Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Autentica Comida Espanola

I'm renovating a house in the neighborhood of Mejorada for a bitchy NY artist and so find myself starving most everyday. Normally I have lunch at Cafe Club (calle 55 x 60 y 58). There I only ever order veggie soup and french fries with a picher of watermelon or papaya juice. Or sometimes I go for lebaneese food at Alemeda (calle 58 x 55 y 57). I used to go to the Templo (calle 59 x 52 y 50) but when I tried to go with my carpenter and his wife last week there was a sign on the door that said open 6pm til 2am. No great loss to lunch as it always took a millinium to get your food or even a drink at lunch time even if you were the only table there. As a result we decided to walk around the corner and go to Los Alemendras, perhaps the most famous restaurant in town (God only knows why). But as we rounded the corner I said let's try this place I went to 5 years ago that was not bad. But it was closed. after we passed the cook walked out and we asked if they were closed. Contrary to appearances they were open and we went in. Oh Joy divine.

It was the best meal I have had in Merida in years or maybe ever. I remember going through Spain a decade ago looking for a salad or a green bean and by the time I got down to Granada I thought I had scurvy. The food was so heavy and rich and hammish I thought I would explode. The first dish at Meson del Segoviano (calle 50-a no 433 x 59 y 57) gave me flashbacks. It was a roasted rib. The meat melted off the bone. I gulped down my Jamaica and ordered a beer. Soon we had a table full of Paella and an order of the freshest crispiest fried calamari I've ever had. (yours will no doubt be served half frozen and soggy). I was really in shock. The food is so mediocre in Merida for the most part that I am pretty much unshockable. But the best thing we had was a marinated octopus (end of the season now) with savory potato salad and red chile. The Segovain owner came out to see how we were and we were on the floor and the ceiling. We had exploded with the shock and awe of a perfect meal. So we had dessert. I don't remember what the others had a flan perhaps and a fried creamy thing. I was too deeply immersed in my Catalan custard. It was a rustic creme caramel that brought me back into my own body long enough to have a good strong expresso and pay the check. I was so happy I picked up the check even though I had balked at the prices. about double what you expect to pay for lunch in town.

On wednesday next the Working Gringos are coming over for a drink to see the new house and we are going to Meson del Segoviano. It was with them that I had my first meal there 5 years ago. Hopefully it will not be my last. And yes I am prepared to be disappointed. In fact I'll be shocked if it's any good at all.

UPDATE: Nov. 7, 2007

The Working Gringos' loved it too and so we went again last night for the 3rd time in 2 weeks. Each time we have been the only table in the restaurant. Hopefully it will survive to live through the upcoming season and prosper.

Meson del Segoviano
calle 50-a no 443 entre 59 y 57
Plaza de Mejorada / Centro
tel 999 924 0055


New address is not in centro it is in Colonias San Ramon Norte near Ki Xkolatil boutique.

calle 32 no. 219 Plaza 32 upstairs
col San Ramon Norte
glorieta del Pocito
Merida Yucatan 97117
tel 924 0055 cel 999 163 3196

Food still good. Atmosphere more hip and younger crowd. Lack's charm but the food is still very good.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Recent Experiences

Often, but not often enough, a new restaurant opens in Merida and closes with in 6 months. Some locations seem to absolutely jinxed. One such location is the old Jacques Dessange Salon where we used to have 2 or 3 mm trimmed from our coif about every 3 months. Now it's a 'confusion cuisine' dining room that opened with a bang in the Society pages of the local paper in September 2007. I print this date because I promise you it will not be there in 6 months time.

I went there for lunch with this reviewer's partner.

We were the only ones there for lunch that day. We ordered a platter of empanadas which he had tried on a previous visit. They were teeny, tiny and tastey. Then he had a caesar salad. I was going to order that damn it. Instead I had something called the nasi gehring. It was inedible. I took one bite and it was so salty I thought I'd just send it back immediately. But I did not want to embarrass my dining partner. I took a tiny bite and put my fork and knife down on my plate where they remained for 10 minutes. The waiter ignored me so we chatted about the blandess of the salad and whether or not we should keep our parking space and walk over to Burger King. Finally I hailed the waiter and asked for the check, sending back the offending dish. The service was fine. The place is nice enough. But the dish which sounded like a Thai Paella on the menu was nothing more than a dish or rice that had been cooked in soy sauce til it was reduced to pure salt with a few tiny shrimp tossed in way to soon to be considered edible on their own right.

So dear Cecil, I give you 6 months to survive and I won't be attending your funeral.