Merida has a new restaurant that you might want to check out if you are in 'el Norte', that part of town where all the action is.
The Casual Restaurant Critic first heard of this place in Plan B, that information-packed, Thursdays-only supplement in the local Diario de Yucatan newspaper. There was a catchy ad, and lo and behold, a whole page dedicated to the restaurant, which has, apparently, two locations on the entire planet: the first one, located in Amsterdam (Holland aka Netherlands for those geography-challenged, Left Behind readers) and now Mérida.
Amsterdam and Mérida share little else (understatement of the year, perhaps?) but now they share this cute little restaurant idea where the signage is funny, the food is interesting and they even have those little oriental food take out boxes complete with chopsticks.
It works like this - you pick your base, which can be rice or noodles, the latter of the rice or egg variety, which come with a bean sprout-y mix of basic veggies. Then, you add ingredients according to the contents of your wallet, the size of your appetite or your delusional thinking that you are a great chef and will invent something new. There is everything from shrimp to peanuts to choose from, each with it's own price. Finally, you have a choice of about 7 salsas or sauces to bind it all together. Black bean garlic, Thai curry and coconut, that sort of thing. The cashier takes your money while the cooks whip up your concoction right there and then in one of two enormous woks being slaved over behind a protective sheet of glass.
The result? Before you can finish a cigarette outside, your little boxes are ready to go. The
food itself, the Critic found a little bland. Of the three combinations ordered, the Shanghai sauce was the only one with enough kick to make it tasty. The other two were rather bland, in the Critic's humble opinion.
What about price you ask? Well, since you add your choice of ingredients and the prices are all over the map, you could probably eat cheap. The Critics meal, three orders for three people, two with shrimp and shiitake mushrooms, ran $250.00. Pesos of course.
On a scale of 1-5, the Critic rates this one a 3 for now. Take it or leave it.