Here is a glossary of helpful Spanish words you may find on a menu:
Agua fresca – flavoured, sweet waters. The most popular are Jamaica (hibiscus, my favourite), Tamarindo (sweet tamarind) and Horchata (made from rice and cinnamon – tastes like a milkshake!).
Comida del Dia – A set meal of the day, usually with several choices for the main course and accompanied by soup and an agua fresca.
Carne – Meat.
Frijoles – Beans. In Playa del Carmen they are usually dark and blended into a smooth puree.
Sopa/Caldo – Soup. Mexican soups are delicious.
Torta – Sandwich
Limon – Lime
Pollo – Chicken
Pechuga de Pollo – Chicken breast
Cerdo – Pork
Chuleta de Cerdo – Pork cutlet
Res – Beef
Bistek – A basic cut of steak
Pescado – Fish
Camaron – Shrimp/prawn
Aguacate – Avocado
Pozole – A traditional Mexican soup, in a red (rojo), green (verde) or white (blanco) broth, filled with meat and hominy (juicy corn kernels).
Mole – A uniquely Mexican sauce made from ground chilis and chocolate with red (rojo), black (negra) and green (verde) varieties.
Alambre – Grilled meat (usually beef) topped with green peppers, bacon, onion and cheese, served with tortillas.
Al pastor – Marinated pork cooked on a rotisserie and served on tacos (with a slice of pineapple, fresh onion and cilantro) or tortas.
Ceviche – A seafood salad cooked in lime juice
Carne Asado – Grilled meat, usually Chicken, beef or pork
Arroz – Rice
Ensalada – Salad
Salsa – Sauces – verde (green), rojo (red), pico de gallo (a chunky tomato, onion and cilantro salsa)
Picante – Spicy
Achiote – A red coloured marinade for meat used throughout the Yucatan.
Habanero – A HOT, round chili
Cebolla – Onion
Cebollitas – Small, grilled onions
Tortilla de harina/ maiz – Flour/corn tortilla