La Choza
Calle Rosada Salas 198 at Avenue 10 A Sur, San Miguel, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico

This was more like it. After a string of lowest-common-denominator dining experiences in Cozumel, I managed to get away from the San Miguel town square and into some places where actual Mexicans eat. See, I'm the type of traveler who likes to feel like I'm getting something "authentic," whether or not I actually am … so the absence here of shucking-and-jiving Uncle Tomás waiters was a good sign: no one trying to amuse me by saying "Holy frijole!," 'cause that's just shameful. And it seriously happened. A lot.

La Choza is a charming little place with a giant thatched roof and a relaxed, neighborhoody vibe. The few white folks that were there seemed to be the sort of drop-out American expatriates that now live nearby, while the credit card bills and alimony payments pile up in the apartment they left behind without a trace. (?)

Unfortunately, I wasn't all that hungry, so I just got a piña colada and some guacamole. The food was good, the drinks were better, and when a trio of mariachis approached the table to see if me and the missus wanted some music, I requested The Beatles, thinking that could be quaint and special. Curiously, the only song they could come up with was "I Should Have Known Better," which they sang in Spanish, and which only one of them actually knew, leaving the other two to follow along the best they could. It was ragged, but they pulled it off. But I still thought that song was a rather obscure choice.

Review by Elroy Washi, October 2004