Monday, February 6, 2012

The Good, the Bad, the Excellenté - Part 3

Eating at the Excellence Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico
Let’s just say, upon returning from this trip, that there’s a little more wiggle in my jiggle. ;) I definitely tried my hardest to get my money’s worth in food and drink. And considering everything was so yummy, it was a pleasurable attempt.

The resort has a variety of restaurants, and what’s really nice is that each restaurant specializes in a different type of cuisine. On any given night, we could choose to eat Italian, seafood, steak, Mexican, Indian, Asian, French, or pizza. Our problem: There are eight restaurants, and we were only there for five nights. So, we had a really good idea – eat two dinners! We figured if we ate our first dinner at 6:00, then we’d be hungry again by 10:00 (restaurants didn’t close until 10:30 or 11:00). Well, we tried this one night, and turns out, it’s actually a bad idea. When you can order as much as you’d like at dinner, there’s no way you’ll be hungry again by 10:00. So, we basically ended up with stomachaches.

Overall, the food was good, but not many dishes truly excited us. Also, I was a little disappointed with the desserts. I feel the need to share a disclaimer at this point: Austin spoils me, and I can get excellently prepared meals from all these cuisines and more on any given day. We were pleased with our meals, but if you don’t have these cuisines readily available to you or just haven’t explored them, then I think your taste buds will enjoy the food even more.

Our first night we ate at Chez Isabelle, the French restaurant. It is one of the fancier restaurants, so it was a nice way to start the vacation. You have the option of purchasing a bottle of wine, but since I already paid for the house wine, I stuck with that. J  I began with the French onion soup and Nick had the escargot (which was one of his favorites from the entire week). For dinner, I ate roasted duck, which I’ve never eaten before, and it was good (does all poultry taste similar?). Nick enjoyed the filet mignon. For dessert, we sampled chocolate cake, apple tart, and berry mousse. I was in heaven getting to order so many sweets. J

Our favorite meals were at Basmati (Indian) and Agave (Mexican). At Basmati, the pakora and samosa appetizer were nothing special (I’ve had better), but I ate the heck out of the korma, vindaloo, tikka masala and other wonderfully fragrant and flavorful dishes on our table. At Agave, I really enjoyed the Aztec soup, pumpkin flour turnovers, and chicken chimichanga. Both of these restaurants also had a really nice ambiance.

Toscana (Italian) and Spice (Asian) were also good restaurants. At Toscana, I started with a pasta dish, then had veal. Nick started with Carpaccio and had lamb for an entrée (this was his favorite overall meal). We enjoyed tiramisu and peach semifreddo for dessert. At Spice, I really enjoyed the pad thai, and the rest of the meal was pretty good.

We didn’t eat at Oregano (pizza) or the Lobster House (seafood) because we figured we eat good pizza at home whenever we want, and I don’t like seafood. The Lobster House does serve a nice a la carte breakfast, though; I had some really yummy crepes filled with bananas.

The only restaurant we didn’t like was The Grill. We went for lunch twice and dinner once, and I wasn’t a fan of anything I or Nick ordered. This was actually the place we tried for “second dinner,” so that might have been one of the reasons it wasn’t good. Because of this, we decided it’s not a good idea to dine at the restaurants so close to their closing time.

There is one buffet at the resort that was open for breakfast and lunch. It has a good variety of food, and they change some of the items every day. We’d try to eat light during the day so we’d have a larger appetite at dinner. I liked to make myself little salami and cheese sandwiches on fococcia. Ooh, and one day they had pineapple ice cream – that was one of my favorite things I ate. J

Room service was included, and I definitely wanted to take advantage of that. The food wasn’t as good as at the restaurants, but it was fun having food brought to us. Our first night there, I attempted to assuage my alcohol-filled belly with a burger and chocolate cake. On our second night, I attempted to dilute my drunkenness with nachos and cake. Are you finding the pattern? ;) Our last morning at the resort, I had room service bring breakfast to our room. We had quite the spread of French toast, pancakes, eggs, pastries, bacon, sausage, coffee, juice, and mimosas.

Oh, and another “amenity” we had in our room: a scale. My weight when I arrived Sunday evening was 117.5 pounds. By Friday morning, my weight was up to 121.8. So, if that isn’t proof that the food was good, I don’t know what is. J

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