El Fogón is one of those restaurants that looks pretty unassuming.
It has simple tables, an open grill area and it advertises itself as a taqueria (taco shop). And to add to the things that could keep you from steering in – this open grill restaurant is located in hot sunny Playa Del Carmen Mexico.
It’s not air conditioned and it is smoky. But if you decided to walk on by and forgo a sampling of their tacos, you’d be making a mistake.
El Fogón isn’t exactly a secret in “Playa”, particularly for the locals. And those out-of-towners who have veered slightly off the beaten track to discover this place and come back time after time.
The first thing you notice when wandering by is, beyond the amazing smell of grilling meat, the sight of the Al Pastor vertical rotisserie grill.
The gas grill – cousin to the Lebanese shawarma grill, has become a fixture in Mexican cuisine.
At El Fogon the skewer is layered with strips of marinated pork and topped with a pineapple that caramelizes and adds extra flavor to the meat as it spins and chars.
The resulting meat is joined by onions, cilantro and slices of grilled pineapple in a taco that melts in your mouth. And they won’t burn a hole in your pocket – at about $11 pesos or $0.80 US they are hard to beat.
Looking for more? El Fogon serves up huge platters of marinated grilled meats paired with grilled onions, potatoes, grilled peppers with cheese and guacamole.
They also usually come with a fantastic mildly season bean soup (frijoles charros) peppered with bits of salty chorizo sausage.
It was something I didn’t think I’d really want the first time I ordered a platter with a lot of food coming on a hot day – I was wrong.
If you are visiting with a crowd you can even have your meats and accompaniments delivered to your table with a mini-grill to cook yourself. And to answer the question that is on your mind right now: yes, they do have a bar.
So don’t be surprised if you find a line of people, waiting in the smoke and heat for a frill-free table, watching the pastor artist slicing and creating each masterpiece taco.
Or that after you do it once, that you’ll be tempted again, and again.
Saturday 25th of February 2017
We just got back from our second trip to Playa Del Carmen and El Fogon's was the first and last place we are. Love, love, love the place. I highly recommend it. There may be a short wait to get in but it will be worth your wait and make sure you try the El Pastor tacos...the best!!!!
Thursday 9th of March 2017
So glad you got off the beaten track - food is so much better in Playa when you do! We're headed back soon and I can't wait for my next Al Pastor taco!
Tuesday 14th of April 2015
OHHHHHHHHH I am sold! Yummm
Thursday 26th of March 2015
OMG. I have no words... I'm pretty much dying here in Italy for some real Mexican foods!
Wednesday 25th of March 2015
I am dying for some tacos after reading this post, and it's breakfast time! They look and sound so AMAZING! :)
Sunday 22nd of March 2015
I miss Playa's tacos! It's a great city. My favorite were the sirloin tacos at Don Sirloin. My other meal in the city was La Portena's choripan.. it's to die for!