I had been dying to go there for years - since it opened, really - and finally made it down a few months ago for a cooking workshop hosted by the little restaurant and Casa de Las Olas, an eco - friendly hotel on the beach in Tulum. It all sounded so wonderful on paper, but I dunno. Tulum felt like a tropical East Village. Like barely a Mexican in sight. Don't get me wrong, what a pretty place. Stunning, even. But, just didn't feel like Mexico.
Hartwood was indeed AMAZING. One of the best meals of my life (which I will get into in the next Toothie update)...but it was a literal shitstorm. Like full on maniacs with their cameras taking pix of everyting and everyone. For dinner, the lines were astounding (thank god we were part of the cooking class and got first dibs on a primo seat)...but jeez, what a pony show! Guess you could include me in that mix with the cam.
The poor Chef Eric - man, I'm sure he and his gal just wanted to head to Mexico and open a cute little seaside restaurant. Live simple. Cook well. No way did he know it would turn into all this packed-to-the-gills madness every day. I know because I asked him. They were stunned. But, the food is so so so worth it. He cooks by fire and only fire. It's like the blistered taste of a lakeside campfire every single bite that goes in the mouth.
The vibe is great - just way too many people. The secret is out. Long out. Good luck getting in...but man, if you can - it's worth it. More on Tulum next time - which includes a sudden bolt, a trip to Isla Mujeres, a delish meal at a way more local spot, an explore and dismiss of an RV park that was once on the list and finally - why I will probably never be back that way!