Los Comales
5a. Avenida esquina 4 norte local 1 y 2, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Playa del Carmen is a greedy hellhole feasting on the currency of bleary-eyed cruise-ship fuckos, its streets lined with barking vendors interested in selling you anything from $1 dollar sunglasses to $20 bindles of blow. Should you find yourself in this unfortunate place, your best bet is to pitch yourself as far away as possible from the ports and get into the actual town, where you might find some semblance of a palatable Mexican meal.

Los Comales does not suffice on any level. Perhaps they were having an off day, but the place was so full of confusion and chaos that I was never sure that anyone had, in fact, taken down my order, nor that anyone was interested in serving it to me. I wasn't even convinced that it was a real restaurant.

Though the ceiling-fanned air was refreshing, it took more than fifteen minutes before our initial beers were served, and we never got any chips and salsa to kick things off. When I asked about this, the harried proprietor advised that "the chips they had left were not so good." Yet, I saw a couple of subsequent tables get served properly with chips and salsa right away. Why does everyone else get chips and salsa, while I have to contend with a pathetic basket containing three packets of Mexican-brand club-style crackers? Fuck if I know.

We had the seafood-stuffed avocado (shrimp, conch, and octopus pieces over two halves of avocado, layered with salad dressing), which was fine, then a chicken burrito for me and beef flank tacos for the missus. Both were utterly bland. Even with a couple of Dos Equis in our bellies, it was hard to forgive the pure irritation factor caused by the ultra-slow service and lame food. We ought to have walked a bit further away from the pier, since there were some better restaurants that way; but we were hot and hungry, so what can ya do?

Slight bonus points for the waiter, making lame small-talk, asking if we were from Holland. Far better that than to be assumed as the fat American tourists we actually are. But even that wasn't enough to stop me from tipping the lazy Mexican a single dollar, which was probably more than was warranted, come to think of it.

Review by Elroy Washi, October 2004