Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Trotters Burger Trio

At this time of the year, Merida restaurants respond to the decline in attendance by offering promotions and specials, especially for those husbands or spouses that have to stay and work in Merida while the rest of the family vacations in and around Progreso. These husbands have no one at home to ‘serve’ them their lunch and so the restaurateurs of the formerly white city take it upon themselves to fill in for the duration.

One of these is Trotters, who have an excellently priced lunch special that runs around $150 pesos or so and includes a soup, refillable refresco, a main course and a dessert.

The Critic and his Better Half had the opportunity to sample this lunch the other day. The verdict? Take it or leave it.

The service was really rough at the beginning with an extended gap between the seating and the appearing of a menu and the offer of a drink. Drink refills were sporadic. Appetizer delivery was clueless; the busboy offered the appetizer to an adjacent table (where the diners were finishing their main courses), did not look around and headed back to the kitchen where the appetizer remained for quite some time.

Air conditioning was minimal, making it just a little uncomfortable with the humid heat Merida is suffering these days.

The soup, a cream of asparagus, was too obviously made with Carnation canned milk. The Mini Burger Trio however, was excellent. Juicy and tasty, each little burger had its own little theme going on.

The Critic can not really say that this is a Do Not Miss promotion. Take it or leave it.

Kukis By Maru

The Casual Restaurant is not going to review this cookie bakery, since it is owned by someone near and dear. There would be a conflict of interest there, for sure.

you can’t beat their carrot cake and the new lime pie is awesome and check out those cupcakes

The Critic just wanted to put this link up so everyone can see what Kukis By Maru is up to these days… ­čÖé

http://www.e-myth.com/pub/client_profile/kukis

The Critic is going to have a coffee now. Guess where.

Chili’s Top Shelf Margaritas… Yum!

The Critic is not what you would call your typical pi├▒a colada / margarita quaffing kinda gringo in the tropics but there is something about those “top shelf” margaritas – on the rocks, mind you – at Chili’s, that is addictive.

Last night the Critic and a group of people went to Chili’s Altabrisa for a bite; but for the Critic the main attraction was the margarita.

First of all it comes in a huge chilled beer mug, not a sissy glass with a wide rim that you have to ‘negotiate’ to your lips and then sip. Then it has lots of salt around the edges; chunks of it. Ice cubes clink happily inside. The margarita itself is the perfect blend of sweet and sour and does not taste horribly artificial (like the one at Boston’s for example). The tequila is there but not overpowering.

And because of the size of the glass and the fact that it is not an adult Slurpy ie ‘slush’, you can get in there with a big thirst on, on a hot Merida day or night, order one of these and take a big pipe-cooling swallow.

Awesome.

More on the Canadian Visa

In my previous post I stated why I thought the Canadians finally clamped down on the Mexicans. I blamed all the Mexicans who took advantage of Canada’s relaxed immigration policies and ruined it for everyone.

Now it’s the Canadian governments turn.

Who is the Canadian Brain Surgeon/Rocket Scientist who came up with this idiotic, one-day-to-the-next policy that will affect not only hundred if not thousands of perfectly legit people who are planning to visit Canada and have already purchased flights, prepaid hotels and cruises? Not only that side of the coin, but all the cruise ships, hotels and restaurants as well as tourist attractions in Canada? This isn’t September, it’s the middle of the tourist season! What was this bureaucrat thinking? Was he thinking?

Even the US Government, when they issued their new proclamation regarding passport requirements for US citizens, had a timetable.

Canada has really dropped the ball on this one; another fabulous accomplishment for the cheesehead government of Steven Harper.

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For the conspiracy theorists…

Here’s a thought: CIA/FBI discovers an imminent attack on Canadian soil originating in Mexico; the CIA advised Canadas’ CSIS, who take it to Canada Immigration.

Immigration responded by immediately issuing a blanket visa requirement for all Mexicans, thereby thwarting the plot.

Everything is hush hush for now.

Just a thought…

Canada Requires Mexicans to Acquire Visa

There has been a lot of talk around town on the subject of the recent announcement by the government of Canada to require Mexicans entering Canada to have a visa. Some people understand this measure; others express indignation that those nasty Canadians would be so hostile towards Mexicans.

As a Canadian, my only observation is that Canada has finally woken up to the fact that there are a lot of Mexicans with a colmillo* the size of brontosaurus’ molar, that have been taking advantage of Canadian immigration policy for years and years.

To give you an example of the Canadians’ “innocence” and lack of real-world experience, take the Canadian passport application. I criticized this a while back. There is a section where you are required to get a personal reference from a professional person; the options are doctor, lawyer and policeman.

Policeman.

In Mexico.

I’m not trashing policemen but come on. This reflects the Canadians complete lack of colmillo.

There must be a zillion Mexicans who have taken advantage of Canada’s refugee and asylum policies to enter the country with a minimum of effort and at great expense to the Canadian taxpayer, who foots the bill for each and every investigation of these supposed ‘refugees’.

If Mexicans are to feel any animosity it should be towards their fellow Mexican huevones* who have screwed this up for them. Another nail in the coffin of the Mexican reputation abroad.

Surprisingly, since I expected a more PRD-ish outlash against the policy, a lot of Mexicans are actually in the same boat on this topic as I am. Have a look at the Universal newspaper website. Their article is very interesting in that it points out:

  • Mexican refugee applications from 2005-present, represent 25% of ALL international refugee applications
  • In 2008, there were 9400 applications, of which only 11% were proved to be valid

The reactions are in the comments, following the article. Interesting the amount of support shown there.

