Mexican Vacation: The Food

Some people have doubts about the food in Mexico. My brother-in-law was convinced we would just be eating tortilla chips in Mexico and while we did munch on chips and salsa, we ate a heck of a lot more than that. The only issue I had with the food was the dilemma of too many choices.

The Options

Lunch at The Grill

The view from The Grill

There are 9 restaurants at Excellence Playa Mujeres. Some are open for breakfast, some are open for lunch, and depending on the day (it rotates) all are open for dinner. Depending on the season, how many people are vacationing, and which day of the week it is, some restaurants may have the night off. It does rotate and every restaurant was open during our stay. We had advanced warning each night of the next day’s closings via our turndown service itinerary.

As for the restaurants, they all have a theme. Agave serves Mexican food, Barcelona serves Mediterranean food, Basmati serves Indian food, Chez Isabelle serves French food, The Grill serves grilled foods (mainly steaks), The Flavor Market serves tapas, The Lobster House serves lobster, Spice serves Asian fusion, and Toscana serves Italian. While menus are much more flexible at lunch and breakfast, they are pretty set for dinner. I’ve included clickable sample menu links above for your convenience.

There is a dress code for the restaurants. For lunch, it generally requires that you wear something over your swimsuits and that you are dry. Toscana required men to not wear tank tops or their trunks to meals at lunchtime. For dinner, the dress code is generally more formal. Most restaurants required sundresses, skirts, or nice pants for the ladies and gentlemen were expected to wear long pants and a collared shirt. No flip flops or sneakers for the ladies and men needed some type of nicer shoe. Some places apparently allowed shorts for dinner but we wanted to able to choose restaurants on a whim so my husband packed khakis, some polo shirts, and a few beachy button ups. I wore sundresses every night and cheap Payless sandals while my husband wore his close toed croc loafers.

Breakfast

Room Service-American Breakfast

My husband's American Breakfast

While both Toscana and The Lobster House were open for breakfast, we chose to order room service every single day. What can I say, I loved being able to call and have my food delivered 30 minutes later so I could eat on my room’s balcony. There were a lot of breakfast options but my husband chose the American Breakfast every single day. His meal came with eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, pastries, and juice. A fruit plate was an option but we generally passed on it.

Room Service-French Toast

Best french toast in the world

I liked to mix up my options a bit more. The first day I had the El Ranchero which had fried eggs on a tortilla with salsa, beans and cheese. The dish was good but the salsa was too mild for the dish to work right. The next day I had a craving for Pancakes which were served with bacon and juice. Very good but I still wanted to try more. I had read about the French Toast in reviews on TripAdvisor so I decided to give it a go. It was the best french toast of my life. The thick bread slices had been soaked and drenched in something I presume was ridiculously fattening because it tasted so good. After it was fried the toast was covered in cinnamon and sugar. There were some raisins in my toast and they tasted like orange rind instead of normal raisins. After pouring maple syrup on it the meal was like a party in my mouth. I ate it every day after that and I regret ordering anything else (well, except the bacon but I love bacon).

Lunch

The Lobster House

Inside The Lobster House

During our stay lunch was available at The Grill, The Lobster House, or Toscana. We tried each place at least once. Toscana was set up as a buffet. There were soups, a sushi station, a carving station, a grilling station, a salad bar, and a dessert station. I tried nearly one of all the meats but I wasn’t very impressed. The dessert station was the highlight of the meal here but this restaurant di seem quite popular for its air conditioning and its ability to easily seat large groups in town for weddings.

The Lobster House

My mahi mahi at The Lobster House

We had much better luck at both The Grill and The Lobster House. Both restaurants share the same building over the main pool with a bar dividing it into two restaurants. We had each restaurant twice during our stay. At The Grill I tried their buffalo wings (warning: this was the spiciest dish I had on the property), jerk chicken sandwich (very good), nachos (huge portion size), and chicken quesadilla. My husband got the chicken burrito (a little plain) and a hamburger (with bacon) and all went down well. On the other side of the building at The Lobster House my husband got the turkey club both times (very good! he says) and I had the mahi mahi dish with rice that I loved so much I made sure to get it the second time. I highly recommend eating lunch at both these places and if you’re really lucky or early, ask for seating overlooking the pool area.

