My husband and I fell in love with El Tabano - the food, the ambiance, and the owners!! Laura and Paf have created a one-of-a-kind restaurant on the jungle side of the street, just across the road from Hemingway and Don Diego de la Playa. If you drive to quickly down the road, you will miss it - but you"ll be mad at yourself if you pass it by!
We ate there several times during our week-long trip - trying breakfast, lunch, and dinner Their menu is handwritten on a large chalkboard and you can rest assured that everything you eat is the freshest food possible! Laura has such an exquisite palette and is able to lend a delicate balance to all of her food - and rest assured there are plenty of options to choose from. Her hand-made tortillas are the best on the beach and make the beef and the fish tacos the best in the area! If the stuffed jalapenos are on the menu - you absolutely must try them!! They are not spicy, but stuffed with chicken - they are a true delicacy that you will not find anywhere else!! The meatballs in tamarind sauce are another unique creation packed with flavor and served over rice with sunflower seeds. I don't care for rice, but I loved this dish!
As much as we loved lunch and dinner, our favorite meal at El Tabano was the breakfast! The coffee was great - much better than our hotel that boasted of their coffee - and fresh squeezed orange juice to start. Homemade bread with butter and homemade papaya jam. My husband ordered the huevos rancheros and I had the huevos a la cazuela. Every bite was exquisite!! The cazuela dish is served in an earthernware bowl that is heated up with olive oil. Eggs, black beans, salsa, cheese, and cream are added to the bowl and cook in the bowl. It is still cooking and bubbling when it is served - don;t take a bite right away because it is really hot! Once it stops bubbling, take a spoonful and blow on it and take your first bite - HEAVEN! Save some homemade bread and dip it in the juices left in the bowl after you're done. My husband loved his huevos rancheros - but I fell in love with this unique creation. In fact, we loved the breakfast so much, we wanted it to be our last meal in Mexico and came back the last morning of our trip before we drove to the airport.
I simply must say - this was by far our favorite restaurant in Tulum. Laura and Paf are wonderful hosts and will take the time to explain everything on the menu to you. We left Tulum feeling like we had made two good friends. We are still missing their food and when we return - El Tabano will be the first restaurant we go to!!!
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