Last night the Critic and friends visited Acqua, that popular newish place on the stretch of commercial street that runs from Montejo, where Office Depot, Telas Parisina and SuperBodega (does anyone still shop there?) all stare at each other across the busy intersection; to Plaza Fiesta, one of Merida’s older malls. Look for the blue neon sign at night, next to the Louvre sign. The Louvre, famous for it’s tortas and the size of the large mutant rats in the space it once occupied, is a piece of Merida history, now out of its original location and plunked down in this part of town.
The Critic and Co. sat outside, practically on the street, which was better than being inside because Acqua is a very noisy restaurant as previously noted somewhere; all the hard surfaces inside make the place reverberate with noice bouncing off everything. Also, outside you can still enjoy a smoke with your drink or after dinner coffee.
The food on this occasion was quite good, lots of interesting combinations for the meats: salmon, shrimp, duck, Angus steak, boquinete; from panko breading to mashed potatoes w/ bacon, arugula lettuce, goat cheese, caramelized pecans and more. The portions are not particularly huge so don’t be put off by the idea of ordering an appetizer beforehand. You might try their chipotle fondue, which has a bit of a bite and gives everyone something to do while you wait for the next course.
Remarkably, the service was better this time around, with the exception of the amount of time it took for the food to get to the table – it seemed to be an eternity but it was a cool night, the company was interesting and whenever the waiter did appear, he was very friendly. Drinks, ashtrays, that sort of thing. And he was also effective as a salesman, a waiter quality so rare in a Merida restaurant that it almost seemed out of place! He suggested ordering the apple pastry tart since it is baked fresh while you are enjoying your dinner and is served to you hot with vanilla ice cream on top (aka a la mode) . The party ordered 2 of these and, while not House of Pies quality, they did taste pretty good. Espresso macchiato after dinner was average. It’s nice to be able to order espresso in Merida; when the Critic first moved here things like espresso, salmon, actual brewed coffee, peanut butter were non-existent!
The bill for 6 people came to 1900 pesos including tip, which at todays’ exchange rate of aprox. 14 pesos per dollar, comes to $135 USD.