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Archive for the ‘restaurant’ Tag

Chilaquiles Heaven   Leave a comment

laraandluca sign

Lara & Luca has no view of the beach, but it was my favorite restaurant in Playa del Carmen thanks to the well-prepared food and our exceptional server. The hip little eatery far from the tourist scene also serves up some impressive chilaquiles. The fresh-made juices aren’t too bad, either.

Nothing beats fresh-squeezed orange juice (jugo de naranja); those who ordered the green juice (jugo verde) were equally pleased. The latter is a blend of fruits including pineapple, orange and chaya – tree spinach – and perhaps other ingredients we didn’t quite hear or correctly interpret. In either case, it was deemed refreshing.

chilaquiles

Breakfast is served until 2 p.m. The menu features a variety of egg dishes, French toast, croissant sandwiches and pancakes. Most in our group of 10 ordered the chilaquiles, topped with two fried eggs or shredded chicken. Typically, I am not a fan of eggs, especially runny ones, but for some reason I wanted the traditional version — gooey eggs and all.

The silky yolk provided a subtle balance to the full-bodied green chili sauce. Pieces of fried corn tortillas mixed with onions and cilantro are covered sauce. The eggs and a dollop of cream practically float on the mixture. This was a hearty serving. Although I tried to finish the plate, it was too much.

The restaurant is clean and comfortable. The playlist had us tapping our feet and discussing the musical artists. When it came time to leave, our server and the owner stood out at the curb to hail a cab. Stupendo!

Lara & Luca
Four-and-a-half Plates
Diagonal Aeropuerto MZ 29 LT 4, Playacar,
77710 Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

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Museum Kitchen Artistry   Leave a comment

 

museum moose

It’s not unusual for museums to have exceptional gift shops and restaurants. The National Museum of Wildlife Art earns kudos for both. The aptly named Palate offers a creative menu and expansive views of the National Elk Refuge just north of Jackson, Wyo.

Several bronze sculptures are visible from U.S. Highway 191, but the collection is more impressive in the museum’s parking lot and lobby. Still, it’s the food that recently garnered our attention.

Salads, pasta, soup and sandwiches comprise the menu. An extensive wine list also available.

We opted to share three plates: the Pork Belly BLT, Bison Gyro and Roasted Green Beans.

palate blt

The BLT had several spins, besides the fact that it featured pork belly. With arrugula and tomato jam, the sandwich was further elevated thanks to lemon caper aioli and sunflower pesto. The works were served on ciabatta making this no ordinary diner mainstay. House-made chips completed the plating.

The gyro was, perhaps, my least favorite. This may have been only because the BLT was so exceptional. Shredded meat with creamy, whipped feta, pickled onion and cucumbers were served on Indian frybread. It was also accompanied by chips.

palate green beans
Almond vinaigrette and thin crispy slices of onion covering the roasted green beans. These were hard to share.

palatedessert

Harder to share was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Bar not only because it was delicious, but it was difficult to cut. The rich peanut butter mouse on a pretzel crust topped with chocolate was like an upscale Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Palate
Four Plates
National Museum of Wildlife Art
2820 Rungius Rd.
Jackson, Wyo