Jan 31, 2009

Tacos PM

Tacos PM is another one of about a gazillion taco places in Merida that serves mostly Mexico City street food; the almighty taco is king.

What makes this place stand out from the rest is that as soon as you sit down at one of their locations (the latest one the Critic tried was in Pensiones, near the Plaza de las Americas) is that plate of watery refried beans and warm (yes warm!) tostadas or corn chips to the uninitiated. The fact that they warm them says they care enough to make sure the chips aren't soggy when they get to you. Merida is a very humid place which makes anything crisp turn soft once the package has been opened and far fancier places like the horrendous and pricey Fogoncito chain can't get this into their thick skulls. There is nothing worse than biting down on a corn chip, expecting a crunch and getting instead a soft chew. Ugh.

And those refried beans spread on that plate are seasoned (or maybe it's because the Critic is always hungry when he sits down for a snack at PM) in such a way that you cannot stop eating them! And you can ask for another plate if you finish yours too quickly.

From the menu there is a huge platter that the Critic and Co tried last night; way too much food for 8 people (two were ordered). Everything but the kitchen sink is on this platter, all chopped and ready to be stuffed into either corn (handmade!!) or flour tortillas.

Guaranteed good food, they make an effort with the service, and reasonable prices.

Jan 26, 2009

Colonos' Yucatecan Food

The Critic has realized that there are pitifully few reviews these days; this is due in large part to the economic crisis affecting Mexico and the rest of the world. Absent are the reviews on Merida's fancier restaurants and in their place reviews on smaller, cheaper places. Perhaps this is appealing to a segment of the Critic's readership so he will not feel bad about it. If anyone would like a review of a particular restaurant and would like to donate funds in order to see that review come to pass, feel free to send an email and the Critic will happily send a PayPal request to you.

This review is about Colonos' restaurant, located on one side of the Parque Alemán, that large colonia established in the late 50's or early 60's (what does the Critic know of these things) and that provides a glimpse into what Merida could have been, had the folks charged with increasing the number of developments in Merida followed the fine example of the Colonia Aleman. Wide, treed streets with actual room for parking AND driving, a huge attractive community park and a vibrant market area make this one of Meridas' favorite traditionally middle class areas to live. Compare this area to the more recent and horrendously overpopulated Francisco de Montejo rabbit hutch development. As the chavos would say 'nada que ver'. By the way, the Colonia Alemán is not full of Germans, as it's name might imply at first glance. Instead, it's named after Miguel Alemán, a former president who ruled Mexico from 1946 to 1952.














President Miguel Aleman, just finishing lunch at Colonos in the colonia named after him
- source: Wikipedia

But this is about Colonos' restaurant. Colonos' is a Yucatecan restaurant/bar that has been there since the dinosaurs were wiped out by the comet crashing in Chicxulub. In fact, the Colonia Alemán was built around Colonos.

The specialty at Colonos is the Yucatecan food, served individually, ie. per taco at $10 pesos a taco, or órden (order) for such items as Longaniza or Queso Relleno the Critic's gastronomic Achilles Heel (he knows it will kill him, but insists on ordering it every time he can since it is SO good).

The Critic and his Better Half had a late lunch there just yesterday and is happy to report that the food is as great as ever. Among the items tried on this occasion:
  • tacos de cochinita
  • tacos de pavo en escabeche
  • tacos de relleno negro
  • pan de cazón
  • papadzules
  • longaniza de valladolid
Washed down with a Sol michelada, this expansionist hearty lunch for two was filling to the point of rupture and came to a whopping 330 pesos including a $50 peso tip. Do the math; it's about 20 dollars US at today's rates. You can eat less or more of course, but what an excellent way to get a good variety of authentic Yucatecan dishes for so little in a traditional Yucatecan restaurant. you won't see many tourists here at all!

And for the observant, it is true that the Critic was unable to order the Queso Relleno this time since there was simply no room!

NOTE: If you make it there earlier, you will get 'botana' (tiny plates with different Yucatecan snacks ranging from the simple - pickled cucumber slices - to the wonderfully elaborate - sik'il pak: a dip made of roasted tomatoes, ground pumpkin seeds, cilantro and minced onion) with every round of drinks or beer you order.