Isla Mujeres 2024 Restaurant Feature-Tacos de Humo


Of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the little island of Isla Mujeres, the number one most popular question on the message boards is “Where can I find the best tacos?” Well for one, as my friend Jan Carpenter says: “there is no best”. There are favourite places to sup on your favourite kind of taco but there are as many variations of said tacos as there are people and preferences. On a given day, I might want a crunchy hard sided taco with jalapeno jack cheese, sour cream and spicy meat, or a flour tortilla surrounding sauteed vegetables and chicken with pico de gallo and guacamole or as I chose this evening: fresh grouper coated in panko breading on a bed of crunchy and saucy cole slaw, topped with chile chipotle mayonnaise.

Steve and Trish, a couple from our hometown of Winnipeg, who we got to know as we stayed at the same hotel for a number of years, recommended Tacos de Humo to us two years ago and it took me this long to pay a visit. The other complication for me was that there are a couple of locations with “tacos” and “humo” in the restaurant name and so I couldn’t be sure which one they recommended. I was hoping to meet the owner this evening to see if all the “tacos de humo” were related, but I suspect he is a busy man.

The helpful servers, ours was named Tomas (without the “H”) sometimes struggle with our babbling away in English, asking confusing questions and doing their best to understand our gibberish. It is sometime even more of a challenge when a pair of women who don’t come together very often are chatting away to get caught up on the joys and sorrows of our lives. Tomas did an valiant and excellent job taking care of us.

He presented us with a couple of refreshing mango margaritas to start. Then the sauces and lime wedges arrived. Next came those amazing Tacos de Pescado detailed above. I didn’t even eat the tortilla that made the dish a taco. The fish was light and crunchy and the sparkling fish danced in our mouths. The cole slaw added even more crunch and the chipolte mayo a silky finish.

So where do you go when only one of you is a taco fan and your companion wants to eat absolutely anything but another taco? Taco de Humo had an extensive offering of alternatives. What caught our eye was Mexican Lasagna. I wondered how they would modify my favourite Italian delight. Well they blended shredded chicken with chorizo, and refried beans and layered the mixture between tortillas. Then they smothered it in salsa suiza! The result was creamy and savoury at the same time. I would give the dish full marks for taste and its ingenuity!

We were getting organized to leave when a churro donut smothered in sweetened condensed milk was placed in front of us to share. It was a lovely conclusion to another great Isla dinner.

Kath’s quote: “Tacos are like what the voices of a hundred angels singing Bob Dylan while sitting on rainbows and playing banjos would taste like if that sound were edible.” – Isabel Quintero

Love never fails.

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