Sunday, December 16, 2012

Best Choices in Centro updated November 2013

As I have many guests coming and the blogs have become congested with restaurants that have bitten the dust I will just list here some places you might enjoy.  I eat almost exclusively at home.  Last year my chickens convinced me to stop eating chickens and this year my yoga convinced me to stop eating meat and I suspect if I go anywhere near the sea or an aquarium I'll stop eating fish as well.

You'll find the addresses for the places I mention in my blog or from Mr. Google.

I go to Marlin Azul very often and Cangrejito sometimes.  Both are good and inexpensive options for lunch in centro.  I go to Miyabi when I want fish but a tourist doesn't crave Japanese in Mexico and you should go to Mulle Ocho or La Pigua for lunch or dinner and ignore the decor and atmosphere of both. El Pez Gordo has several locations but the one in centro closed this fall.  They had decent baja style tacos.

For something special (and I mean that literally and cynically) try Hacienda Xcanatun's Casa de Piedra or Rosas y Xocolate or the newly reopened Nectar.  I hear good things this year about all of these places.  When I want a special meal I get on a plane to New York or Paris.  I don't do special in Merida but you might not have a choice. If you're out of your mind you can go to this years Newest and Most Special place Ku'uk which is spectacular molecular smoking spinning and bell ringing with never ending tasting menu's.... UPDATE: Jan. 9, 2013 had dinner last night at Rosas y Xocolate and it was very good...still I'd order with caution...

La Rueda is the local steak house where the locals have long lunches in front of televisions and an astroturf playground but don't let that scare you.  LaRecova has survived the popular crowd and has settled down into a pleasant place to dine I hear.  The ""trendies" sent me running 3 years ago. Trotters is where everyone goes (except me). None of those are in centro so in centro if you want a steak go to Pancho's which is owned by Trotters.  Update September 2013 Trotters has opened a new location of El Tratto in Santa Lucia park.

Casa San Angel has a good breakfast and lunch menu and is a pleasant place to hang out for coffee and dessert.  The newest hotel is Mansion Merida on the Park and I gave this place a walkthrough but could not give it a sit down and neither should you.  Rosas y Xocolate is a place you might want to try the bar on the roof terrace or the informal dining room in the courtyard before plunging into the Dining Room Xperience. Casa Balam is very very old school but safe for grandma and private bankers.

Chaya Maya is a place you're going to go but I can't...The new La Chaya is even worse albeit prettier. La Reina de Itzlana is a market stall with good food after 8pm in Santiago.  La Tradicion has a new central location on calle 60 and also safe for granny as is the Los Alemendros in the Fiesta American Hotel or Mejorada park.  I'd just go to the market and eat if I were you and if that scares you then drive out to Hacienda Teya or go to Mani and to El Principe de Tutul Xui which is what I would do.

All of the Mexican cooks have moved to America or Europe except Ana Sabrina who makes tacos in Santa Lucia park on Sunday til 2pm.  La Reforma has good Mole and Chile Rellenos and I suppose Frida's does too. Those are the places to have Chiles en Nogades this season.  Pancho's is the most TexMex option if you like that cruise ship atmosphere with load music and costumed waiters.  My first choice is Apoala a Oaxacan restaurant that just opened this fall in Santa Lucia park.

There are some decent Italian places opened by real live Italians in Centro you're only options are Rafaellos Pizza and Oliva which just opened in November 2013.

I would recommend that you really try the food of the local women who cook in their homes mostly and offer a table or three and take out.  These are called cocina economica and you can take your Tupperwear there at lunch time and walk away with the special of the day.  I wouldn't be afraid to eat in the market stalls if you see others doing it.  I've been sick once from food in 12years.  The odds are in your favor.

** my gold plated rule is if you have a doubt then order appetizers to start and then if they are good order something else.  If it's bad get the check and go somewhere else.  Life is too short to eat shitty food.

