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Old 10-24-2002   #1 (permalink)
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Doņa Mary

This Playa institution is on 28th and 30th Avenues. They serve antojitos (see our Mexican food article) and fruit smoothies.

Mary is usually there to make sure her army of assistants pile enough chicken on top of your salbute or tostada.

Bathed in flourescent lighting and sporting an odd color scheme and even aluminum foil wallpaper in spots, you'll know you've left Fifth Avenue behind. If you are out for a stroll, check it out. After 7pm. Closed Mondays.
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Old 10-25-2002   #2 (permalink)
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This forum is :o looking good :o James. Keep 'em coming.

I like hearing about these "outta the way" places.
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Old 10-28-2002   #3 (permalink)
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Hey James...

I tried to post but got the message that only moderators could post here. What's up??
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Old 11-02-2002   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds great! keep the HITW (hole in the wall) places coming
I'll bet aluminium wallpaper saves on lighting needs (that's the lighting director in me).
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Old 11-02-2002   #5 (permalink)
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mindz-

Only moderators can start threads. Any registered member can post to an existing thread.

This allows us to control content a bit.
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Old 11-02-2002   #6 (permalink)
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Can we clarify..The best time to go is after 7pm? Or is that when they close? Hungry! Gotta go!!!
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Old 01-23-2004   #7 (permalink)
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to clarify...

Opens at 7pm. Best place for panuchos in Playa del Carmen and the habanero salsa is excellent!
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Old 04-12-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Let me start with a disclaimer - I'm not a huge fan of chicken and it would usually not be my choice from a menu that has anything else on it, so my opinion of Dona Mary may be somewhat more negative than is called for.

That said, a meal here was weak and it seemed like the primary reason for the crowds was that DM simply acts as a fast food joint - low prices, fast service, big portions, nearly everything is a combination of chicken (shredded so you don't need to waste time cutting, boiled so you don't need to worry about too much flavor), tostada as an edible vessel and texture provider, cheese, lettuce, tomato, piled up in one order or another...

Except for the caldo, which was the best dish, and a small but well made tamale, the food was fridge cold and tasted so dead even nature's flavor defibrillator - Habanero salsa - couldn't revive it.
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Old 04-12-2011   #9 (permalink)
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I only really ever get the caldo at Dona Mary--it's delicious. I even buy liters of it when I want to make risotto--the smoky flavor of the caldo makes the risotto rock! I do have to cut it with water, as it's quite salty.
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Old 04-12-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorPibil View Post
shredded so you don't need to waste time cutting, boiled so you don't need to worry about too much flavor).
All of the chicken is grilled then shredded. Not boiled.
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Old 04-12-2011   #11 (permalink)
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All of the chicken is grilled then shredded. Not boiled.
That's amazing. I can't imagine how it'd be so flavorless in that case.
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Old 04-15-2011   #12 (permalink)
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It has been a few years

I have not revisited Dona Mary's for several years. I went there because several of the Playa regulars gheld out that it was the real deal where the locals eat. So I went to give them a try.

I found them to be wildly overrated and the local crowd seemed to be enjoying the prices more than the food. The food was cheap, and it was mostly tasteless and downright boring. The service was not particularly friendly and the ambience felt dirty.

I never went back, and see no reason to do so after reading the above comments. Maybe James has encountered something that we have not, although I have to admit that I have never tried their caldo.
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Old 07-19-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Was on calle 1 sur the other day and at the corner of 25 ave I believe, we noticed a newly opened loncheria with the idential name...Dona Mary...can anyone confirm if its the same as the original? This was open in the middle of the day..wondering if they maybe opened a new branch.
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Old 12-04-2011   #14 (permalink)
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I The food was cheap, and it was mostly tasteless and downright boring. The service was not particularly friendly and the ambience felt dirty.
I haven't been back to Playa in 3 or 4 years, but the last time we were there, Mrs. H & I tried Dona Maria's and agreed with Dpreefer. I found the food to be pretty tasteless and boring. In deference to James maybe we'll try it again when we're back in Jan/Feb.
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Old 12-04-2011   #15 (permalink)
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I haven't been back to Playa in 3 or 4 years, but the last time we were there, Mrs. H & I tried Dona Maria's and agreed with Dpreefer. I found the food to be pretty tasteless and boring. In deference to James maybe we'll try it again when we're back in Jan/Feb.
Not worth it, I'd say. James wrote his comments in 2002...
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