Eat here: La Catrina, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

La Catrina
corner of Madero and Av. Hidalgo, Isla Mujeres, Mexico
https://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Catrina/460133244113146

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Finding this place again was fate. I first ate tacos and drank strawberry daiquiris here a few years ago on a trip I took with my work colleagues, and it was my mission to find it again in January when I returned to Isla Mujeres. I had no idea how I was going to find it – my sense of direction is useless at the best of times, and I’d paid absolutely no attention to street or restaurant signs the first time around. We arrived on the island and took the same route to walk to our hotel as I took with the girls when we visited together – I recognised the Senor Frogs shop and pretty much ran towards it! The plan was to dump the bags, then look for this place; we didn’t need to – turns out it was on the same street as the hotel and we walked past it on the way!! I could not believe my luck!

Anyway, we dumped the bags and turned around to head back for lunch. We proceeded to visit daily, for the incredible food, crazy happy hour deals that lasted all day long (2 pina coladas for under AUD$6.00? Yes, thanks!), and the wonderful service.

The tacos above may look familiar – I ordered the same thing for our first meal here as I ordered on my last visit, and they were every single bit as good as I remembered! Another visit saw us order the tasting plate (below) which did have a bit of everything on it! Their pico de gallo was magnificent, and a little bowl of it came with everything you ordered there.

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The service was fantastic – everything came with a smile, it just felt like pulling up to your Mexican grandmother’s house for a feed. The prices were also phenomenally good considering the quality of the food – three tacos and two beers for AUD$7.20, are you kidding?! You can rarely even just get the one beer for that price in Australia! When you visit Isla Mujeres, make this your first stop, too 🙂

 

New Maxwell Street Market & Rubi’s Tacos, Chicago

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Our last day and night in Chicago 😦 I have to say, I’m going to be really sad to leave this city; I’ve really gotten to like it here. This morning we ventured out to find the New Maxwell Street Market, having heard it was a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. We had an initial misadventure, having visited the old market site instead of the new one (it’s been relocated by the city a few times) and eventually found it at 548 W Roosevelt Rd (blue line to Clinton and a short walk!). We’d gone off information that the market is basically 1 part food to 2 parts trash-n-treasure; it was more a 10/90 ratio.

Perhaps it was the very cold temperature (somewhere around the -3 degree Celsius mark), or maybe it was the fact that we’re between Christmas and New Years, but it was super quiet! Held in what looked like an older industrial area, there were maybe two dozen stalls that resembled a giant garage sale, and only 4 food stalls that we could count; we only needed one.

Rumour had it that Rubi’s tacos are the must-eat dish at the market, so that’s what we had for breakfast! We tried the tacos al pastor (pork) and wow they were amazing… Little squeeze of lime, fresh tortillas hand made as you wait, perfect! I can see why the line was so long and people say it’s worth the wait; when a taco place is full to the brim with local Mexicans, you know it’s gonna be good!!

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The market wasn’t worth visiting for the shopping, but was more than worth visiting for the tacos at Rubi’s!!