For those of you keeping tabs on my vegan-friendly mainstream vacations, you have probably already read and thoroughly enjoyed my previous blog post describing my dining experiences at Secrets Silversands in May 2014. For the rest of you, click here for Round 1.
Eating delicious vegan food has become one of my favorite pastimes while visiting the lovely Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The friendly and accommodating staff always ensures I have meals at both the buffet (breakfast and lunch) and a la carte restaurants (dinner), so I never worry about finding plant-powered options.
Breakfast: Breakfast in the World Café does not feature an incredible variety of foods suitable for vegans, but there are certainly items available for a filling and nutritious breakfast. I generally ate toast with peanut butter and jam (or both if I was gettin' crazy), cereal with soy milk (ask for it because it is not with the dairy milks) and large plates of fruit. Vegetarian beans, salsa, and guacamole over toast makes for a nice meal, or you can take advantage of the made-to-order smoothie bar which offers approximately 25 varying fruits and vegetables to be blended with juice or soy milk. The staff offered to prepare something special for me each morning, but I was quite content with my basic breakfasts.
Lunch: Lunch in the World Café is easier, with many more dishes readily available along the buffet line and various prep stations. Several of the grilled vegetable sides were prepared without butter (consult the staff to find out which ones are okay to eat) so on our first day I dished up a generous portion of rice (oil only I was told, vegetarian-friendly as well) partnered with just about each veggie side I could eat. On the second day, the chef offered to create something special just for me, so I decided to accept and enjoy whatever came through the kitchen doors. I was presented with an incredibly tasty bean and vegetable burrito accompanied by roasted corn and steamed broccoli and cauliflower. I jazzed it up with some pico de gallo, guacamole, and lettuce and proceeded to die over each bite. Even my omni husband was jealous of my lunch - he loved the single taste I was willing to share. I enjoyed this dish so much I requested the same meal for our final afternoon at the resort.
The salad bar is well-stocked, and even the creatively-challenged vegan can design a gigantic salad masterpiece for lunch. Go for the balsamic, and add a splash of olive oil if you are into that sort of thing. The pasta bar should also be safe, but make sure to specify that the chef does not add butter to your dish and double check to make sure the noodles are egg-free. A plain tomato sauce and several vegetables make a this a complete veggie entrée.
Dinner: Go get cleaned up and men, put on your closed-toe shoes, because it is time to feast at one of the imaginative and delicious restaurants of Secrets Silversands. With no reservations necessary and generally very short wait times (if any), dining at Secrets Resorts couldn't be easier. Options at Silversands include Portofino (Italian), Ratatouille (Mediterranean), Himitsu (Pan-Asian), El Patio (Mexican), Bordeaux (French), Oceana (seafood), and Seaside Grill (seafood and grilled favorites) so there is truly a cuisine for everyone. We only had three nights at Secrets Silversands (we relocated to Secrets the Vine for four nights afterwards), so we chose to dine at Ratatouille, Portofino, and El Patio. My husband is courteous in that he tries to stick to places that will more easily cater to my vegan needs, although I am confident that each restaurant, regardless of theme, would gladly accommodate.
~ Salad featuring various olives and vegetables, vinaigrette, and a truffle sorbet that my taste buds couldn't quite get on board with
~ Simple, yet extremely flavorful entrée of vegetables prepared in a tomato sauce (one of the best sauces I have ever tasted)
- Salad, in a deconstructed sort of presentation, with half an avocado covering a small heaping of bruchetta - my only complaint was that it was difficult to eat on such a narrow plate
- Stuffed mushrooms with assorted mushrooms and vegetables with baked bread crumbs on top, grilled endive, and a white beans and greens side
El Patio (was able to order directly from menu with just a couple of dairy-removals!)
- Salad with crispy vegetables that was almost too pretty to eat (almost)
- Plain steamed rice to accompany my entrée, served with my beloved pickled Yucatecan onions
- Vegetable mocajetes (omit cheese) served with tortillas to make little tacos
- Assorted sorbet flavors with fruit (I was stuffed, but the chef really wanted me to have dessert)
The Sugar Reef has snacks and burgers available during the day near the pool area, and while most of the items are not vegan-friendly, there are chips with salsa and guacamole, French fries, and carrots and celery.
CoCo Café in the main building has soy milk so you can enjoy coffee beverages.
Secrets Silversands continues to be one of our favorite adult-only, all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the quality and presentation of the food exceeds many of the other resorts we have visited. Knowing that I will be able to eat wonderful meals away from home makes the vacation even more enjoyable, and I thank the attentive staff for their help. A special thank you to: Chef Enrique, Chef Jesus, Pamela, Miriam, Elena, Enya, Edith, Renan, Mauricio, Juan, and Victor. Pamela especially looked out for me in the World Café, so if you are visiting the resort, be sure to say hello! She is so kind and helpful, and we really appreciated her service.
Don't be afraid of mainstream travel!