Monday, October 10, 2011


OK, so you have no idea what that title may mean, eh? Well, had I not asked for a Mayan coffee, without all the faldera, I wouldn't have either. See, a Café Maya is a concoction of coffee and liquor, some of which is burned off in a show-stopping (or -starting) display of waiter-ship. Well, I didn't want that.

I had already been pleasured by las Perlas del Mar, beautifully charcoal-seared scallops that were part of tonight's dinner at the fancy restaurant (Fusion). Since I have inherited $270 worth of room credit (long story) I didn't think twice about ordering an expensive bottle of a reserve 2005 Tempranillo, and from there it just went south, or west, or wherever.
Mr. Lobster is waiting

The lobster dinner was part of  my paid stay here—one per visit, thank you very much. I had the spiny fellow juiced up with some mojo de ajo, essentially a buttery garlic sauce. Damn fine. While looking at the full moon I realized what a lucky, LUCKY dog I  really am: My goodness, this is the kind of meal you'd serve Angela Merkel while she's contemplating the Greek bailout, but they don't have a gently lapping Gulf of Mexico in Berlin, not even as a replica. Perfect moon, no wind, a glassy sea with the most miraculous reflections, the sounds of  the  "Indigenous Night" production coming from across the far-away pool—with haunting flutes and the tam-tam of the drums, all the while implying foot-stomping dancers—in the most mysterious way, and a good bottle of  $60 Tempranillo to soften it all even more.

I decided that I was a pretty pathetic fella because I didn't carry a notebook to jot down my innermost feelings and—more importantly—how to make Café Maya. Paul Theroux, whose often unhappy ruminations on the South Pacific I am currently reading, did so. He also listened to the same Walkman tape of the Big Chill soundtrack for weeks on end, so maybe that's why he was the way he portrayed himself. And maybe the infection of his willy was not to blame on ill-washed sheets, after all. (see pages 226 to 227 of the Happy Isles of Oceania) Just thinking out particular reasons or willy-ness.

So, at any rate, devoid of a notebook I had to ask a waiter to jot down the final, super-secret ingredient of the Café Maya, apart from rimming the glass with brown sugar, using native Kahlua and some tequila, and brewing a mean coffee. It is Xtabentun, a mixture of anis and honey (miel de abejas), something that undoubtedly goes back to the Mayas. What a perfect ending of a soft day. (And just in case you're wondering, pronounce the "X" as if it were a "Sh." Try to pronounce it the way a German he-man would, like Schtabentun. And you wonder why they love me down here!)


PS: Recipe for Cafe Maya: 1 oz Xtabentun, 1/4 oz tequila, 1/2 oz Kahlua, plus of course coffee. Enjoy responsibly!

No comments:

Post a Comment