The beautiful buffets of Barcelo Maya

In a previous post, I reviewed La Brasserie, one of Barcelo Maya’s a la carte restaurants. Now it’s time to talk about where I spent most of my eating hours during our stay at the Palace , the buffets.

La Hacienda

La Hacienda

In addition to a grill (quicky food, or a place for a snack when the buffets were closed) and the a la carte restaurants are the two buffets, Mirador and La Hacienda. The buffets are next to each other and the food served is very similar, though La Hacienda has a greater focus on Mexican food while Mirador is geared to international foods. You can see the international flair with Eiffel Tower dessert table.

Barcelo Maya buffet

Barcelo Maya buffet

I sound like a glutton saying this, but the meals were highlights of my days. No guilt was involved the first three days we were there because it was cloudy, cool, and windy. Mealtime was a welcome break.

La Hacienda

La Hacienda

The selection was amazing. Though I did a decent job in the variety department, I was nowhere close to trying everything that the buffets had to offer. I’ve vowed that next time I’m at Barcelo Maya, I’ll try at least one new item every meal. It will be a gut-wrenching (not literally, hopefully) decision, bypassing so many good things to gamble on something new, but such is the life of the food adventurer. (There is a little sarcasm in there – I will not be showing up Andrew Zimmern anytime soon.

As a wild guess, for any given meal I would say there were between 50 and 75 different things to choose from. I thought about listing all the things they had, but that would get boring to do, and even more boring to read. But even you picky eaters – and you know who you are – will find something you like.

A typical plate

A typical plate

I salute you, teeny tiny chimichangas. Nary a meal went by without you, nor your amigos, los topopos (nacho chips). You were made all the better by the bottomless guacamole and salsa selection, from the mild pico de gayo, to the spicy verde. The tostadas were frequent visitors to my plate as well, and the fajita station – that rocked. Pollo, carne – it didn’t matter, they were both were my prey. And any time I saw some kind of pulled meat, whether it be barbacoa or pork, I knew I was in for something good.

You like fish? No worries, amigo. In addition to the various filets that were available at any meal (fish for breakfast? Yes), there was also a cook-while-you-wait station. The scallops were fantastic. Like steak? Of course you do. There was a grilling station to get your beef, burgers, and hot dogs, and I couldn’t leave out the pasta station with your choice of noodles and sauces. At breakfast, feel free to get yourself a made-to-order omelet, or if you don’t want to wait, there are small, pre-made omelets as well. One thing I noticed from our last visit three years ago was that the sushi station was gone. I had never been tempted to try raw fish in Mexico, so I didn’t miss that one.

Is tequila your thing? La Hacienda has three types of tequila – just turn the itty-bitty spigots and out it flows. The same table that holds the tequila also holds Mexican desserts in the evening, so you can partake in whatever guilty pleasure floats your boat. I had both and saved myself the decision.

Barcelo Maya tequila table

Barcelo Maya tequila table

There were also themed nights. This shot is from Italian night at Mirador. Our last night, Friday, was Mexican night at La Hacienda, where even more Mexican food was served than normal, and there were various desserts shaped like Mayan pyramids, something I definitely don’t see around Lansing.

Barcelo Maya buffet

Barcelo Maya buffet

We sat outside whenever we could, enjoying the OK weather at the beginning of the week, and the great weather at the end. In any case, listening to the waves was fantastic, and we were blessed with some amazing moonrises.

Writing this post has reminded me what a great time I had at Barcelo Maya. It was my fifth visit, and I’d go back again in a second. This is a food blog, so I’ve focused on that aspect, but the amazing beaches, pools, rooms, and things for the kids. So go, eat, drink, and get sunburned.

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