Playa Chac-Mool, at 105 D Street, in St. Augustine Beach serves delicious, authentic Mexican food. This family-owned and operated restaurant opened in 2008 by two sisters, Violeta and Jessica, and their husbands, Francisco and Antonio. The sisters’ father, Javier, entertains guests with live music and singing.
The menu was created with family and love in mind, inspired by flavors from the Yucatan area, a peninsula in southeast Mexico. Favorite dishes include fajitas, Mestizo quesadilla, authentic Mexican tacos, and ceviche.
On a recent visit, we started with a pitcher of margaritas, along with chips and queso. We ordered the chicken fajitas, carnitas (Mexican-style pork tips), and Bistec a la Mexicana (grilled steak strips), and then finished with three desserts — flan, fried ice cream, and the sopapilla (fried tortilla triangles topped with cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla ice cream).
The name, Playa Chac-Mool, comes from the ChacMool, a pre-Columbian Mexican (Mesoamerican) statue that depicts a reclining figure with its head facing 90 degrees from the front, supporting itself on its elbows and supporting a bowl or a disk upon its stomach. These figures possibly symbolized slain warriors carrying offerings to the gods; the bowl upon the chest was used to hold sacrificial offerings. A ChacMool statue is on the front lawn in front of the restaurant, and smaller ChacMool figures are used as part of the decor.
Other decor is inspired by the Fiestas De Pueblo (town festivals) in the Haciendas (estates) in Merida, Yucatan, where the owners family is from — adding a festive feeling year-around.
View the full menu at playachacmoolmex.com. Hours are 12 to 8 p.m. Tuesday; 12 to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and closed Sunday and Monday. Indoor and outdoor patio seating is available. Call 904-471-1131.