Over our many years together, we've had some memorable Thanksgivings. There have been many great times and delicious meals shared with our families, and we always treasure those. But we've also had Thanksgiving dinners in some more exotic locales.
We ate seafood in St. Thomas, USVI, en route to the British Virgin Islands to celebrate Barry's 50th birthday a few years ago (not saying how many!). We also had two excellent Thanksgiving dinners out in Belize, and we even ate one memorable turkey day feast in the cockpit of the sailboat we used to own.
Last year, we resorted to eating turkey sub sandwiches in a Subway restaurant en route from the Kansas City area to North Carolina, so we were sure that this year, no matter what it brought, would be a big step up from that.
And we were right!
There were several different spots here in Playa del Carmen serving up a turkey meal for the Americans visiting or living in the area, but we chose to try Salt Rock Grille on Fifth Avenue (La Avenida Quinta). Although we usually steer clear of this busy touristy area and its higher-priced restaurants, splurging a bit on Thanksgiving seemed fitting, and we were ready for a short break from Mexican food anyway.
One of the reasons we chose Salt Rock was because they started serving early. Some places didn't start serving Thanksgiving dinner until 6:30 pm or even later, and we like to eat earlier so we can get Paisley (and ourselves!) out for a long after-dinner walk without it getting too late. Yeah, we're old farts!
Since it was Thanksgiving, we chose to eat even earlier in the day than our usual and took the first reservation time offered, 4:30 pm.
A pleasant walk from where we're staying, Salt Rock was mostly outside and such a nice setting. We were one of the first ones to arrive at this hour. It was a coolish and breezy afternoon and evening after a Norte (cold front) had pushed through the day before, so it almost felt like Thanksgiving. Perfect.
Here was our view. Not too crowded up at this (north) end of 5th Avenue!
The salads were simple but delicious, served with balsamic viniagrette dressing and plenty of delicious bread with fresh chutney. Everything was beautifully presented.
Finally it was time for the main course. The turkey was some of the moistest and delicious I have ever had! I would have been happy if they'd filled this large plate to the brim with the tasty side dishes -- but servings do tend to be more modest in Mexico than in the "supersize me" US. And that's better for our waistlines, right?!
We had read on Tripadvisor that desserts were one of their specialities and not to be missed, so of course we had to indulge. We both ordered the Pumpkin cheesecake since it was Thanksgiving, but we will have to try some of the others another time, since they all sounded amazing.
We also indulged in after-dinner drinks. Salt Rock specializes in fancy martinis, so I tried the "S'mores" martini, while Barry had an amaretto on the rocks. My drink was definitely a dessert, so I actually had two desserts. Decadent, no?!
Yes, those are toasted marshmallows floating on top of my drink! I probably would have chosen differently had I known that the cheesecake too would come with toasted marshmallows atop! I like marshmallows, but that was a lot of 'em!
Holy moley was this cheesecake good, though. Super creamy and delicious. Heavenly!
During dessert we had a visit from this sweet girl. Too bad she missed the turkey course. Confession: I offered her a marshmallow from my huge stash, but after sniffing it, she didn't take it. Just as well; I knew it wasn't good for her but couldn't resist that face. Could you?!
By now it was very dark out, and they turned on the lights in the palm tree right beyond our table. Lovely.
Before we left, our waiter José confessed to us that this was his first night at Salt Rock, and that he'd been studying the menu at his home for two days! He did so well and was so sweet we asked if we could take his photo. One of the other waiters ended up snapping this shot of the three of us. Good times!
So, we had a fantastic Thanksgiving in Playa and are so thankful to be in such a warm and lovely place for the winter. It sure beat last year's turkey subs!
We hope you had a good Thanksgiving too -- wherever you happened to be!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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