Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last Night and Last Week on Paseo Montejo

We went to eat at one of my least favorite places in town, La Tratto. It started like this. Host: "Where would you like to sit" Me: "as far from the speakers as possible". That turned out to be no where so we sat at the extreme edge of the sidewalk where we'd be able to thrust ourselves into the oncoming traffic on Paseo Montejo if need be. It was 2x1 Carne night (Mondays) and that is what got us there in the first place. I don't know why you'd eat at this place if it wasn't 1/2 price. Beware of Wednesday's when it's 2x1 over cooked, over sauced, over priced pasta night served up with more insipid loud music. Any way the Cowboy Steak (ribeye) was excellent. Was served on a bed of overcooked veggies and the fries came for dessert. Steak Dinner for 4 with beer no appetiser no dessert was 1000 pesos. and that's half price.

At least it was edible. Last Week we were stuck on the other side of town because there was a parade from Paseo Montejo to the Zocalo for the anniversary of the revolution. We ended up driving to the Prolongation of Montejo and eating at La Parillia. It turned out to be just as vile as I remembered from 5 years ago. The ribeye here was indeed so vile that we brought it home intact for the dogs....and they loved it. Luckily it was not my ribeye that night. I had the posole which was actually good. Here we also sat on the sidewalk because of the noise inside.

So at 3am I was up with ... gas ... and found this blog written by Zora O'Neill. She writes for the Rough Guides. I usually rough it when I go to Tulum because I usually go with at least a couple of dogs. (for the record they love the steaks at the Argentine in Tulum). Any way she seems to get off the beaten path and her food blog is great..It must be it's 6 am and I'm still reading it....or is it the gas that's keeping me awake?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Skip Dessert

Where ever you're having lunch skip dessert and head over to cafe at the new Hotel San Angel. The owner is a former Olympic athlete who fell in love with Mexico back when they hosted the Olymics in 1968. Thank the gods she fell out of love with Mexico City and came to Merida a couple of years ago. She is the most gifted pastry chef in town and you can really loose yourself gazing into the vitirine of cakes and pies. Loose all sense of self control and order a plate of assorted cookies too. Go for breakfast and faint on the sofa in the corner from sugar shock. There is a book shop in the cafe and the best craft store in town. A Fonart. Not open on Sunday is about the worst thing I can say about this dreamy spot. She threatens to serve meals soon. So far there is only a sandwich menu. Home made breads to go and a few gourmet items for take out. San Angel is on calle 47 at Blvd. Montejo

Near Santa Lucia park where you can have a nice lunch at the Casa Santa Lucia and the lovely looking desserts suck you can hop over to the new chocolate shop ki-xocolatl. In the Mayan and the Nahuatl languages, the word Ki-xocolatl means: delectable chocolate. Indeed. This is the newest venture by the Belgian owners of L'Almandine chocolates. They don't have the assorted chocolates that they sell in their other two locations, fools, but they have several exotic bars of chocolate and chocolate milk. We went there with a couple of strollers full of 2 and 4 year olds and no one left unhappy. Calle 55 no 513 between 60 x 62

L'Almandine is owned by a young Belgian couple Mathieu and Stephanie Brees. We quickly befriended them and have them over for dinner all the time in hopes they will bring a big box of chocolate. Sometimes we order a special dessert from them and sometimes they make ice cream and that is when I regret that I ever left the Rue de Seine apartment in Paris. More about my Berthilon withdrawals later. They use the best organic chocolate from Tabasco and they have 5 generations of master chocolatiers to back them up. The play a mean game of petanque and I'm thinking of putting a petanque court in my new house just to lure them in. They are not easy to find as they are located in a neighborhood you'll never go to called Pensiones. They are behind the La Ceiba Clinic off Circuito Colonias. Calle 5-D #313 between 38 and 38-A Tel: 920-58-69.
They have another locataion which is in the North. Calle 49 no 215 colonias San Antonio Cucul. Alas there is no L'Almandine in Centro.

A Day or Two in the Country

So, Answering an ad in the paper a couple of weeks ago we went out to Oxkutzcab and saw a 500 acre property down a dirt road that was more mud than dirt. The guy showing us the property had bought the best bit but we bonded after we were stuck in the mud. So he agreed to show us more property. Starving at the end of the day we had lunch in the new (opened June 3 2007) location of El Principe Tutul Xui. The dining room is a giant palapa on the second floor and the food is just as good as Mani but he old locataion is much more charming. Still if your starving in Oxkutzcab....

Then a week later we went on another wild goose chase to see an abandoned hacienda. 3 miles down a worse road that was impassable by car because of the rain and on foot because of the brush. (Where is George Bush and his buzz saw when you need him?) So we dropped in at the Hacienda Santo Domingo de Yunku to see if we could catch the gardeners napping. So about 5pm we got around to having lunch at the nearby Hacienda Ochil. Now they offer a huge buffet of yucatecan cuisine or an a la carte menu. As we were late and they were taking down the buffet they offered to bring us a sample from the kitchen of everything on the buffet. We accepted. It was really great. If I could remember the name of the little deep fried masa balls filled with shreaded pork and achiote I would recomend them highly. alas I cannot.

So Ochil is a great place to have lunch after visiting the museum at Hacienda Yaxcopoil or on your way to Uxmal. And El Principe Tutul Xui is still the best place for Puc Chuc in the world. And I found an orchard 4 km. from Oxkutzcab where I want to build my art studio, weekend retreat and fox terrier spa.