eat like a local

Posted by susan on July 26th, 2010. Filed under: epicurious travel.

Mike and I have been really getting into Anthony Bourdain‘s No Reservations lately. What I love about him is his ability to capture the essence of the places he visits, not only through food, but through his observations. But mostly through food. I love that he always dines with a local expert who offers both the cultural and culinary background of the places he sees.

Two nights ago we watched his Disappearing New York episode and now I am on a mission to get down there and visit every single place on the episode. Tonight we watched his Ecuador episode and now I am on a mission to get down there and visit every single place on the episode – except I can probably do without the guinea pig.

I also love his show because it reminds me that I want to make it a point to eat local at home and when I travel. That’s why some of my home cooked weekend brunches require a neighborhood stroll. And it’s also why I actively sought out Comida Tipica in Costa Rica no matter what else was on the menu.

While in Mexico, I was by default immersed in the cuisine of the resort, and with the exception of a couple of fancy meals, the majority of the food was a hybrid of faux Mexican and faux American. But, on the day that we took our tour of Chichen Itza, we also stopped at the restaurant of a local hotel somewhere in between the pyramids and the great Cenote called Hacienda Xaybeh de Camara.

local restaurant in mexico

To be honest, though the atmosphere was a clear give away that it is a stopping ground for tourists, I think the food was as close to local as we were going to get that week – and it was delicious.

Lisa got the pulled pork. She said it was the best pulled pork she had ever had and I agreed. I had the chicken with rice and beans and that too was great.

local food in medico

We also got to sample some local beer. Apparently, they have a very good and very local dark beer on the menu, which I uncharacteristically avoided. It was just too hot to not get something lighter. So, I chose the Montejo, and it was perfect.

beer in mexico

Though it was just a taste, it was nice to break out of the confines of the endless chips and guacamole we wholeheartedly took advantage of on the resort.

Do you try to eat local at home and away?

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