Happy New Baktun and Happy New Year

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2012 Doom & Gloom

The worst new restaurant in Centro award of 2012 goes to 2012. Congratulations. I and four friends recently broke out of our mold and tried a new place that was recommended by our yoga teacher. A new vegetarian restaurant in centro in a nice clean almost pretty setting. Despite the fact that there were 5 waiters for our table and only one other couple in the restaurant at the lunch hour our meal was a total disaster from beginning to end. There was not one tasty dish. As we had a chance to glance at the trash as it was carried through the dining room we understood why. All of the sauces came out of a box or can and even the "fresh" chaya juice was made with boxed pineapple juice. After a year of raising chickens and rabbits I'm on the edge of becoming a vegetarian but this experience does not advance the cause!

2012 Espacios Mayas y Algo Mas
Calle 62 x 55 & 57
Centro Historico

I've seen Wurst

I noticed a couple of weeks a go that a beer hall has opened across the street from Marlin Azul on Calle 62 x 57 & 59 called La Bierhaus. This is the second location opened by Jurgen in Merida but the other is el norte the area of town one only need visit to go to the cinema or for Sushi at Miyabi. I'm going to go to happy hour from 5-9 and see just how happy they can make me one day this week (or next).


My young friend Dagmar told me that the new owners of Mayan Pub are French and they have upgraded the menu and serve decent food. I doubt I'll ever experience that but it's good to know. Update: I went to La Bierhaus stand at the Polo Club and had a delicious bratwurst and beer. With that introduction I ventured into La Bierhaus after church hopping on Good Friday. I was with my friends from Paris one of whom was Austrian. We all enjoyed it and the old house is really beautiful. I'm not rushing back but I'll go again. The list of beers is pretty impressive for the Yucatan.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Marlin Azul
El Cangrejito - tacos

Hotel Zone
La Pigua
Muelle Ocho

Pez Gordo- tacos
Silver Fish

There once was an "American" restaurant in centro called Claps and the owners didn't understand why there were never any North Americans eating there...I've never been to the restaurant called Silverfish....but I've heard it's good.

It's been over a year since I've been to La Pigua or Muelle Ocho.  I get my fish fix at Marlin Azul and Miyabi every week.  I've said enough about these places elsewhere on my blogs.  You can try anywhere out on the's all the same rancid oil as far as I can tell.

Mediterranean Diet in Centro

If you care about pizza then you should head over to Rafaello's off the corner of 60 x 51 sometimes surly service which you can just overlook because the pizza is real southern Italian made in a wood burning oven by a real southern Italian...they deliver too if you just can take abusive service.

If you care less about pizza then you should try the new Oliva on the corner of 56 x 49.  Everyone raving about the home made pasta from a Roman chef.  Informal small dining room and take out dishes for groups of 4 or 6 are a great option for eating at home.

If you need pizza and pasta you can try the newest location of La Tratto on the corner of calle 55 x 60.  Here the service is friendly and you can dine under the stars and giant trees in Santa Lucia park. Go on Thursday if you want to see the Serenata Yucateca.  It's basically south beach Miami atmosphere with american style food for the richie rich locals.  Happy Hour at the bar is the place to get your feet wet.

If your thinking of buying or renting a house then you should try Rescoldos a "Mediterranean Bistro"
on Calle 62 x 41 & 43.  The owners are Greek/Canadian and it's a popular hangout for the expat community.  The food is heavier here than with the Italians at Rafaello or Oliva but more home made than the factory line food served at La Tratto.

Some people have enjoyed their pasta at Trattoria La Pasta but I've not had the pleasure.  It's on Paseo Montejo x 39 & 41.  I just never eat Pasta in restaurants unless I'm given no choice...

Now if you only care about eating Italian food and you want to do the Yucatecan tour of Italian restaurants owned by Italian I will give you the list of the most popular places where you have the best chances of authentic cuisine...

Osteria Picolli is the newest and maybe the best place to start on the Prolongacion Montejo.
Villa Italia is well established and has it's loyal followers on the weekends it may be hard to book.
Piola is far out near City Center
Vite Da Bruno in the nearby suburb of colonia Mexico