We have visited Tulum numerous times, but for some reason this little place on a side street off the main drag has escaped us. After a friend pointed us to Don Pepe, we ended up dining here 3 times in a week. Having traveled extensively though out all regions of Spain we are very familiar with the tradition of tapas and paella. Typically in Spain a tapas establishment will display an array of dishes on the bar from which you can choose according to your taste and desires. Here at Don Pepe you order from their menu, and your selections are brought to your table. We sampled a variety of classics including the albondigas (meatballs), chistora (spicy sausage), and pollo al ajillo (chicken in garlic). All were fresh, hot and deeply flavorful. The Catalan salad is also a good choice as it consists of a selection of fresh greens topped with an assortment of Spanish style cured meats and cheese. It's big enough to share and makes for a good starter. One night we met some friends, grabbed a street side table and ordered the mixed paella. Having eaten bad paella on many occasions, we are always a bit apprehensive about what will be coming. Don Pepe certainly did not disappoint. The made to order dish was loaded with large whole (head on) shrimp, clams, mussels, chicken and pork, expertly cooked on a bed of flavorful, aromatic rice. We also shared a couple of bottles of a light, dry refreshing Spanish white wine that complimented the meal perfectly. The owners provide friendly and attentive service and seem to be genuinely grateful for your business. Nest time we are in Tulum, we will most definitely return to this charming little eatery.
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