Dinner

While I mentioned above that there were 9 dinner options, I must admit that I only had dinner at 4 of them. I had heard some poor reviews of one dinner location, my husband isn’t a fan of Indian or lobster, and in the end we chose to hit our 2 favorite restaurants again which I’ll explain in a minute. Dinner is nice because you don’t need to make reservations, just walk up and give your room number. Some restaurants might not have open seating so you’ll be given a buzzer while you drink at the bars and wait. If you go to dinner after 8:30, expect a wait. When we got there between 6 and 7 we could walk in and see plenty of empty seats. For this reason we almost always ate “early”, then hit the bars rather than the reverse order.

Spice

Dinner at Spice

Dinner at Spice

We ate at Spice our first night. This restaurant has the only exception to the “No reservations” rule but only if you want to try a Teppanyaki table. For that, show up early and reserve the table and they’ll tell you the time to return. Other than that, you’re set. For an appetizer, we ordered the Spice Combination which had shumai, spring rolls, chicken satay and giosas. My husband had the thai fried rice for dinner and midori melons over sherbet for dessert and was quite pleased with his choices. I had the Japanese seafood curry for dinner and tempura ice cream for dessert and walked away stuffed. Our only blip at the meal was wondering why they put raisins in all the dishes.

Dinner at Spice

Pad Thai at Spice

We actually liked Spice so much that we returned our fifth night. My husband again got the Thai fried rice but I decided to try the pad thai this time and was equally impressed. We both passed on dessert this time because we were so stuffed.

Chez Isabelle

Dinner at Chez Isabelle

Beef tenderloin at Chez Isabelle

We ate at Chez Isabelle the second night of our trip. This is a very popular restaurant so I do suggest arriving early. When you dine here, if you both order the same wine (order the house wines rather than off the wine menu so it will be free) they’ll bring the bottle to your table for you to have throughout the meal. My husband and I were both fairly predictable here and got the same things- beef tenderloin for dinner and a chocolate biscuit with ice cream for dessert. The meal was good, the beef was very tender and I loved dessert, but we were both unused to the heaviness of French food so we filled up quickly.

Barcelona

Dinner at Barcelona

Lamb kabobs at Barcelona

My husband shocked me here by ordering the fried seafood that I had also chosen. It came with fried shrimp and calamari which I knew he could handle but it also had baby octopus which he shocked me by eating. Barcelona was truly a backwards land. But then he went back to normal for dinner and chose lamb kabobs which is more his thing. I went for seafood again (are you noticing a trend yet?) and got the shrimp scampi. The shrimp was a touch more done than I like but it was good and surprisingly filling.

Agave

Dinner at Agave

Tamarind margarita at Agave, the newest love of my life

We ate at Agave the third night of our trip but we also returned for the last night of our trip. During our first meal here, we were brought out a margarita menu and some chips and salsa. Our waiter suggested the passionfruit margarita for me and the tamarind margarita for my husband so we both went with it and were so pleased with our choices. The servers here have great taste so when in doubt, trust them.

Dinner at Agave

Chimichanga at Agave

My husband got an order of lime soup his usual Mexican dish, a burrito, and bragged about his choice. I went with the Azteca Soup (tortilla soup with squeaky cheese) and a chimichanga. I was quite pleased with myself as well and a little tipsy after refills on the margarita.

Cinco de Mayo at Agave

Agave had special appetizers for Cinco de Mayo

The next time we came here was our last night and also Cinco de Mayo. The hotel had hinted there would be special treats here so we knew we had to return. When we arrived they offered us a chance to do a shot of tequila. My husband went with a regular tequila and I went with a passionfruit infused one. When we got to our table we ordered a watermelon margarita and an original one and got to work. The server came over and informed us that for the occasion, they had special appetizers set up and the chef would be by with a special

Cinco de Mayo at Agave

Our chef at Agave working tableside

The chef came over, introduced himself, and told us that he would make us customized salsa and guacamole if we allowed. We were on board so he prepared them for us tableside, asking our preferences on ingredients and how hot we wanted it. Then we layered the chef’s creations on our appetizers and were overwhelmed with flavor. It was so good.

Cinco de Mayo at Agave

Chocolate cake at Agave

For dinner my husband got a burrito again and I went with the Poblano Chicken in a mole sauce. It was good but I think the chimichanga was my favorite of the two meals. Since we had passed on dessert during our first visit here we decided to have it this time. I ordered a tres leches cake and my husband got a chocolate cake. They were good but we were more than stuffed going in so it was hard to sit and savor the dishes.

