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Help w/ Dinner

idaho
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126 posts
23 reviews
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Help w/ Dinner

My wife and i are staying at Be Tulum so we will eat there for dinner twice. we need help/advice.

i'm thinking for dinner...

La Zebra

Hartwood

Herchizo

but is Hartwood and Herchizo too simular? if i where to drop one of those what one would you suggest and where would you send me instead?

thanks in advance for the help!

minneapolis
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109 posts
6 reviews
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1. Re: Help w/ Dinner

Here's my opinion:

Don't lock yourself into dinner here one night, dinner there the next night, dinner at that other place on the third night.

There are so many options on the beach road that you can spend the day walking north or south and popping into places for a snack or a beverage and seeing what appeals to you.

As for as the restaurants you've mentioned, La Zebra is probably a little more popular for snacks than for dinner and definitely don't try to have dinner there on a Sunday night because that's salsa night and it's super busy.

Hartwood is very nice -- the chef is from NYC. I liked the food very much; others have had more so-so experiences. It helped that I went with a chef/friend who knows everybody who works at Hartwood.

Hechizo (no r) is a reservations-only place and is only open during the high season. Since you didn't mention when you are going, it may not even be a possibility. I love this place and Stefan and his wife, Hui, who run it. Also very pricey.

You might even try heading into the pueblo to see if restaurant options there appeal to you. Ginger, one block off the main drag, is terrific. El Assadero, a very local, very friendly place has the best steaks and beef I've had anywhere in Mexico and it's super cheap. It's run by Marco and his wife, Paty, and is 3 blocks off Avenida Tulum (307). Lots of people like Pequena Buenas Aires on the avenida, but I think Assadero is better.

Then, of course, there are the little taco joints. The whole place is just a smorgasbord of food.

minneapolis
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109 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Help w/ Dinner

And I didn't even mention El Camello Jr. on the south end of the pueblo. That gets No. 1 rankings for fish and seafood for almost everybody.

Albany, NY
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431 posts
251 reviews
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3. Re: Help w/ Dinner

El Tabano. I used to own 3 restaurants; we really enjoyed El Tabano. Maybe we just caught them on a good night.

Washington DC
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1,840 posts
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4. Re: Help w/ Dinner

I always enjoyed La Zebra for dinner on each of my visits. I also liked Ana Y Jose, dining on the sand. Hechizo was a little to outre for me, but it has it's fans. Reservations are a must.

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Tulum
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6,230 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: Help w/ Dinner

El Tabano is my favorite right now. Just love that place and its whole vibe.

Been hearing good things about El Jaguar, which I think is very similar to Hartwood, but Hechizo is nothing at all like Hartwood. Hartwood is open-air on the jungle side of the road with a roaring fire at the back of the place where they cook everything. I've also heard mixed reviews, think it kind of depends on your expectations. It seemed to me to be a very "hip" place, very NYC-in-the-jungle feel. They weren't snotty or anything, just had the same cool vibe I feel up here sometimes.

Hechizo is on the beach side of the road but unless some storms opened it up, no ocean view from the tables. No matter, the food is 4* elegant. The chef came up through the Ritz system, and his food is fabulous. I do love it, but it's not exactly a particularly "local" feeling place.

El Tabano is still my #1 (and my friends') "must-go" place on every trip. Just love the whole aspect of the place, food, style, service, comfort (well, except for the skeeters on occasion--be sure to spray completely before you go). They do a lot of stew-type dishes, and I love that. I feel like I'm eating from someone's grandma's stove. Great wine list, too, turned me on to a couple of Mexican wines that I couldn't believe were that good.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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116 posts
17 reviews
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6. Re: Help w/ Dinner

El Tabano was by far our favorite restaurant in Tulum. The stuffed jalapeno appetizer was so good, the atmosphere nice, but like beachreader said, be sure to apply bug spray. We also thought La Zebra had good food. If you like Thai food, Mezzanine has a great place and super atmosphere/location.

Edited: 28 March 2012, 13:57
Big D
Destination Expert
for Tulum, Dallas
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13,954 posts
26 reviews
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7. Re: Help w/ Dinner

I also really like El Tabano. I can get food similar to Hechizo and Hartwood at home. El Tabano is more authentic and unique - the food is Yucatan in it's origins using pepitas, tamarind, espazote, hojo santa for flavorings - some of which are subtle, but the cooking process is often long, slow and complex.

La Zebra used to have the greatest fish tacos, but they have completely changed. The food is still good, but not as spectacular and cravable as it used to be.

SF
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219 posts
13 reviews
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8. Re: Help w/ Dinner

I second everyone's El Tabano vote. If you are looking for a dinner of similar quality as those you listed, Ginger in town is also amazing. The chef is from Mexico City, so everything has a mexican twist.

Personally, I agree with everyone else take La Zebra off your list. It is nothing special.

And if you are looking for gourmet with no local influence at all, my choice would be Hechizo and then Hartwood.

Tulum, Mexico
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474 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: Help w/ Dinner

I have not heard if Hechizo has reopened. Last i heard it was still closed

minneapolis
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109 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Help w/ Dinner

I forgot about El Tabano, heaven forbid. Add my vote for that restaurant for dinner, too. I didn't actually get there on my last trip, but will make it a point to get there on my next.