Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Feature-Fayne’s (and La Adelita)


The first year I visited the island in 2005, I dined at Faynes on Hidalgo.

It was Superbowl Sunday and they were broadcasting the game. I don’t remember anything about the food but I do remember that Paul McCartney sang “Hey Jude” at halftime. With a full turn of the wheel of time I was back at Fayne’s for dinner last evening and no matter what football game or half time show might have played last night, I will always remember the food. What glorious food!

We started with mussels fresh from the south of Mexico. They were juicy and tender and the sauce….was divine! Both Karen, my companion who had just arrived on the island and I agreed that you could drink the sublime roasted tomato and cream sauce and be happy for the rest of your life. Luckily the mussels were served with parmesan cheese toast to save us the embarrassment of lifting the bowl to our mouths. Potatoes also floated in the silky sauce and being a self-professed potato aficionado, I was delighted.

We were doubly blessed when Victor Castillo, one of the managers at Fayne’s appeared from the brand new restaurant La Adelita next door. He explained that Fayne’s features seafood and live rock music whereas the new restaurant was born to focus on regional dishes from all over Mexico and a softer music vibe.

He suggested that we try the Mochican Carnnitas. Let’s start with the pork. I thought it might have been a fattier cut like pork belly because there was a delicious amount of roasted fat which is what made the pork, along with a bit of salt during the confit process, perfection. Confit is actually a French word describing the procedure of roasting any meat in its own fat. It has long been a method to preserve the meat, but not in this case. The Carnitas (little meats) originate from the state of Mochica. With the exception of Fredy’s pork chop, it is now my favourite pork dish on the island. By the way, it is served with onion, cilantro, Mexican sauce, rice and corn tortillas which I didn’t even touch and still brought leftover pork home.

So maybe now you are thinking “well maybe we should visit La Adelita instead of Faynes”. If you did you would miss out on their Chef’s Special of a fish filet and sauteed shrimp with tri coloured peppers and ribbons of a dried guajillo chili, which I thought at first was a sun dried tomato (but that would be on another continent). The sauce of tomato and white wine was what made the dish. Well in truth, it was the generous inclusion of melted butter that endeared the sauce to me. I can’t give you any details of the fish or the shrimp except to say that in that sauce, it mattered little to me.

As you will note, I jumped right into describing the food, and missed sharing our special cocktails also from La Adelita. Karen was served a Mango Aguate-where avocado, coconut cream and mango (of course) was blended together producing dessert in a glass. It was rich and silky and I was tempted to get out a spoon.

My refreshing drink of mixed berries, lime, triple sec and Jamiaca tequila was also blended and then garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit which I rarely eat on the island. But the piece de resistance was the rosemary spear that also adorned the drink, and was set on fire! The sultry odour reminded me of another scent and I looked around to ensure that no one thought we were breaking the smoking ban.

We likely overstayed our welcome because the sidewalk became crowded with people waiting for a space to enjoy the live music, making Fayne’s a hotspot for both music and culinary deliciousness.

The moral of this story is that even if you expect one experience, keep an open mind and heart to enjoy another. I am so glad I revisted Fayne’s.

Kath’s quote. “The people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez

Love never fails.

posted under Isla Mujeres

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