Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pardon my French

The trade between France and Merida brought us Marseille Tiles for the roofs and floors in the 19th century.  Now it's more recently brought us the cafe culture that allows us to sit with a coffee for hours or enjoy a light lunch or snack.

Cafe Creme I somehow managed to snub for the past 6 or 8 months or however long they have been off the corner of Calle 41 and 60.  I've had enough bad experiences with french food and pastry in the Yucatan to last me several reincarnations. But as my french god daughter is doing her gap year in the Yucatan and her mere was visiting me this week we dropped by for a cafe (sans creme).  The place was packed at 11 in the morning and we chose a table outside after someone more stealth than us slid into the table we wanted inside.   I had a fluffy yummy quiche with cheese and spinach served on a big plate with a little salad.The French mom had carrot cake and the enfant had a chocolate chip cookie...not too french for a french cafe but the owners and servers were nice and the coffee was very good.  And you can shop at Bodega 41 or El Estudio for gifts and crap for the home.

Bistro Cultural on the corner of 66 and 43 has 3 or 4 daily specials and always one or two are vegetarian though the French chefs specialties are pates and sausages.  You can meet the chef on saturdays at the slow food market and most of the offerings are organic or locally grown.   I was a weekly client before summer vacation.  This winter I've been a couple of times and it's much more popular than before.  In fact it fills up and by 3 there may not be much of a choice in the menu. This is a place that keeps getting better.   It's a bit off the beaten path.

There is a new French Bakery called Escargo on calle 58 between 57 and 59 in the pretty colonial red building...Bea from Coqui Coqui buys her pastries and she is a bread and cake fiend.  I've had a really nice pain au raisin from there that sent me briefly back to the Rue de Seine and for that I am eternally grateful.


Anonymous said...

Well thank god you got over your snobbishness to try this place, though the rest of us who had known it for longer would have perhaps preferred to keep it less crowded, ha ha

AnotherSuggestion said...

Great blog - glad I ran across it. I notice that you don't have much to say about how hard it may be to get a table, and if the service is attentive. I will be arriving in Merida (Centro) on Thursday (for the first time ever) at around 7PM with a few adults and two kids. All are adventurous eaters. All would groan and throw loose objects at anyone who suggested they try "Italian" food in Merida. Given the liklihood of a hypoglycemic crash working its way through the group at that time, should we try Apoala? Do you think we would be better off trying somewhere else? Are there food carts in Santa Lucia Park? Any advice would be appreciated. And thanks again for the excellent blog.

John Powell + Josh Ramos said...

I can assure you that I have not gotten over my snobbishness dear Anonymous commenter. I'm sorry I did not see your comment earlier AnotherSuggestion
I don't have much to say about service in Merida. Part of my snobbishness in regards to food I earned in my 5 years of servitude as a waiter during my years at university. If the food is good the service won't matter and if the food is bad the service can't make up for it. La Tratto has a very good wait staff and very bad food for example.