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I used to live in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico with my aunt and her family. I had not been back in 20 years. Sooooo… when out of the blue I was given a chance to visit, I grabbed it. Tabasco has a Gulf of Mexico coastline, several rivers run through it, it borders Guatamala, and it is the last state before you get to the Yucatan Peninsula. You know, where Cancun is located. Think green EVERYWHERE. Monkeys roam free in the tall trees. I was with my cousin in the jungle one day, and I heard a pee-in-your-pants scary roar. Some lady was by me and said, “Don’t worry. There aren’t any jaguars around here. Maybe two miles away, but not here.” How exactly that was supposed to comfort me?! Your guess is as good as mine. To celebrate my return to this amazing place, my aunt took me a restaurant appropriately named “El Edén.” I knew I should’ve packed my stretchy pants…. Facepalm!
I read somewhere that the real Garden of Eden is what is today Lebanon. They didn’t check Tabasco. El Edén is exactly what I would imagine our friends who wrote the Bible were trying to depict. Green and beautiful everywhere. Butterflies flying and birds chirping. A fountain in the center of the restaurant patio. Wherever a seed can grow, there’s a happy plant blooming.
This restaurant resembles an old cacao plantation. It’s a million degrees in Tabasco! I’m exaggerating, but just a teeny bit. To help with the heat, tall ceilings and ceiling fans are customary in all the buildings in Tabasco as are wooden tables and tile floors. This is the place you take your mom for her birthday or someone who had not been back to Southern Mexico in 20 years.
For me, though, heaven would also include really good food. El Edén is a buffet, but not like Vegas buffets where you bet with your friends how many plates you can eat. Here, they serve typical plates from the region. Everything is freshly made. The kitchen is open for you and everyone to see. The problem: what to eat!
Marqueta de Frijol. Black beans fried in lard. Soft and flavorful but with an earthy taste. I’ve died and gone to heaven… or Eden. 😉
Platanitos Fritos. Fried plantains. A savory sweet side dish from Southern Mexico. So good it’s bananas. Lol.
Bisteces a la Tabasqueña. Beef strips made in with traditional flavors from Tabasco – peppers, onions, with a tomato base. This has “last meal” potential. Yeah, it’s THAT good.
Before electricity and electric stoves, people had these inside their homes. El fogón, an open-flame grill. Everything from tortillas to corn are made here. Now this is old, old, OLD school.
Choco y Choca. The waiters are dressed in the traditional outfits of Tabasco. There are still many indigenous people who speak their native language. “Choco” meaning “man,” and “Choca” meaning “woman.”
To Visit El Edén: CLICK HERE
Stay tuned for more on my trip to Tabasco… .