Piggin’ Out on Sausage ~ Salc-ccia

4 01 2012

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Comfortable Sigh.

After sleeping nearly 30 hours straight (ask daughter Jessica and hubby John who had to fend for themselves during my long siesta ~ however, I understand they didn’t seriously suffer ~ eating guac and sipping frosty cervezas with their toes in the sand), I’m finally settling back into my Puerto Morelos home and the routine of a non-routine.

Lotsa changes since I was here briefly in October, not least of which are new restaurants ~ including several in La Colonia. Thus ~ someone has to do it? After frequenting my standby faves such as Cantina Habenaro for vino tinto and papas fritos, La Oazis for Shrimp Sambuca, Papas y Café for potato casseroles and to-die-for mole sauce, the place with no name and red tables across from the hammock shop for chilaquiles, and the other place with no name and red tables in La Colonia for tinga tostados ~  the time was right to venture out.

Salc-ccia is a tidy, clean, and most unassuming place in an even more unlikely location: behind the gas pumps at the Pemex Station.

OMG!!!

Sausage ~ a choice of German Sausage, Argentinian Sausage, Yucatan Chorizo, Spanish Chistorra, Breakfast Sausage, Chicken Sausage, or Spicy Morrocan Beef Merguez. Sandwiches on freshly baked baguettes, “secret sauce,” grilled or Mexican-limon onions, dill pickles, with a plethora of additional sauce choices. Their refrescos and cervezas had to be the coldest ever, floating tiny shards of ice.

And, if fresh-baked bread and tasty real-meat sausage weren’t enough? The price for this nearly-foot-long taste sensation? Twenty pesos (about $1.50). Next time I may try the homemade corn tortillas. But today? German sausage and caramelized onions on a fresh baguette ~ mmmmm!

Salc-ccia, open only three weeks, is the first retail outlet of Embutidos del Camino, the sausage factory located on Cenote Road which supplies many of the resorts and restaurants along the Riviera Maya. In addition to sandwiches, Salc-ccia also sells meat by the kilo for grilling at home.

After today’s pig-out on sausage ~ perhaps tomorrow I’ll try the new vegan taco place where the hardware store used to be, or Govindas with its 58-peso organic lunch, or maybe La Luna Llena, or….

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Special Desserts – Where to get them

7 04 2010

Fresh coconut flan by Susan Harrison

Homemade caramel topping

 We’re on vacation – or living here in paradise – and sometimes want a special dessert yet hate to heat up the kitchen or forego beach-time– and let’s not even discuss the random nature of ovens here….

 The posting on Shangai Pizza featuresTres Leche Cake, yet Puerto Morelos has other magnificent options….

 Coconut Flan

Susan Harrison at 801 Avenue Ninos Heroes has perfected a recipe for Fresh Coconut Flan with homemade caramel — and I’m grateful to have been part of her rigorous taste-tests (the sacrifices I make for my readers!). Susan now takes custom orders for this creamy, caramel-drizzled deliciously sinful treat created with organic sugar, Mexican vanilla, and coconut from her own tree (thanks, Frederick, for the deft machete action!). Contact her via cell at 998 218 4135. And be sure to check out her original arts and textiles….www.shouldertoshoulder.net/

 From-Scratch Cakes

Diane at Mama’s Bakery on Avenue Rojo Gomez creates yummy from-scratch cakes and desserts. For various family birthdays, I’ve personally enjoyed her carrot cake with the traditional cream-cheese frosting yet wonderfully different caramel-coconut filling as well as her banana rum bundt cake. Other offerings include coconut cake with lemon curd filling, praline, fresh apple, orange with orange curd filling, apple coffee cake – – basically, whatever-you-can-imagine. Daily, she also makes fresh yeast-breads (don’t miss her amazing flax-seed bread), sticky buns, muffins, scones, and brownies.  Join her for breakfast or lunch. Her cell is 998 845 6810.

 Ice Cream

Puerto Morelos also has two ice cream shops which sell in-bulk – There’s one in the “mall” by the grocery and another across The Square beside Alma Libre Book Store.

 Anyone knowing of other take-home desserts, let me know!





Shangai Pizza

12 03 2010

Shangai Pizza –just the name makes me smile….

 Although not in the actual village of Puerto Morelos – it’s on the highway by The Colonia – Shangai Pizza delivers! So one of its most attractive features is that you can enjoy its delights wherever you might be playing!

 And –

Yes, it has pizza.

Yes, it has comida China.

But its true claim-to-notoriety is – are you ready for this? – an authentic Mexican dish that’s one of my most delectable sinful delights: tres leche cake! And those in-the-know here in Puerto Morelos know that the place to get it, is Shangai Pizza.

 I’m certain someone’s Mexican mom can make it even better, but for those of us without Mexican moms….

