Loco Gringo lives in the Riviera Maya and loves to share information with anyone who is willing to listen! One of the most challenging parts to your vacation planning is balancing your nights out and where you eat! When visiting a new place you want to taste some authentic flavors and make a great restaurant choice. Now that we think about it, no matter where you are, the goal of eating out is the same no matter where you are. Great eating experiences that give you a break out of the kitchen needs to be wonderful no matter where you are. It is just harder to accomplish when you are in a city or location that you do not know very well. Soooooo we are adding restaurant reviews to our ‘inside’ information so that you can maximize your vacation time and minimize your planning time.
Dona Mary Loncheria is a typical back street Mexican restaurant that is a favorite for locals and a fun experience for visitors. We are not sure how long Dona Mary has been serving up their Mexican food but longer than we have been going which is about 15 years. We need to make this restaurant review very transparent, this is a home grown, off the beaten path nothing fancy kinda place. Their food is great, it is not low calorie and it is all about chicken…chicken and more chicken. Each menu item has chicken..chicken soup, chicken salbutes, chicken tamales, chicken tortas, chicken…and more chicken. The tables are plastic, the meal is fast, alcohol is not served. Everyting is home made and everything is made that day! There is more Mexican food made at Dona Marie’s than I think any other restaurant on the coast. This is the real enchillada (no pun intented) and it is an experience. The entire place is run by women and by a family…they work hard and they make their food with love. Do we love it? Hell Ya! Will you love it? If you are into off the beaten path, authentic, and experiences, this would be the place for you. If you want a meal for two under 10 USD this then is the place for you!
People love the family of women that run the place. Grandmothers do the dishes, the middle aged family members do the cooking, the younger women serve the tables and then there is the jefa (spanish for boss) who runs a tight ship. The food is fresh, the menu is larger then you would think and if you are vegetarian, the salbutes and empanadas can be done without the chicken. (sin pollo) Other itmes are with chicken and they are delicious. The restaurant is always a flurry of bus-i-ness and local families and expats share large tables. Everyone is welcome and there is a menu in English if you need it. Located in Playa del Carmen, Dona Mary is a nice break from 5th Ave and is more relaxed than most restaurants. They are fun, they are true and they are passionate about what they do! We love the food and it is always a nice treat for us when we have the urge for something simple.
Where: 28th street and 30th Ave in Playa del Carmen
Menu: Mexican food with a focus on chicken dishes
Hours: 7pm to midnight Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays
Price: Truly inexpensive if not cheap. Two can dine and be more than full on $10 USD
Specialty: Salbutes and Chicken Soup. Slabutes are open tacos with chicken, lettuce, marinated onions, avocado, little cream and salsa. These are Mayan tacos not your regular Mexican tacos.
Check out our restaurant reviews each Monday and start planning your next Riviera Maya vacation! Make your next vacation more than just a week off!