Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Features-GreenVerde


There are some readers here as well as my circle back home, that wonder why on earther I would holiday at the same place year after year for almost 20 years. Here on Isla Mujeres I have met so many people who have been coming here longer, come here more times a year and many more that stay longer than my cherished month. They get it. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it is a big world out there and I am blessed to say I have travelled to many places and hope to see many more. Isla is not a holiday for me, as strange as that sounds. It is even better. It is where I live; it is my home; it is my happy place for one month a year. You either get it or you don’t get it.

Alba the Chef

Besides the people that draw us here every year (the locals, the ex pats, the other travelers), there is the food! Some of it is excitingly new, especially this year. But equally so, is the fare we have enjoyed trip after trip. I cannot recount the times we have visited Rafael at Greenverde. He waits for us at the entrance of his well-loved restaurant, he lets us choose a favourite table and when we open the menu, we sigh in satisfaction that our much loved recipes are still there.

Since our last visit, Greenverde has expanded their crafted cocktails, created by mixologist Angel. We enjoyed favourites of a mango margarita, a classic margarita and a new concoction called a Mescal Del Sur (I am loving Mescal this visit!) The latter is complex blend of hibiscus syrup, cinnamon, mescal of course and a liqueur called Ancho Chile. To add to the smoky tastes of the creation, a sprig of rosemary is ignited as it is served at the table. Mixologist Angel has 17 years experience and both he and Rafael are proud of his expertise, as they should be.

Since D arrived after me to the island, he hadn’t yet had a feed of ceviche. Greenverde’s mix of fish and shrimp was not swimming in lime juice, but appropriately kissed with it. The sturdy chips allowed for large scoops as the bowl was enormous.

For entrees, D chose his favourite Tricolour moles: chicken in red mole, beef in yellow mole and pork in green mole. I have tried to determine what distinguishes one mole from the next, but I am having difficulty researching it (and the pool is calling me). If you know could you answer on the Facebook IM Food Page?

Newbie Karen was over the moon for her Chicken Chile Poblano. It was gooey and creamy due to the generous logs of queso panela (sometimes called canasta) that were perched on top of shredded chicken in boat made from a poblano chili. She leaves the island tomorrow but with her goes those luxurious taste memories.

I rarely eat beef, in truth because my body doesn’t really know what to do with it anymore. But on Isla because araachera/skirt steak has been tenderized in lime juice, it is far easier for me to digest. The Tampiquena is Greenverde’s take on this tradition dish. The strips of poblano peppers sauteed with corn, onion, cream and cotija cheese ( a Mexican version of my favourite Greek feta cheese) was sublime and although I should have eaten with bites of the tender steak, I could not resist and ate it all at once. That left the skirt steak to be enjoyed in its nakedness. which turned out to be a good thing because I enjoyed the individual ingredients of the marinade.

D was wise and resisted desert. I was foolish and ordered the chocolate cake! Even though I needed a brisk walk after our dinner, that cake was worth every step. It was a flourless cake so I was actually not bogged down by the starch. Each forkful was light and airy and yet deep in rich chocolate tastes as if by magic.

Karen spied the plaintains sauteed in brown sugar and butter and then flamed with smack of tequila. She brought most of it home to enjoyed with yoghurt this mornung.

D did order another artisan cocktail for desert. It started out as an Aperol Spritz but Angel cleverly added lychee essence for a whole new spin. I didn’t mind when D needed help finishing it.

Angel the Mixologist

Greenverde is on that stretch of Medina going south after the airport strip. For more specific instructions, to browse their menu or see their hours of operation, see the mapchick app, the best money you will ever spend.

Kath’s quote: “I need the sun, sand and ocean to rejuvenate my spirit, the food to enliven my body and all of the familiar places, friends and family to revitalize my soul. I go for replenishment. For a kind of love that I truly know. For a place of belonging, always.” -Grace Gealey

Love never fails.

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