We have reached the point of our month long Mexican vacation when we can’t think of tacos being the next meal, are super lazy to drive anywhere or even lift a finger to unload a dishwasher. Boys are dreaming of getting back to school and sports, I’m dreaming of being by myself at least a few hours a day, and Alex would stay here for another month. So yes, it is possible to get tired of doing nothing and I feel finally rested.
While sitting by the pool and killing hours before the flight (I know this sounds ridiculous) I am forcing myself to share our Mexican street food discoveries last Saturday in San Jose Del Cabo. As much as I can’t even look at this food anymore, I know I will appreciate this post for memories. San Jose is a small town so its street food is not even close to all of the assortment bigger cities offer, and many pictures are dark because street food in Mexico is sold primarily at night. But nonetheless, let me introduce you to mostly unhealthy food you can eat on the streets when in Mexico. It is very interesting though!
Hot dogs in Mexico are wrapped in bacon, yeaaaaaah boys were thrilled. Then you get regular toppings like tomatoes, onions, mustard and ketchup. Me and Alex didn’t try any but kids loved theirs.
Mexican ice cream is the best, my favourite part of Mexican street food! Most popsicles taste more or less real, with real fruit, although we tried grape and it was very artificial tasting. It depends.
I had a frozen banana covered in dark chocolate, Alex had mango and pineapple fusion coated in dark chocolate, Kyle had kiwi and Adam had grape. My favourite was Alex’s and the one kids had the other night in Cabo – yogurt with a fruit smiley face, it tasted so real!
I have no idea what these ice cream places are called but this is what one of them looked like. You will know once you look inside and see deep freezers.
More Ice Cream
I have to admit that this lady doesn’t look super happy or neither she is an accurate representation of Mexican people, but who knows what weighs heavy on her heart. Somehow, I felt bad for her and we decided to eat more ice cream. She gave us to try every single one and the only one we loved was maracuya. Kids ate most of it, me and Alex just don’t have such a big of a sweet tooth.
I want to clarity that while all ice creams claim to be natural, they still all contain white sugar, and quite a bit of it. Honestly, not much of Mexican traditional food is healthy except tacos and tamales.
Tacos and Tostadas
After eating ice cream of all kinds we proceeded to tacos. It was just the way our evening and Saturday night dinner was unfolding. The other side of the board was in English, which finally put an end to a mystery what is “chicken barbacoa” and “carne asada” I see on so many blogs. It is simply “BBQ chicken” and “grilled beef”, that simple, and I was so scared to post my own recipes of these fancy sounding dishes.
Nothing fancy, my friends, in fact I will admit one thing about real tacos in Mexico. I have tried tacos in 5 different places by now, all authentic. Honestly, nothing super “WOW”. They are good and tasty but I think “my problem” is that I can cook.
I bet a type of taco you will have a hard time to find in the US is the one with pork feet. Eating less superior parts of animals and organs is very common in 3rd world countries. I grew up eating beef tongue/liver, chicken hearts/gizzards/feet and pork feet in Ukraine. Alex had some pork feet tacos and said they were good. It is all tasty.
Traditional toppings like lettuce, pickled onions and pico de gallo, which was very green and spicy unlike pico de gallo we know in Canada.
I got carne asada and chicken barcaboa to put an end to “a mystery”. Tacos came with 2 corn tortillas per taco, which I didn’t have time or enough Spanish to object to, and offered to Alex because I hate waste and it was just too many tortillas for me after ice cream etc. But immediately problem was solved when I saw 5 homeless dogs near the park’s bench where we sat down to eat. If I could only teleport all these puppies to America where so much food is thrown away. I guess in Mexico this problem is non-existent – this 3 legged guy got my tortillas.
The funniest part feeding the dog was…my kids. They were very shocked to see me approaching a homeless dog (re: safety 1st) and that in fact a dog eats real food. OMG, how detached are these Canadian kids from reality?! It was funny for me and Alex and very educational for the boys.
Churros are Mexican doughnuts. I first heard about them from Karina who posted a recipe on her blog. I had to try.
This churro stand was quite elaborate, it offered way more than churros. There were these puffy crispy things that people ate with very artificially coloured sauce. Sorry, that didn’t look good, even my kids didn’t want to try any. I have to say this food cart was unhealthiest.
Kids had simply churros – deep fried long doughnuts coated in sugar and cinnamon. Very very sweet, if you ask me. Me and Alex wanted to try a fried plantain which we ended up having with a churro and some sweet milk sauce. I managed to avoid dulche de leech on top and too much white sauce. It was OK, I mean I tried it.
I think this corn was for making a mix of corn, cheese, lime and sauce in a cup, kinda thick soup. I don’t know the name, it is hard not to know the language LOL.
The last stand was tamales. Since we were already so full and are not the biggest tamales fans, we skipped tamales. It is basically a mixture of beans, corn flour and meat cooked in a corn husk.
Mexican street food was an awesome experience, although you can tell we didn’t love it all. I just think we have been eating clean for so many years now, our tastebuds are completely different. It was a great cultural experience, cool to try, kids had their fair share of junk food, everyone happy. Me and Alex threw out the window our adopted in North America sterility fears (not that we ever spray countertops or kitchen sink after handling chicken with Lysol), and ate completely unregulated and non-existent health authorities missed food in Mexico. Nobody got sick, we are still alive, it’s all good. You have to just let it go sometimes, all these fears and rules. Just get hepatitis shots LOL, kidding (I think it was my “magic pill”). So, if ever in Mexico – try at least once to have a street food dinner.
