This week will be a special Barceló Maya edition of Michigan Foodies.
I’m sure there were desperate cries of “Where are my Michigan Foodies posts!” raised all last week. Well, I was in Mexico, so take that. Specifically, Barceló Maya Palace in Puerto Adventuras. There are five resorts at Barceló Maya, the Palace being the most high end. It’s my fifth trip back to Barceló Maya, having stayed at the Palace, Beach, and Caribe on separate occasions, even getting married there in 2005.
That is all the history you will get today, but a little Spanish lesson will be thrown in.
Besides being a beautiful resort with a mile-long beach, lots of pools, and enormous buffets, Barceló Maya Palace also includes three “a la carte” restaurants. Today, we’ll be talking about La Brasserie. Brasserie is French for something, I’m sure. It looks French, it sounds French. I don’t speak French, though I can order McDonald’s by combo number, which is a skill I suggest you perfect for any trip to Paris. It came in handy.
At La Brasserie, you can choose up to four courses. I, of course, chose all four. Well, four and a half – dinner starts with a selection of rolls and butter. Yes, there is a selection of butter. For the mantequilla (butter), I chose pepper and paprika. Neither had a strong flavor, so it really doesn’t matter what you pick. But are you like me and whenever you see “paprika”, you think of “Blue’s Clues”? As for the rolls, you can see I had a croissant, but the other roll, while appearing plain, hides a secret – it is filled with cream cheese. Maybe “filled” is too strong a word. Had a smattering of cream cheese. But in any case, it was bueno. If you only choose one roll for your dining experience at La Brasserie, choose the cream cheese roll.
For my appetizer, I went with the crab and caviar salad because it sounded like it would be the most expensive at a restaurant where I would have to pay. Luckily for me, most of the crab meat had already been extracted, because crab is one of Earth’s most annoying foods. I had a minor struggled trying to get some good stuff out of the claw, then gave up – I had three more courses coming. The crab meat was alright – it tasted like crab – and I can’t really comment on the caviar because there wasn’t much of it. I’d also like to give a shout-out to the lone olive. Way to represent.
Course dos was la sopa (soup), which just happens to be one of my daughter’s favorite words in Spanish, and I don’t know why. Probably because it’s easy to say, but that’s just speculation. I chose the lobster bisque, because again, it would probably have been the most expensive soup had I had to pay for it. The bisque was spicy, fishy, and chunky, which sounds disgusting, but was actually quite good. If you desire, you can even drink the soup like coffee, as it comes in a coffee cup. I didn’t do so, but knock yourself out, slob.
My main course was filet mignon. I was surprised how good it was, to be honest. Very tender, very tasty, and had a nice, mild mystery sauce atop it. The zucchini side I didn’t like, and neither did I like the mushrooms, the latter of which I happily shoveled off to my daughter, and she happily ate them. Win-win.
And finally, the course you’ve all been waiting for. I went with the chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream. Neither was outstanding, both were good, and the ice cream came in a bowl of caramelized sugar. I like edible dishes – the feeling of cleaning my plate is very rewarding. And there was some fruit on my plate, but that was just filler.
The big disappointment of the night was that lack of Aztec Coffee, a flaming after-dinner drink that was a big hit on our last visit. But according to the waiter, once someone saw the Aztec Coffee being poured, everyone wanted it (rightly so), and that slowed down service too much. Too bad, but at least I have a video of it from my last trip.
Despite the downer of no potentially disastrous flaming beverages, it was a nice meal as a good pace in an elegant little restaurant. I recommend La Brasserie if you are staying at Barceló Maya and choose to pull yourself away from the great buffets for a quieter dinner.