Tag Archives: Carls Junior

Carls Jr and Lucia Mendez

So, you ask, what the heck are the terms Carls Jr. and Lucia Mendez doing in the same sentence?

Well, as luck would have it, or happenstance or just plain old hunger, I left my office in Chuburna with the firm intention of finally trying the fish and chips at Giannis that I had read good things about.

Unfortunately  Giannis, on calle 60, was about as closed as an argument about whether or not a glorieta on the Prolongacion de Montejo would go ahead or not.

Still hungry, I decided that because of the odd hour (6-ish) nothing normal and yummy (like a cocina economica)  would be open and my options were limited to fast food which I then proceeded to find in Carls Jr. on Montejo. In hindsight I should have eaten at El Pez Gordo but I had a hankering for a hamburger.

Inside Carls Jr. the air conditioning was fantastic, the place was more or less empty except for the thankfully glassed in kids section where children caroused and screamed and the burger was… just alright. A bit disappointing but whatever.

On the many wall mounted televisions sprinkled around the restaurant, I could enjoy some telenovela and the accompanying commercials obviously dedicated to a female audience with absolutely nothing better to do. I had forgotten, as I don’t have the pleasure of  being able to enjoy Mexican television at home, how truly awful it is!

Lucia Mendez is still doing telenovelas which is probably the only thing she knows how to do and her acting skills are amazing. So convincing was she in the part I saw that I am sure she really is a telenovela actress. She also had had major work done on her face which really doesn’t move much when she talks. Her perky Michael Jackson nose, cheekbones and lips all show signs of an overhaul. Poor thing, desperately clinging to her fading beauty, fingers slipping one at a time off the precipice of youth and about to tumble into the chasm of obsoletion. Is that a word?

The men are cartoons of course as well. Many a furrowed brow; an angry outburst alone in an office. How many men in real life talk to themselves like this? All angry and banging their fist on the desk while the camera closes in on their face, all covered with makeup.

And the sets, the fabulous sets!

Most scenes look like they have been filmed in a Liverpool home furnishings section, or maybe the set designers are ex-decorators from the Palacio de Hierro or Liverpool? Who knows. One scene featured lunch, and a pristine white table setting was offset by the bright orange drink in a glass pitcher. No one was drinking anything and Mom finally got around to serving a rice noodle broth. It looked delicious, but no one was paying attention.

Finally, the highlight of my very- late-lunch television viewing experience: a fabulous commercial, right out of a Saturday Night Live sketch, for “UpLift” cream which will make your bum pop right out and your boobs stand up at attention. A rather suggestive video – considering the kids in the glass and plastic cage a few feet away – shows a woman rubbing “UpLift” cream on her breasts (the nipples are blurred out) and then another hot female in a tank top rubbing her bum while wearing a thong. Then, magic! An animation morphs her “unflattering” flat bum into a true rappers delight, “it’s like, out there Becky” (from Baby Got Back). You get to watch this creaming and morphing several times during the several-minute long commercial. I tried to imagine this commercial in a non-latin culture. Couldn’t do it.

That’s it. The end.

Next time I am going to OneBurger. Maybe they will have something better on TV.

Miyabi Sushi

The Casual Restaurant Critic thinks he may have found a new favourite sushi restaurant in Merida. Opened (and operated) by a 14 year veteran of Cancuns Yamamoto restaurant, tiny sushi-lovers delight Miyabi is tucked unceremoniously in the little strip mall on Montejo where you can also find Carls Junior (formerly Checkers), Segafredo and the underwhelming Ca’ d’Oro Italian restaurant.

Unceremoniously doesn’t mean that this is an unattractive restaurant; far from it! It is all white inside, with a granite sushi bar and many real Japanese decorations brought over from Japan by the chefs Better Half, who is charming and hails from the land of the rising sun.

The Critic and HIS Better Half sat at the slightly uncomfortable sushi bar – uncomfortable because the stools don’t have that cross brace on the bottom which leaves your feet dangling and strains the back. Does this sound like an old fart or what – and ordered directly from the chef/owner. The highlight was a special roll called Nozumi, which featured chopped scallops and heated smoked eel, but all the dishes ordered (sushi – rolls and nigiri only) were excellent. The Critic enjoyed immensely the fact that the raw fish was ice cold and fresh tasting; the chef commented that he only orders what he plans on selling so as to keep things fresh and if it runs out, well better luck next time. This was the case with the salmon (sake, or shake as they call it here) which was no more, much to the Critics chagrin, who ordered a fat slab of fresh cold tuna on a nigiri piece. Fantastic.

After the late lunch, the chef and his lovely wife comped a dessert – red bean ice cream. This is not made on the premises, but brought from Mexico City where a Japanese family makes this and other (Lychee, Green Tea) ice creams.

Miyabi has been open for about two months and apparently, business is booming. Go for lunch soon, but late, as it tends to fill up and you will have to wait in the 40 degree heat outside. And that’s not a pretty picture.