Hi Olena, did you feel safe out exploring in San Jose del Cabo? I’m planning to go there soon for vacation and want to know how things are! Thanks!
Well. Downtown where all the shops and restaurants are I felt safe. Lots of tourists and police with rifles. So, it is pretty safe. We didn’t venture out in the suburbs of SJC. If you stay on main roads it feels pretty safe. Not sure how deep you want to venture out lol. I asked our security guard why do we see military looking police with rifles, he said because of recent drug related murders (there was 6 while we were there). But I think it is pretty “normal” part of life in that part of Mexico. On Thursday night they have an art sale and outdoor concert on Saturday. Very cool experience! Have fun!!!
The “street corn,” when served in a cup it’s called Esquites. When it’s served still on the cob (usually put on a stick), it’s Elote. Either way, it’s delicious treat (and only unhealthy depending on what toppings you choose). Grilled corn, then you put your choice of toppings in whatever quantity you like – butter, crema, mayo, fresh lime, cotija cheese and chili powder. I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico over the last 25 yrs (mostly east coast), and it’s quite easy to eat healthy and affordably, but you do have to venture away from Walmart, Costco, etc., and go to the supermarkets, smaller specialty shops and marcado’s where the locals people and ex-pat residence shop. Also buy national brands and local grown, not imported products. We always rent a condo and eat in about 2/3rds of the time. I love cooking and traveling. A big part of the experience for me is trying local ingredients and foods I don’t see at home. I can spend hours in a supermarket and local markets in other countries. If you get out of the main tourist zones of the popular destinations, you can find lots of good restaurants much better priced too.
I asked the ladies at the stand “Is it esquites?” but they said smth else in Spanish and I saw nowhere “esquites” on the sign. See, I thought so too. Oh well, maybe I didn’t say it right haha.
Yeah, maybe next time I will be more adventurous. It was so nice outside, I didn’t feel like looking for local supermarkets without much guidance or spend there my days. I agree, you need to research – it will be cheaper then, and Spanish would help. I was told by Canadians here is Costco and Walmart and this is where you shop. We already spent so many days shopping, I felt bad to explore more instead of being by the ocean. I am yet not very comfortable venturing deep into where locals live with my kids. I know many Canadians think it is safe but I don’t because I clearly remember from my childhood how safety is in countries where money are an issue. Maybe when they are older.:) Thanks for all your tips.:)
I have a hard time eating out too because most places I find are “ok”. I’m so used to home cooked meals that restaurants or food cart venders arent anything amazing most of the time. I hope your transition home is a smooth one. There’s no place like ? ?
I’m glad you said that because I started wondering if I am the only one and something is wrong with me. Everyone kept saying that place was amazing, and this, and that one. I tried and well it is OK, nothing Earth shattering. My shrimp tacos and Buffalo tacos were even juicier and more flavourful. I appreciate good sushi and amazing salad when eating out. Everyone was raving about lobster tail in a restaurant where I can find I can make it at home way cheaper and as much garlic as I want haha.
It is nice to be home, no place like home, you get tired from doing nothing haha. Transition always is a rough one but we survived.:)
Lol. Yup that’s my problem too. Most food I think I can make at home cheaper. Sushi I’ve never made and probably never will so it’s a good one for going out.
No point making sushi at home – cost and time wise. I mean not California rolls that many Russians make at home. That is not sushi for me, that is for the kids. I need real raw fish flavourful all kinds of sushi.
Loved seeing your pictures from this trip! What a fantastic experience for you and your family.
Thank you so much, Beth! It has been a blast but it is nice to be home and back to the routine.
Annnd! That dog story! Great memories, for your boys! So great! Olena, I thought that tripod dog definetly should have come to Canada to become a part of your family! Says the pet-free person! Not that I don’t love pets, I am just very allergic and am happy to not vac up after anything more than my husband….
“Tripod dog” LOL. No, Laurel, I’m a pet free person like you. I do not like the hair, the dirty paws, time commitment or the investment. Pets are not for me. I like them but out there, somewhere there. I used to have cats for years but the loss is always hard and now with kids I do not want anything else that is alive to care for. Who will take care of me?
All so much yum! We call those ice cream shops paleterias. 🙂
Right!!! I have seen “paleteria” on some signs but wasn’t sure after my Google research.
As a kid, sometimes people my dad worked with gave him food they had extra of. I distinctly remember loving running round the house gnawing on, and loving a pickled pigs foot! I loved anything pickled, including a Michigan specialty, pickled bologna. Not sure now I’d appreciate the origins of those items, lol! Back then, waste nothing!
If I crave anything, in my newer clean eating life, it’s going to be a good old fashioned hot dog in a natural casing. And so I have it! Maybe once or twice a year, as quality of one as I can find in the health food market.
Olena, thank-you for sharing your vacation with us rather than just disappearing for a month! It’s been fun and interesting! I would for sure visit Los Cobo with what you have shown us.
I love anything pickled too! In Ukraine we pickled watermelons and apples for winter.:) What I am not going to try are pickled Asian eggs with fetuses inside, whatever you call them LOL.
You are welcome, Laurel! I had blast being a travel blogger for a month. Can’t wait to get back to cooking in my beautiful quiet kitchen.