October 4th marks the day of the year set aside to celebrate all things tacos. That means it’s time to get out some tortillas, pick out your favorite ingredients and start celebrating. Of course our opinion is that you can easily head to the beach and let someone else do the celebratory cooking. Here are a few fun taco recipes and our recommendations of some of the best foodie resorts to get you in the spirit.
Traditional Tacos Make for Great Mexico Vacations
It’s probably not a shocker to learn that tacos originated from Mexico right around the time the Europeans made their arrival. And traditionally, it was a maize tortilla filled with meat or vegetables and then folded around the food. Throughout history people have put all kinds of ingredients in their tacos so there’s no standard fillings or ingredients.
A trip to Mexico to taste some of authentic cuisine and spend some R&R on the beach sounds like the perfect way to pay respects to this iconic dish. Excellence Playa Mujeres is a 4-star, adults only, all-inclusive beach haven that offers a generous amount of dining options, each with a specially crafted menu by an executive chef, making your celebration of Mexican cuisine worth while. Stop in at one of the nine restaurants or 11 bars and truly taste why this resort is a “foodie’s paradise.” Agave is the Mexican restaurant that offers high-end authentic cuisine, including tacos. Taste more of the Spanish flavors at Barcelona, the Mediterranean tapas bar. If you’re looking to sample any other genre, you can dine at Chez Isabelle, a French restaurant, pan-Asian Spice or Toscana Restaurant for Italian flavors.
When you’re not busy perusing over one of the many menus, spend time at one of seven outdoor pools or one of the four independent, hot-water Jacuzzis. Don’t forget that five of the pools have integrated whirlpools to help transport you to a complete state of rest and relaxation. And if you’re on the hunt for a delicious taco snack and signature cocktail, swim up to the pool bar and let the staff cater to your every need. For those seeking ultimate luxury, upgrade your stay to the Excellence Club for private check-in and private checkout and access to private pools and lounges. Unlock a world of luxury, amenities and fine cuisine at Excellence Playa Mujeres.
A Latin Spin on Tradition Never Hurt Anyone
San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino is the perfect choice to celebrate National Taco Day with a unique twist. Located on Condado Beach, it embraces the true Puerto Rican culture that's apparent in the Latin cuisine flavors you’ll taste here. Not only do you have the opportunity to dine in one of the four restaurants ran by an executive team of culinary artists, but it’s location in Old San Juan gives you access to the historic part of the city that celebrates all things Puerto Rican culture.
Chose from options like La Vista Latin Grill that highlights Latin flavors and classics, in addition to Ristorante Tuscany, where Executive chef Celso Pinto cultivates a fusion of rustic northern Italian cuisine with a mix of slow-cooking techniques of Puerto Rico.
After you've embraced your inner food snob, bring the kids to the 90-ft., spiral water slide and two level pool to entertain everyone. Ready for a cold one? Let the kids navigate to the children’s pool, while you swim-up to La Isla Grill and Pool Bar equipped with a staff that’s ready to shake a signature cocktail or prepare you a Latin inspired snack. After a long day of fun and food, have a nightcap in the Stellaris Casino or one of the happening hot spots in Old San Juan. San Juan Marriott and Stellaris Casino is exactly what we have in mind when we think “unconventional ways to celebrate National Taco Day.” Wouldn’t you agree?
Staycation or Vacation? Tacos Need Love Also
While it’s not mandatory that you celebrate this nationally celebrated day of tacos by planning your beach vacay, we’d strongly suggest it. Even though we’re not fans of a staycation, if this option is in your future doesn’t mean you’re should feel all left out. Here’s a fun margarita taco recipe that’s perfect for snacking on while you book your next beach vacation or decide to stay home and celebrate with friends and family.
Courtesy of Rachael Ray: Margarita Fish Soft Tacos
- 2 ounces tequila
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 4 (6 to 8-ounce) portions mahi mahi or halibut fillets
- 1 small to medium red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 to 10 tomatillos, peeled and coarsely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 generous tablespoon honey
- 1 small ripe avocado, halved, seeded and flesh removed
- Cooking spray
- 8 soft flour tortillas
- 1/2 small white or red cabbage, shredded
In a small bowl, combine the tequila with the lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, seafood seasoning, and chili powder. Coat the fish in the dressing.
Heat medium skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, japaleno and garlic. Saute for a couple of minutes or until the mixture begins to soften, then add the coarsely chopped tomatillos. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir in the cumin. Cook until the tomatillos soften, about 6 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Carefully add the sauce to a food processor with the lemon zest and juice, honey and avocado. Process until it becomes a thick salsa. Transfer to a bowl and reserve.
Heat an outdoor grill or skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add the fish and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Char the soft tacos over an open flame on a stove burner or grill to soften and char. Serve the fish with tortillas alongside and top the fish with cabbage and salsa as you eat.
So now that you're equipped with a plan to have the best food-inspired vacation ever and a recipe that's sure to fill your stomach at home, there's no excuse not to celebrate this beloved holiday. It's Thursday, October 4th and as it quickly approaches it's safe to say...who doesn't love tacos?