls  were to be at music camp with their high school in August.  We then jotted down the two weeks our son was going to be at the YMCA camp.  Then it hit us – there was a one week period when all of them would be gone at the same time.   It’s like the skies parted and a heavenly light shone down on us.

We looked at each other and simultaneously said, “Tulum.”

tulum-tree

 

When we got there, we noticed that it was considerably busier than it was the last time we were there – August 2014.  There were a bunch of construction sites on the jungle side of the road and we could see that Tulum was really starting to catch on as a tourist destination.   Of course a lot of that probably had to do with my posts about it

tulum beach

I’m hoping that it remains this desolate

We stayed at Casa Violeta, where we took yoga classes last time.

cv-yoga-studio

 

Overall we loved how tranquil the hotel was and the location was great.  Like our hotel during our last stay, everything is run off solar/wind power or a generator.  At night there’s a wonderful breeze that comes through the cabanas that keeps you cool.   The good news was our unit was at the edge of the property and gave us a lot of privacy.

cv-daybed

 

The bad news was a tree and a building next door cut-off the breeze.  So at night it was hot as balls. But our little daybed was a nice touch.

 

Random Food Observations

Be Tulum’s “Be Salad” is still incredibly awesome.

be-salad

 

But maybe not as awesome as their grilled octopus tacos

be-oct-taco

 

 

I’m still amazed at how good Posada Margherita’s Acqua Pazza is, especially given how simple the preparation is – fish poached in sea water.

pm-acq

 

Their prawns were also very good

pm-prawns

 

Last time I posted on Posada Margherita, I mentioned that I forgot to take a picture of their Al Pomodoro Fresco.    Not this time

pm-pasta

 

It’s such a cool looking property but, with how popular the restaurant is, I’m not sure how relaxing it is.

 

pm-shop

pm-boom

Hi Boom Boom!

Hpm-beach

 

The last time we went to Tulum, I described Hartwood as the best restaurant I’ve ever been to.  I’ve often wondered if my memories of that meal were colored by the overall experience – of the night and of the trip.   Was it really that good?    Or was I just really, really happy?

So we went back to Hartwood on the second night there.    It was pretty damn good.  But was it the best I’ve ever been to?     We went back again on the fourth night just to make sure.

Both times were pretty late at night and, since there aren’t many lights at the restaurant, I couldn’t get many good pictures.

We did eat these again (pix from previous visit)

HW jicama

Jicama Salad – w/ cactus preserves, mint cream, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

 

HW Polpo

Pulpo Asado – Roasted octopus with pickled onions, potato, purple basil, coriander, chili, mustard

 

We also had

hartwood-smoked-fish-salad

A terrific salad that I forgot to write down the name but had smoked fish and hibiscus-pickled egg

 

hartwood-pickled-mango-salad

Pickled mango and papaya, smoked watermelon, Mandarine water, lemongrass, basil, and candied walnuts

hartwood-beet

Roasted beet with avocado-habanero cream

hartwood-sour-lime-tart

Sour lime tart with lime caramel sauce

hartwood-corn-ice-cream

Sweet corn ice cream

 

OK, that last visit wasn’t to confirm how good Hartwood was.   We just couldn’t get enough of their food.    So yes, even after repeated visits, I’m able to answer with confidence about whether it’s the best restaurant I’ve ever been to – HELL YEAH!

 

Random Drink Observations

On our last trip to Tulum, we fell in love with Mezcal.    On that trip we got introduced to David, a bartender at Hartwood whose uncle makes Mezcal and ships it to him from Oaxaca.   We only bought one bottle – made from the Tobala wild agave – and instantly regretted not buying more.

tobolo bottle

 

He didn’t have any Tobala this time, but he did have some made with Tepextate, another rare wild agave.  Like Tobala, it’s so incredibly smooth with lots of fruity notes – banana, pineapple, some peach.     I wasn’t going to make the mistake of only buying one this time

tulum-bottles

 

Yes, they were also unlabeled.

While at Posada Margherita we discovered Nakawe, another small producer of Mezcal.

2-nakawe

 

They have a lot of different kinds with single-varietal agaves and interesting blends.  One that really stood out was their “Numero 9”.   It’s where they took their standard Mezcal and infused it with juniper and other botanicals like gin.  It may not have been as smooth as the wild agave Mezcals, but it was so intriguing to drink.  We bought a bottle along with one made from another wild agave called Mexicano.

nakawe-mexicano

 

Notice there’s only one bottle in that pic?  Yup, the Numero 9 broke on the trip home.  Damn.   The Mexicano was excellent – Rich, smooth, smoky, with plenty of earth and vanilla notes.

***

Remember how I said at the beginning of this post how parents are constantly signing up their kids for summer activities?  Only to find themselves as a parental version of Uber?     Here’s my advice –  forget all the daily activities and let them make up stuff  to do (as long as it’s legal).    Then, save the gas money and sign them up for camps that will have them all out of the house for at least one solid week.   That’s what we’re going to do from now on.

If you do the same, we’ll see you in Tulum.

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About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

4 comments on “Back to Tulum

  1. thewineraconteur
    September 27, 2016

    Great parenting advice, I guess I lucked out as my kids must have been the last group of unregimented programming. Sounds like another great vacation.

  2. dwdirwin
    September 28, 2016

    Vacation envy! Hubby and I were supposed to go to Saint Lucia this summer to celebrate 20 years but darn leukemia spoiled our plans

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      September 28, 2016

      Booo! I have a few people close to me dealing with similar. Wishing you the best in all that. Stay strong!

      And congrats on 20! We just hit that mark, too

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2016 by in Dining, Drinking, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , .
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