If you’re ever trekking around the Yucatán, Izamal is a cool little place to visit. It’s a short, half-hour ride, eastward
from Merida. Izamal is Mexico’s “Cuidad Amarillo” as most of the buildings are painted in vibrant shades of yellow.
After a couple of hours touring the sites, our guide directed us to one of his “favourite” lunch spots. His suggestion seemed a bit lacking, menu-wise, so we wandered up the road in search of some authenticity. We came across Los Mestizos, a small family-run establishment. Seeing “Comida Regional” quickened my pace considerably. Before I knew it, I was enjoying one sensational dish.
Mexico is a snacking wonderland. From the ubiquitous taco stand to a wide variety of regional treats, antojitos can be found virtually everywhere. Wikipedia sums up antojitos perfectly: “a Mexican street snack designed to satisfy a craving“.
Granted, our first stop isn’t “exactly” street food, but comes damn close.
As we were wandering the streets of Piste, near Chichen Itza, I had an intense craving for Pollo Carbon (Grilled Chicken). We passed by a few empty spots with some dodgy looking poultry on half-warm grills. After nearly giving up, we spotted smoke billowing from a thatched hut a block away. At the very front of the small restaurant an older lady was tending the grill. Three or four whole, butterflied birds were slowly being cooked to perfection over smouldering charcoal. Heaven.
Sometimes the best places don’t even require a name.
As we approached, salivary glands went into overdrive. I was literally drooling. I just stood there enveloped in the mouthwatering, smoky aroma. Looking around the few occupied tables, I noticed everyone was digging into a shared platter. As there was no menu and no signage whatsoever, we ordered a whole chicken.