Jan 15, 2010

Real, Delicious, Scones in Merida - El Postrecito

The Casual Restaurant Critic is not a huge fan of scones. Usually, they are these dough-y mounds of white flour biscuit that require several glasses of liquid to swallow; however, the Critic had some scones made by Alejandra at the El Postrecito café, just off Montejo on Calle 21 (the one that goes to Plaza Fiesta).

These are light and fluffy inside, full of buttery flavor and the outside has a sprinkling of sugar which makes them lightly crunchy. The Critic doesn't even know if they are on the menu but if they are, you should try them in their regular (with what seems like a touch of lemon or lime) or chocolate chip versions. If they are not, order a dozen for your next breakfast meeting or social event.

Eat them hot and you will not be able to stop.

Jan 11, 2010

Ca d'Oro - Italian in Merida, Yucatan

The Critic and Co. had lunch yesterday at the new Ca d'Oro Italian restaurant, located in that plaza on Prolongación Montejo where Carls Jr hamburgers (formerly Checkers) is located, across from the giant Interceramic tile store.

The Critic had read a good review on gorbman.com and so was excited to have the opportunity to give this relatively new restaurant a try.

The two appetizers ordered, suppli al telefono and melanzana were good; the melanzana or eggplant was rich hearty and very satisfying while the best part of the suppli was the great presentation in a paper cone. Others in the party thought the suppli a little bland, but the accompanying cooked tomato sauce perked the little rice/cheese balls nicely.

For main courses:
  • an abundant fusilli in a tomato sauce which, according to it's owner, was good;
  • a roast duck with a lemon sauce;
  • a Pecorino cheese pizza;
  • and the Critic had the tagliatelle with panna and prosciutto.

Overall, reviews were generally good on the food. The pizza and the duck were outstanding, while the tagliatelle was quite bland. If it hadn't been for the prosciutto, it would have tasted like not much of anything.

Bread seemed homemade and was warm, crispy and light; while the three accompanying butters (habanero, chile de arbol and garlic) were very good although it could be that the butter was actually margarine, if such a thing were possible in the Ca d'Oro.

As usual, the Critic is critical of the service. If you are tired of reading this same old criticism of Merida's restaurants, stop reading here and go outside and play.

But it seems that the owners of Ca d'Oro have spent a lot of thought, time and money on the decoration, the menu and some wonderful food. The waiter was slow, charmless and not particularly knowledgeable. When asked when the restaurant opened, he seemed unsure and said 'it's my understanding that they opened about year ago'. When asked is they had mineral water his answer was 'yes'. When asked further what kind of mineral water, he replied 'Perrier'. When asked if they had Pelegrino he replied 'yes'. Upon returning to the table to remove finished plates, he went on just a little too much about how it was evident that the group enjoyed the food (the empty plates).

If this is nitpicking, so be it. But one only has to have dinner at La Recova, or for really outstanding service, La Dolce Vita in Cancun, to see what a difference well-trained, knowledgeable and professional waiters make.

Final verdict? Try it yourself. There are a lot of items on their menu and the Critic is sure that there are some real gems in there.

Jan 4, 2010

Doña Tere - Merida Cancun Toll Highway

Being as the Casual Restaurant Critic accompanies Lawson wherever he goes, he has had his fill of Yucatecan food lately at Doña Tere, on that service island 1.5 hours out of Merida on the Merida-Cancun toll highway.

There have been at least 7 drives back and forth, picking up people from Cancun and bringing them to Merida and ALL of them have been forced to stop and eat at Doña Teres' fabulous place.

Yesterday was no exception and the Critic has never seen that many people waiting for tables as the waiters and cooks scrambled to keep up with the demand. It's the end of the holiday season and there were at least 60 people in and around the restaurant trying to get their teeth on Relleno Negro, Cochinita, Lomitos, Tamales and cheese empanadas.


Jan 1, 2010

Happy Eating in 2010!

The Critic wishes his readers a happy 2010, full of exciting, new restaurants to try and plenty of good health in order to be able to properly enjoy them. The Critic will continue to praise and trash restaurants in Mérida and beyond, in that socialist schoolboy way, which so many have come to love and hopefully will come in handy when making a 'let's go out for dinner' decision.

All the best,

The Casual Restaurant Critic