This past weekend was quite a culinary-intensive experience, with Friday night at Elio al Mare, Saturday night at Rosas y Xocolate and, in between, an extremely pleasant and totally unexpected surprise for lunch. Lovers of exotic food rejoice, because this is a good one.
It turns out that the Casual Restaurant Critics brother in law found out about a Thai restaurant in, of all places, Baca. The Critic knows this is hard to believe, but it is true, there is a place where one can eat real, authentic Thai food made by a Thai chef in the bustling town of Baca. Located on the grounds of a holistic health center, you will find yourself on a covered deck made entirely of bamboo. Look up, look around, everything including the roof, is made of bamboo. Only the tables and chairs are dark teak. There is no electric power as the place is on solar cells and therefore the restaurant portion, open on a limited basis to the public, is only accessible during daylight hours and only until 3 PM at that. And for those of you that like to take picture of your food (which includes the Critic) you will be out of luck as no cameras and no cell phones are allowed to be used on the site. Smoking of course is also forbidden.
BIL had ordered food beforehand and so, once the party of 11 was seated, real, freshly prepared Thai food started arriving at the table. First off, a ginger tea/lemonade combination that was deliciously refreshing. Then, the Critics favorite Thai soup: ต้มข่าไก่.
OK that was unfair.
The soup is called, in English, Tom Kha Gai and the temperature, the flavors, the aroma were all exquisite. Next up, a small appetizer plate with a spring roll cut in half alongside a grilled satay chicken kabob. There was a plum sauce for dipping, as well as very spicy black sauce and some toasted garlic to add an additional kick to the dishes.
After the appetizers, plates for the center appeared with a rice noodle dish, a rice dish, chicken in a coconut milk curry sauce and finally shrimp with snow peas. The Critic couldn’t get enough of everything and hardly had room for dessert, which also arrived promptly at the table in the shape of creamy Arroz con Leche paired with chopped, fresh, tart mango chunks. Coffee, strong and black, was also available.
Interesting, this humble bamboo deck in the middle of the town of Baca, had better service than most of the restaurants in Merida. The service was prompt, attentive, and courteous. Most impressive of all was that for each course, the ladies at the table were served first, without exception, then the men. A small detail perhaps but nevertheless one that the so-called finer restaurants in the formerly white city have not been able to master.
Unfortunately, the Critic doesn’t know what the bill came to on this occasion, being as he was a guest, but whatever it is, it’s worth it. This is the real deal. Neither is there an address. Please contact the Critic directly for instructions on how to get there.