Room Service

Room Service Chocolate Cake

Room service chocolate cake

As you noticed during the breakfast portion of this post, we enjoyed our room service. Room service is included with the price of your room meaning it is FREE! We ordered the chocolate cake on a whim one night and I can tell you right now that the cake is rich so don’t be fooled by the size in a drunken haze. In an effort to keep you informed, I captured some photos of the room service menu.

Breakfast, served 5:30 AM-11:30 AM (page 1)(page 2)

Lunch and Dinner, served 11:30 AM-11:00 PM (page 1)(page 2)(page 3)

Late Night Menu, served 11:00 PM-5:30 AM (page 1)

Bars

There were 12 bars at Excellence Playa Mujeres. Do you even know what to do with 12 bars? I’m sure you can guess. These bars don’t play. Unlike some other resorts, they do not skimp on the alcohol here. I learned my lesson the hard way with a long island iced tea. My husband found quite a bit of amusement at my expense.

Drinking my cocktail

My guava sweet tart from Cafe Kafe

We spent most of our time at 2 main bars but we were more than happy to try the other ones. We liked Revive for its closeness to the lazy river. I got plenty of long island iced teas and electric lemonades (lemonade frozen with midori) there. Cafe Kafe was our other favorite. It was located right between the main building and the stage where singers performed nightly so we spent a lot of time here at night. I favored mudslides and Miami Vices (pina colada mixed with strawberry daquiri) here but I had extreme success just asking a bartender to make me something frozen and fruity that came out tasting like a guava sweet tart.

Martini bar

Martini bar

If you like to watch the shows at night, do what we did and hit up Stars inside the theatre. They have waiter service for guests but we liked to come in with a drink and get a fresh one later on. Martini was also a popular one at night during the dinner hour while people waited for their meals. In order for me to be an expert travel blogger I got an appletini there on your behalf. You’re welcome.

CafeKafe

CafeKafe

During the day we were known to stop in at Sol coming from or going to the beach. Waiters provided up oceanside service from here as well. One spot not everyone seemed to know about was the X-Lounge. At night, you could come to this area with big beach chairs and beds and listen to the waves. Some nights there was music down here. Servers from Sol might check on you but there were also drinks for you to make yourself. One of my favorite memories involves just laying here and hearing the waves and feeling the wind on my face. If you have an early dinner and want a way to spend time before the show, try the Lounge.

Don’t miss a post! Check out my reviews of the room, the resort, Cinco de Mayo, and how I planned this trip.

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Author:julie

I’m Julie, I love to travel, I’m very hyper and I like to “hype” things and from that, TravelHyper was born.

I’m a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There’s so much world out there and I hope you’ll find that it’s worth seeing and that vacation doesn’t have to be out of reach to you.

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  • Val2011

    Hi Julie

    Thanks for the blog.  We are going there next week and it’s got me all excited. I’d better keep trying to loose those last few pounds because it looks like I’m going to put on stones when I’m there!

    Val

    • http://www.travelhyper.com TravelHyper

      Glad I could help you out! There’s so much delicious food there it was hard to resist but you keep so busy with swimming and dancing that you might not be fighting a losing battle. Have fun on your trip!

      • Nathcrooke_is

        Hi there me and my fiancé are going in July and was wondering about dress code I will be taking chino trousers but are polo shirt acceptable i.e polo Ralph Lauren and all saints?? Thanks

        • http://www.travelhyper.com TravelHyper

          Polo shirts are just fine. Most men wore some type of collared shirt and were good to go. 

  • Courtney

    my husband and i leave for EPM in 10 days and I am so nervous! I like to have everything planned and know as much as i can but, even with all the information out there, it was quite difficult. i am so gratful i found your post! your pictures especially of the room service menu will make the next 10 days go by much smoother. i just want to say thank you thank you thank you!!!

  • Stephan

    My wife and are going to EPM in a few weeks and are very excited. One question I have is regarding shoes for dinner. I’ve seen conflicting comments in forums regarding what’s appropriate for guys. Nice flip flops (leather), nice sandals, etc. Can you set me straight?

  • Ray B

    Awesome Review

  • https://twomenabouttown.com suburbangentuk

    Love your blog! I’ve just visited and shared my Excellence Playa Mujeres review too, I loved it. The food was by far the best thing about the resort, especially the French restaurant. Stunning!