Vanessa: The first leg of our recent honeymoon brought us to the beautiful island off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres. The Island of Women, as is its literal translation, is a short fifteen minute ferry ride from bustling Cancun and is surrounded by pristine waters in the Caribbean sea.
This was our first trip to Mexico and as such, were on the hunt to experience some authentic, local cuisine. Lonely planet and Trip Advisor gave one place on the island an overwhelming thumbs up all round, so we made a bee line! La Lomita (The Little Hill) is a simple yet colourful eatery serving up all the quintessential Mexican dishes as well as a number of dishes I’d never come across.
Situated in the backstreets, this unassuming little eatery is a real gem that could possibly be missed if you weren’t on the lookout. The décor is simple. Plastic tables and chairs, brightly coloured flowers on the walls amongst other mismatched objects and a view into the little kitchen where you can see the staff busily preparing food. You get a real sense the minute you walk through the door that it is a family owned operation and as a guest, you are experiencing a meal as you would in their home.
We sat down and immediately ordered two pints of Sol beer (when in Rome!) A HUGE draw card for La Lomita is that the beer is served in clay glasses which keeps the beer ice cold. This is a rare find on the island – as we found beer elsewhere to be served quite warm due to the hot climate.
Determined to steer away from the more traditional tacos, nachos or burritos (all of which they offer) we chose a few simple dishes that allowed us to really appreciate the authenticity of the dishes.
First up was a serve of Guacamole with Home Made Tortilla Chips. Guacamole is a definite staple in Mexico and was had with all previous meals, but I have to say this was the best we had on the island. It was so fresh and mixed with just the right amount of onion, tomato and lemon juice. The tortilla chips were dense in texture but still had a crunch to them. This was brought out with 3 little bowls containing lime wedges, hot sauce and habanero sauce. As I’m not a fan of chilli I avoided them, but the habanero sauce nearly blew hubby’s socks off!
Next up was the dish that originally enticed us to La Lomita, The rice and bean soup. The best way to describe this soup really is that is comparable to a liquid burrito. Okay, that might not be the most appealing description but trust me this soup is delicious. It is a mix of rice, red beans, tomato, avocado, cheese and herbs – what a combination! It did lack a little bit of seasoning but that was all fixed with a pinch of salt and some lime juice.
For our mains, hubby chose the chicken mole served with rice and I went with the fish fillet with vegetables and herbs cooked in foil. The chicken mole sauce was rich with the chocolate tones clearly noticeable . It was a decent serve as well with half a chicken heavily covered in mole sauce accompanied with rice. The fish fillet was cooked beautifully and flaked apart easily. The vegetables gave it a slightly acidic taste but it was balanced nicely with the rice and accompanying salad.
There were so many dishes that looked appealing on the menu including the selection of cevice and the burritos would have given me major food envy had I not been so full and content at that point.
I would definitely recommend a little trip to La Lomita if you happen to find yourself on Isla Muejeres one day and looking to experience the authentic flavor of Mexico!