Tag Archives: breakfast

The Casual Restaurant Critic Has Breakfast – A Puro Pan / Merci

In the company of the charming and always gastronomically adventurous Better Half, the Casual Restaurant Critic mustered up the strength to shower, get dressed and go out for breakfast on this fine Easter Sunday morning. Two restaurants were visited, in the interest of coming up with some new options for the 11 constant readers of this column and to take advantage of a lazy Sunday (and the fact that the Critic was freshly showered)

A Puro Pan

This is a new restaurant, in yet another small shopping plaza, this one called “Luxury Plaza” on that stretch of northern Merida road that starts at the “pocito” roundabout and ends where CityCenter meets the periferico. It never ceases to amaze the Critic at how many shopping plazas there are along these few kilometers – at last count there were more than 20, of varying styles, sizes and all sporting the same L shape so popular among Merida plazas. It is also amazing that all these luxury and exclusive and VIP places still have clientele; there are so many offerings for this tiny market segment.

A Puro Pan is all about bread, hence it’s name. Freshly baked bread and plenty of sandwich options are on the menu and for breakfast, some egg items as well. The Critic chose the Spanish baguette on Parmesan bread while the Better Half ordered Eggs Benedict.

Now you can’t go wrong with jamon serrano (unless you are unlucky enough to order it at the Viejo Molino – ugh) and so here, the Spanish baguette was just fine, a smallish baguette-like bread with plenty of jamon, some inexpensive local cheese. Nothing to write home about and the accompanying salad – some lettuce of varying styles possibly of the pre-washed plastic bag variety – showed signs of browning around some of the leaves and so was a little less than appetizing and the Critic did not finish his vegetables.

The Eggs Benedict however, were about as Benedict-y as the Caesar salad is Caesar-y at Trotters. In other words, not really Eggs Benedict. Eggs were baked in what appeared to be little muffin cups; not poached. Accompanied by some breakfast potatoes and atop something that looked like an English muffin and some salmon, there was no evidence of any hollandaise sauce lurking under, among or on top of the eggs, so not sure what the restaurant is trying to do with this menu item. It is not unattractively presented but, call it Puro Pan Eggs or something else, por favor.

Service was extremely nice and attentive. The room itself is dark, with low lighting which is fine for mornings when the Critic is less than presentable and doesn’t want to be in the harsh glare of the lights. Air conditioning was minimal and the place was cool but on the edge of a little warm, if you know how that feels.

After breakfast there, Better Half suggested checking out another new spot called Merci.

Merci – HomeMade Food

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Merci is located in the San Angelo shopping (more luxury of course) plaza, which is near the soon-to-be-finished San Angelo condos, yet another housing development in northern Merida defining itself as – yawn – exclusive, and located parallel to the periferico in the area between City Center and Sodzil.

It is a bright, airy restaurant with a decidedly French feel, not only because the waiter is indeed French but also because the Yucatecan chef studied in France and has come home to feed her fellow Meridanos. By this time, the Critic didn’t mind the bright airiness of the place and was delighted to see French Press coffee on the menu.

Indeed, the freshly pressed coffee is very tasty and served with tiny ceramic cups that are too cute. A bread basket was ordered and it contains what appears to be a scone, a pain au chocolat and a little muffin. Served with tiny bowls of butter and jam and all very good. The pain au chocolat is not flaky and light, but heavier, denser and delicious. Very buttery.

The kitchen is in plain view, the tables are close together European style and the overall impression is that this is a place worth re-visiting, to try some of the other breakfast offerings which range from homemade banana pancakes and oeufs any style to granola and more. Prices seem very reasonable and the air conditioning is perfect.

Final verdict for breakfast? Merci, hands down. The Critic will be back.

Luigis for Breakfast

A friend whom the Critic shall call Lincoln told him about this place where he goes for breakfast regularly; a breakfast that is tasty, hot and most importantly (the Critic suspects this to be the case) cheap.

It’s called Luigi’s but before you get all excited, the place is about as Italian as a Ticul-made pump. There is a fellow there by the name of Luigi, but he is Yucatecan and his place somehow lacks the glamor of, say, a Milan eatery. In fact, this place is a hole in the wall practically on the corner of 56 and 43 streets, identifiable by the official Coca Cola colors and hand-written menus on construction paper taped unceremoniously to the walls.

The tables and chairs are also Coca Cola, but the ambience, such as it is, is very neighborly and friendly with everyone commenting ‘buenos dias’ and ‘provecho’ as they pass your table. There are some food pictures below, the first is of ‘huevos a la Mexicana’ and the second of the giant bread basket. The accompanying refried beans are terrific and there is no coffee, just Coca Cola.

Total for two people having full egg breakfast? 58 pesos, or about 5 dollars. Can’t beat that.

Coffee Cup Café – Boulder City, Nevada, USA

Just a quick update to let all Casual Restaurant Critic fans that the Coffee Cup Cafe (reviewed previously here) is alive and well, a touch of real food and ambiance just outside (a comfortable 15-20 minutes drive) of glitzy Las Vegas.

On this occasion the Critic had the Salsa Verde Pork omelet, a house special which was, as usual, far too much to eat for one person. Coffee could have been a little better, but all in all, it’s still a charmer, as is the little town of Boulder City itself.

Afterwards, visit the Hoover Dam or gamble at the Hacienda casino on the way, where you can play the roulette table for hours on 2o dollars.

Remixto Sunday Brunch

The Casual Restaurant Critic had the luck to be advised of this once a month brunch event to be held at Casa Mexilio, in downtown Merida put on by remixto.com and hosted by the intrepid MexiChica and her hubbie.

Let it be said that to start a Sunday morning in a jungle patio with an exquisite Bloody Mary or a Guayaba mimosa is a hell of a great way to wake up in Merida, even with the 40-plus degree heat that is currently plaguing the formerly white city.

Highlights, after the Bloody Mary, were the Eggs Benedict, cooked to perfection and prepared not with ham but with a sabroso hunk of roast pork aka lechon, accompanied by a grilled tomato and some greenery. The french toast, made with rompope and served with a caramelized bacon and soft, mushy-sweet cooked bananas was delicious. So good were these two dishes that the Critic actually ordered both (and ate both, thank you very much). Federico Navarro’s coffee was strong, hot and fresh, silverware was sparkling new and the whole affair was like having brunch at someone’s home; someone who transforms fresh, local ingredients into marvelous mouthfuls in their kitchen and invites you over to sample them.