And to those who insist that the Mexican government should retaliate by applying visa requirements to Canadians, I just laugh. Are the Canadians and Americans coming to Mexico as ‘refugees’ and getting a check from Calderon each month? Are they lining up to take advantage of the fabulous social infrastructure (like the IMSS) ?

Didn’t think so.

It was about time Canada woke up, in my humble opinion.

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* Colmillo – the knack certain people have for determining where and how to make a situation work in their benefit, extracting the maximum advantage for them usually at the expense of the other party

* Huevones – derogative term for lazy people

La “Something” Norte├▒a

Not much of a review, but if anyone is in the Francisco de Montejo fraccionamiento, especially along Calle 50, you will see quite a few options for tacos and food in general; everything from Burger King etc. to El Panucho de Kanasin.

Last night the Critic and his Better Half were in the area, making time before the Harry Potter preview in the Siglo XXI (do NOT see this movie in Spanish, ugh) and it was decided that having a taco would be a good way to spend 45 minutes.

Past Los Taquitos de PM, where the Critic should have stopped, was this place; its’ name escapes the pre-Alzheimer Critic. There was the word Norte├▒a or Norte├▒o prominently displayed on the large sign that probably had the entire menu on it as well, in that typical taqueria advertising strategy used in Mexican signage. In the interest of diversity, since the Taquitos PM has already been reviewed, the Critic decided to have that taco here.

Semi-outdoor white plastic tables in one area, along with other higher tables with stools in what looks like their original location, the Critic and BH sat under the head of a stuffed deer.

Really.

The waiter was so clueless that it was adorable and the food was fine. Chewy taco al pastor meat, melted cheese w/pastor meat that was not very melty in a dish they call the Fonduta.

Whatever that means.

The bill for 1 gringa and 2 tacos al pastor (2×1 promotion; you get two and four, respectively) as well as that Fonduta plus 1 jamaica, came to an astounding 102 pesos. Definitely a bargain!

Added bonus (or not, depending on your tastes) ; two girls played some acoustic music with a guitar and a djembe drum and then came around for donations, just like something you would see in Mexico City.

At a table nearby, the two couples at a table for four were asking the waiter for a menu so they could check their bill. One assumes that they thought their 211 pesos bill (the Critic looked as he was leaving) a little high. Gotta love stingy people.

Yet another quick visit to Kanasin!

Just to let you all know, that La Susana Internacional, this Critic’s favorite restaurant for panuchos, salbutes and all things Yucatecan, is alive and well. A visit the other night with the Better Half and the recently returned from abroad MiniCritic confirmed that the panuchos and salbutes are as large and succulent as ever, the caldo loaded to the rim with shredded turkey (do not order the full bowl, the half bowl is all you will need), the tacos de chicharron are incredible and the Critic tried on this occasion a taco de puerco asado (roast pork) which was gigantic and finger-licking good.

Highly recommended, and make sure you sit where Regino is doing the waiter-ing. Ask him anything and he always has a quick comeback and a grin.

Shaolin Chinese Restaurant – Merida

Hooray, the Critic is back in Merida. Actually, he has been here for a while since the outing to Vancouver, but financial concerns have kept him from anything beyond tacos here and there and a repeat visit to La Susana Internacional in Kanasin, which has been reviewed to death. That and a quick regrettable lunch at Las Gordas in La Gran Plaza mall; regrettable because as the Critic foresaw, this cheap and delicious lunch led to a serious bout of gastrointestinal distress the following day.

Shaolin is the subject of this review; this is another entry into the already crowded Chinese food array of offerings in Merida, which range from the dirty and nasty little places in people’s garages to the mall versions to the stand-alone restaurants of which Nao, formerly known as Hong Kong, is the best known.

Located on 21 street between Montejo and Plaza Fiesta, this restaurant cannot be missed thanks to an enormous gold-colored dragon out front. Plenty of parking is available in front or on the street. Inside, the place is all hard surfaces and not particularly pretty, although it gives a good first impression with the ornamental metal bamboo structures and imaginative wall treatments. Once you look closely however, you can appreciate the shoddy workmanship that went into everything from the cement to the aluminum to the gyproc false ceiling. However, the effect is not unpleasant and does not distract one from enjoying the food.

The menu offers a combination of both cream-cheese-plagued Yucatecan sushi and standard Chinese fare seemingly lifted from the Nao menu. The Critic and his always up-to-a-challenge Better Half ordered the sticky sweet and delicious Chicken Chi Maa, the chock-full-of-goodies Chow Fan rice and an order of Tres Torolos sushi. Neither the Critic nor the Better Half understand the Torolos moniker, but there were three kinds of seafood on these rolls; salmon, shrimp and tuna if the Critic remembers correctly. The sushi was, unfortunately warm and so the Critic didn’t even go there. Warm sushi is a no-no. The fish was draped rather sparingly around the rice stuffed with cream cheese and avocado. It seems that folks here think that anyone can whip up some sushi; nothing to it! Wrong.

Service was pleasant and the food arrived quickly at the table as it was prepared. First the Chow Fan, then the Chi Maa chicken and lastly the “sushi”.

There are two televisions, one at either end of the restaurant, which somehow detract from the dining experience, since obvious attention was paid to the china (plates etc) and it seemed a little too nice for a restaurant that shows soccer games on TV. Air conditioning is good.

The bill came to 256 pesos for the above mentioned meal, along with a limonada and a Coca Cola, served from a bottle, thank you very much as opposed to a can or the pre-mix version.

Would the Critic return? Maybe. For the time being, Shaolin is nothing to write home about.