Saturday, August 7, 2010

Eating With A Cozumel, Mexico!

So I want to talk about this restaurant in Cozumel, Mexico called Carlos and Charlie's. I've been there 4 times... twice in college on a cruise my Junior and Senior years, once two years after college with my friend Carly and once in 2008 with my husband.

When I brought my husband, it didn't seem as good. The place had changed. Cozumel was built up into a nice place. There were strip malls and nice mall walkway areas and sidewalks. Everything was streamlined.

But the first time I was there in 2001, let me tell you, it was nothing like it was today. Stepping off the boat you were just in dirt everywhere. This place was raw! There were no sidewalks, or they were half constructed. There were no taxi stands - just guys holding signs with lists of places tourists wanted to go and the prices of fares. The stores were all white with a splash of dirt. (Today, all the nice buildings are very colorful, clean and pretty).I was with my friends Erin and Michelle and people on our ship told us the one place we HAD to go was Carlos and Charlie's. So, we went.

This place was definitely more of the hole in the wall type then than it was now. Walking up to it you had to cross barriers that were lining the streets (probably the construction to make it into what it is today). It was on the second floor of a building that had no windows - it was just open. You had to walk through a narrow doorway and up a narrow staircase to get there - and your ID was checked. The walls were dark wood (they are now brightly painted) and t-shirts lined the walls and ceilings. It was so cool...all of the college kids on spring break would leave t-shirts so you saw the colleges they came from, the fraternities or sororities they were in. The place was loud and obnoxious with whistles being blown everywhere and margaritas abound. It was awesome. And the food was definitely amazing.

Today, it's still "open air" but it is on the first floor of the building. No ID required unless you order a drink - this place has gone family friendly. There are no more t-shirts lining the walls, the bathrooms are immaculate and there are crayons on the tables to color on the paper while you wait. Despite my husband not being overly impressed of my fond college memory, the food is still really good and you can't beat the enormous margaritas in bright colors.

I guess it's good for Cozumel that they evolved into a more family friendly destination but it makes me sad about the loss of the true Carlos and Charlie's. I have some fantastic memories of my times there with my friends. None the less, if you find yourself there with or without a family, go and enjoy the food and the margaritas. The views out onto the ocean with the cruise ships sitting there are definitely peaceful and if nothing else, you'll get some good food before you hit up all those tourist shops.


  1. So how many Carlos and Charlie's glasses do you have now? :P

  2. I don't have any, my dear. I believe you have the only ones acquired...