Occasionally, unavoidably I find myself dinning out after dark. But I've whined and moaned for so long now to friends that invitations from that quarter have dwindled. Normally I cook 3 times a week for the 4 dogs ( a Xoloitzcuintli and 3 fox terriers). I make a boeuf a la mode or short ribs paprika in the crockpot. I alternate the beef with pork and make a pibil or a chicken & rice dish. So I dip into the crockpot or invite friends over for some dogfood which causes much confusion in my canine household. When guest come to town and we are compelled to put on long trousers and go to a restaurant we only have a few choices. XCANATUN'S CASA PIEDRA is the safest choice for guests. I've been there once a month for the past year. I still prefer the barking dogs on the terrace to the piano concerts in the dining room. I was going to a new Argentine "style" restaurant on Montejo called LA RECOVA every couple of weeks but I've given up on the place as of this week. I've order the most expensive steak on the menu, a moderate one and then I just stuck the hamburger until this week of all horrors they decided to add a relish, a cheese like substance and a heap of garlic powder to my burger. For me the hamburger is sacred. When I fell of the vegetarian wagon back in 1981 it was for a hamburger. Still If I were forced to chose between the ever popular TROTTERS (no relation Charlie Trotter & not visited by me this past year) and La Recova I'd chose the latter and have a salad and lots of beer. I might even order a steak and send it back. But sadly a trip to Costco for a bag of mixed greens and a ribeye & shrimp to throw on the grill will produce a meal far superior to anything you are likely to experience in the most popular and expensive eateries frequented by the local gentry, expats who haven't lost their savings and tourist who venture out in search of a normal meal. Last year I was a regular at NECTAR where the owner chef is a talented and gracious guy. But sadly 50% of the food that comes to the table is just downright weird. I'm tired of sending food back or playing Russian roulette with my stomach. I'm also tired of over paying for a bottle of wine and so I've only been there once or twice in the past year. I've no plans to return. My last meal there cost me $75 and that was more than any of the meals I had in NYC in October and not half as good. Oh dear what does that leave. I have close friends who use Via Italia as a canteen. They love it and I don't hate it so I do eat there. I go to CAMPAY a couple of times a month for dinner and once a week for lunch. LA PIGUA is renovated and now open on weekends for dinner but I cannot imagine myself there after dark. I go there every 10 days or so and eat ceviche, oysters or octopus. I never eat the fish only because I eat fish filets every week at MARLIN AZUL.
Now for you fortunate few who will not be having dinner with me in Merida there are still some decent options. You can still have a perfectly decent meal at Meson del Segoviano, Casa de Frida, Villa Maria or Pane y Vino downtown and pretty much any where else you're screwed. Or if you don't care about booze with your food you can eat at Rafello's Pizza or La Reina de Itzalana both of which I frequent.
For the rest of you I can recommend the dog food. Just don't come on the night I feed them sardines or chicken livers it always puts them in a bad news. I'd offer to share the special diet lamb and rice croquets from the vet's but I cannot afford to share them with you humans