El Tábano

The food chatter about Tulum seems to consist of 2 topics, 1 that there aren’t a ton of good restaurants nor are there many street food options and 2 El Tábano which seems to be everyone’s favorite place to eat in Tulum.

We ate there twice and even though I was sick the second night I still managed to get down a pretty incredible meal. The place is itty bitty especially since both nights we went it was raining so all that was available were the 6 tables inside and by inside I mean under a thatched roof since everything in Tulum is open air. This was a fancy hut of sorts. The menu and wine list were on floor to ceiling chalkboards. There were as many servers as cooks and the kitchen is open in the middle and there were 3 women cooking. There looked to be a few prep areas, the cooler and by cooler I mean the kind of cooler one has to get ice in, the stove/oven area, and in the center plating and chopping. There is a bar where you can sit and watch the women cook and it looked like they were having a great time. There was lots of smiling and laughing.

Here are the things we ate:
Pollo Rojo (chicken roasted in 5 peppers)
Mango and fish ceviche
Soupa de Pollo
Achiote pork
Meatballs with coriander and topped with potato chips
Stuffed poblano pepper
Roasted tomatoes topped with goat cheese and anchovies
Shrimp cooked in habenero butter
Fish tacos
Grouper cooked in  a beer sauce
Crepes stuffed with poblano peppers
Chocolate cheesecake (this was really interesting. It had the smallest amount of cheese for the cheesecake part but was cooked into a cookie crust with a topping that was akin to a coffee cake, brown sugar and butter topping but was with chocolate and no butter. It was amazing.)
Flan that was amazing
Banana Cake that I think was made with plantains instead of bananas

Typing out this list looks like a ton of food. I guess it was. If I could recreate that chocolate cheesecake I would be one happy person. My pictures of the food are awful because I hate using the flash and it was really dark…Everything was cooked perfectly and the flavors were all amazing. Mmmmm. Yay for good dinners.