 Since I’m always last-minute in placing my order (read: walk in, hoping they’re not sold out), I get to watch the assembly  — they often have several rows of five-high stacks of pound-cakes waiting for assembly. Juanita deftly slices one horizontally and pours on the three milks (sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, cream), gently patting before spooning on the even creamier filling, pouring/patting once again. Then the frosting –primarily whipping cream. 

 How does one describe such pure culinary ecstasy? Sweet, yet not overly so. Moist, moist, moist, yet still cake, not pudding. These cakes have the feel of Mexican art – created by hand with serape-bright frosting – perhaps slightly off-kelter – -and totally delightful!

 Getting there

Phone 998 206 9245

 A taxi is about 30 pesos, round trip. To drive from Puerto Morelos, go to the highway, taking the roundabout toward Playa del Carmen — past ADO/Paris Pharmacy, past Consultario Medico– Shangai Pizza is set back a bit from the road.

 For Tres Leche Cake

Shangai Pizza is often swamped with cake orders, so although it’s not absolutely necessary, try to place your request at least a day before you need it. So far, I’ve never planned ahead and have always had luck walking in and getting one. They speak only Spanish, and my Spanish is embarrassingly non-existent, but we’ve always managed.

 Before ordering, decide:

(1) Whether you want large/grande ($150 pesos), medium/media ($130 pesos), or small/chica ($100 pesos).

(2) What color or colors you want on the white base-frosting – red/rojo, blue/azul, yellow/amarillo, pink/ rosa, green/verde, etc.

(3) What you want written on it. (They custom decorate!)





Ixchel Beach Bar

16 02 2010

Charlie’s tail wagging on my screen door this morning announced the pending dawn and a reminder that we hadn’t recently shared a walk and The Morning Show (the sun rising from the ocean of Puerto Morelos) –this day’s Show was magnificent!

 Slightly chilled through the morning damp, with sticky salt in my wind-styled hair , I was making my way toward home when I close my eyes to feel — more than hear — the gentle rustle of the whitecaps and the occasional whoosh of a pelican dive-bombing for breakfast. I open my eyes to visually drink in even more of this moment — a kiteboarder silhouetted against the recently dawned sun — lovers strolling, toes in the surf, fingertips lightly touching , with an occasional glance to the other, oblivious to all but themselves and the sea – Charlie dog frolicking with his beach-dog-buddies…. If nothing more, just this morning moment could be enough….

 Ahhh….I’m drawn by the seductive scent of frying bacon and brewing coffee melding with salt and seaweed….How could one resist being led into such a delectable temptation?  Ixchel Beach Bar with the lively chatter of Helene, the more-subdued Ben, and steaming coffee….Burly Newfoundland Kanya settles herself behind the counter.

At a little after 7:00 am, Helene’s already dusted the bar, jiggled tables into sand, clothes-pinned plastic cloths to the tops, and trapped menus beneath the condiments.  Locals chat. Tourists glance as they walk the beach, perhaps wondering if this rustic shack could possibly withstand today’s wind. A variety of dogs play tag around the tables, occasionally finding reason to joyfully leap into the waves….

 The limited menu choices are exactly right for the capabilities of this jungle-pole constructed, extension-cord powered,  magnificent “joint” – Eggs any style with toast and bacon or sausage, pancakes, French toast, yogurt with granola–  each dish individually prepared with seasonal fruit.

 I’ve been diligently working my way through the menu. Today: The Duo – two eggs over-easy accompanied by the initial temptation — crackly bacon fried to the perfection point of not-quite overdone, along with whole-wheat toast and slices of watermelon, pineapple, and starfruit….

 The breeze is a bit strong this day , and the hide-and-seek sun with clouds cause sunglasses and cover-up clothing to be on-again/off-again. Sand sticks to my sea-damp legs. Charlie vainly anticipates a dropped bite of something more savory than coffee….

 This meal —  the food, the setting, the people, the overall experience — could not possibly be more glorious….

 Ixchel Beach Bar

Hours

As with most Puerto Morelos establishments, hours depend solely on the weather and mood of the proprietor. Don’t even think about reservations.

 In general – Ixchel Beach Bar is open every day with breakfast served 7:00 am to 10:30 or 11:00, followed by a delightful bar experience with beer, wine, mixed drinks and snacks until dusk. If it’s crowded, be prepared to wait. Bacon and sausage is generally ready, but everything else is prepared as it’s ordered.

 Getting There

Stopping at Ixchel is the perfect complement to a morning stroll – To find it from town, remove your shoes and walk north on the beach past Hotel Ojo de Agua, Playa Sol, and mustard-colored Hotel Arrecifes —  you’ll see this rustic shack on the other side of Ocean Homes….

 Menu

Eggs, bacon or sausage,  fruit, pancakes, French toast.

Coffee, tea, fresh-squeezed orange juice, various boxed juices

Full bar

Tables and lounge chairs in the sand with a view of the amazing ocean

 Atmosphere

Definitely a family-friendly and dog-friendly place, as children dig in the sand and locals with dogs congregate for morning coffee and conversation….