I’ve got to admit it. I’m slightly ashamed. Over the past twenty-five years I’ve trekked across a good chunk of Mexico attempting to discover it’s wide and varied cuisine. In all that time I’d barely cracked the surface. Back home, it turns out, there’s a spot just three blocks down the road that I’ve been sorely neglecting.
Taqueria Playa Tropical has been putting up Mexican fare in uptown New Westminster since 2011. Since their inception, they took over the space next door and doubled their size. When I heard they expanded, I knew full well that good eats were afoot. I dragged Uncle Ben from Chowtimes away from a busy day to join me in a mini-Mexican feast.
Right off the bat you’re served complimentary tortilla chips and squeezable salsa. There’s not too many restos that will toss you free anything.
Most would prefer salsa fresca or salsa crudo, but these ones hit the spot. The Salsa Roja con Chipotle has a mild, smoky punch. Really good. But the Salsa Verde beats it hands down. It starts off sweet and garlicky then the slow burn works itself in. Very, very addictive stuff.
Having had Ceviche on only a few occasions, I’ve not a lot to go on. This version is quite solid. Very fresh. The whitefish is firm. Avocado, cut fresh. A good whack of cilantro and it’s quite tangy from a load of lime. Nicely done.
Taqueria Playa Tropical puts up some mean tacos. Today’s highlight, really.
The Yucatán region of Mexico is absolutely stuffed with a ton of amazing places to visit. Being constrained to one week, you have to narrow your list of sites down considerably. A must see is the colonial city of Valladolid.
Valladolid is a small city, about 50,000 inhabitants. If you’re into places that ooze history, this is for you. A stunning cathedral alongside a city square that could pass for a small forest. Young and elderly alike congregate on shady park benches munching on treats from a myriad of street vendors. We bypassed the vendors and wandered up a scenic, cobble-stoned avenue in search of Taberna de los Frailes.
This is an exceptionally beautiful town. At dusk, even more so. Two-hundred year old buildings newly painted in pastels make for a stunning streetscape.
After a half-hour saunter, we arrived at our destination.