Not Eating Mexican Food In Mexico?

I would say that I’m pretty much like most Indian people out there in that we LOVE Mexican food. My philosophy behind our obsession for the cuisine is that it is flavorful and spicy and much of it can be made vegetarian. #winning

So, the natural assumption would be that the moment I land in Mexico, I would be going out for some delicious, local Mexican food. Right? Wrong.

Here’s the story: I take a completely last-minute trip to Cancun over the holidays to visit my awesome friends Neelam and Manuel (yes, the same ones who I had visited but just a few weeks before in Mexico City. Read about that trip here). You can bet that on the quick flight from Chicago to Cancun that I was dreaming about enchiladas, tacos, chilaquiles, nachos and margaritas!

Beautiful Cancun Beach

Beautiful Cancun Beach

Upon arriving at their amazing beachfront condo in the late afternoon, Neelam informs me that we are going out for Indian food for dinner that night. “Is that ok?” she asks. As a little piece of my soul is crying, I barter and say, “Ok, only as long as you promise that every single other meal I have the next 5 days will be Mexican.” Yes, that is how much I love Mexican food. And yes, I am that friend to request such things. Poor Neelam.

Stunning View From Neelam and Manuel's Cancun Condo

Stunning View From Neelam and Manuel’s Cancun Condo

I can’t say I begrudgingly went to the Indian restaurant, but it clearly wasn’t my first choice. Since I’m a good sport, I went along with it. As we walked into the beautiful restaurant called Elefanta, I was already forgetting my Mexican food obsession. The stunning, open-air restaurant situated on the lagoon side of Cancun was breathtakingly decorated. The traditional Indian art among the lush, tropical greenery and seating within private verandas set on the water created quite the ambiance.

Elefanta Restaurant Cancun photo credit: Elefanta website

Elefanta Restaurant Cancun photo credit: Elefanta website

Being an Indian restaurant, there were no shortage of vegetarian options to choose from. Since we were all hungry we ordered several vegetable dishes, garlic naan and jeera (cumin) rice, all of which were accompanied with some delicious chutneys and yogurt raita. I wasn’t quite sure how the Indian food in Mexico was going to stack up, but I have to say I was really impressed with Elefanta. My favorite dish was hands-down the spinach koftas with shredded cheese in tomato cream sauce (pictured below at the top of the picture). Yum!

Elefanta Cancun Vegetarian Dinner

Elefanta Cancun Vegetarian Dinner

So, ok fine, I didn’t have Mexican food for my first meal in Mexico. I got over it. Just thought I would share a great alternate option in case you need it while in Cancun. And for the record, Neelam came pretty close to fulfilling my request of Mexican food for every other meal on my trip. She’s a good friend like that.

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