Tag Archives: hennessy’s

Where to watch the World Cup in Merida – Round Two

To continue the reviewing of possible options for your FIFA World Cup viewing, here is the latest contender for your beer drinking pesos.

Merida Restaurants and Bars and other Venues

Stars are awarded in each category as follows:

* Horrible, stay away
** Not quite as bad as horrible, but not worth the drive. If you’re in the neighborhood…
*** Average – hit or miss, meh
**** Pretty darn good, make an effort.
***** Worth driving to and find parking for


The game on the menu today was USA vs Germany, and, since the gringos were playing I thought it best to watch this at the popular expat hangout everyone knows and loves: Hennesseys.

1. Screen quality and location: ****
Hennessy’s screens are behind the bar so you will need to sit at the bar or thereabouts in order to get a view of the screen. There is one on each side and while these are great at night, the 11 AM game time was not an optimum moment as there was some glare from the sun outside and so one of the screens had a big white glare spot in the middle of it and I had to watch the one further away. A nice touch was a temporary third screen showing the simultaneous Portugal vs Ghana game, which, had things gone differently, would have affected the outcome of the main event today. Unfortunately the Portugal game was an internet feed that cut out every 2 seconds or so, making it impossible to watch. Thank you TelMex, for that excellent internet service.
2. Air conditioning: ****
Could have been a little cooler in my never humble opinion but perhaps there were enough older folks there with thin blood that need a little more heat than I. Boston’s wins this round as well.
3. Service: ****
With the friendly guys that Sean and Colm are, I am always surprised the wait staff is so serious. But you will get your drinks (or coffee) and Hennessy’s has prizes for every single match. So each time Portugal scored a goal, free shots of whisky all around. Can’t beat that!
4. Food: *****
We all know and love the Hennessy’s menu. Great pub food and the mussels are worth licking the bowl, Emily Post be damned.
5. Prices: *****
Hennessy’s is not cheap but you don’t feel like you are getting ripped off by any stretch of the imagination. You are paying for the food, the drinks and the place is gorgeous.
6. Ambience: Maybe it was the fact that the Germans (yawn) were playing the USA team coached by a German (snore). No yelling, no fist pumps, no hooting and hollering. Just a reflective kind of fandom that is probably not used to watching football. Real football I mean. I expect there would be more excitement if it was college American football or basketball or something. Or maybe a book reading. It was pretty quiet. I suspect things get more lively when Mexico is playing and the more enthusiastic Mexicans come to cheer on their team.


Hennessy’s for Lunch

The Casual Restaurant Critic has said all he is going to say about Hennessy’s so here are some pictures, as they are apparently worth a thousand words. There’s at least 6 or 7 thousand words here for you to drool over. The food today was great, service a little less so, but they try.

And Sean was nice enough to send over a dessert sampler for the Better Half and Critics birthday guest. Thank you!

Bryans – The Newest Trotter Restaurant

Por fin, as they say around here, the Casual Restaurant Critic got his critical butt into a comfortable seat at Bryans, the latest and greatest in the Trotters chain here in sunny Merida.

For those of you unfamiliar with Trotters (no relation to Charlie in Chicago) the Trotters have several first-rate restaurants here in Merida; there’s Panchos downtown catering to the tourist crowd as well as those interested in picking up tourists who have overdone it on the excellent margaritas there; there’s La Tratto, an upscale and always popular trattoria located on the Prolongacion (del Paseo de) Montejo; the relatively new self-named Trotters, just down the street from the Burger King fountain (hey, that’s what it’s called around here) off Montejo which quickly became the benchmark for Merida restaurants trying to create the perfect dining room and now Bryans, which is even swankier than Trotters.

The menu at Bryans appears to be similar to that of Trotters, at least at first glance. There are some meats, some salads and some soups, as well as some desserts that all appear to be a continuation (or evolution) of items seen on the Trotters menu. The feel of the place? One certainly does not feel as if one is in Merida at least for a little while. There is an impeccable open kitchen, filled with industrious chefs and their helpers working away, polished stone and dark wood finishes throughout, enormous floor-to-ceiling open windows/doors, an upstairs wine attic visible from the dining area below, subdued lighting throughout and the huge terrace outside for those who enjoy a little nicotine with their dinner. Perhaps a little less formal than Trotters, but a whole lot more elegantly hip, this restaurant has to be seen to be believed and is filled nightly with Meridas beautiful people who know nothing of an economic crisis, thank you very much. The Critic, in spite of not being one of the beautiful people, was accompanied by his beautiful Better Half and so had an excuse for being there and visited Bryans at lunchtime, just before the rush.

Food ordered included a Parisian burger, medium rare and others in the party ordered the pork filet, which appeared to look more like a fat chop, served with a barbecue sauce. The smallish burger was very tasty and the Parisian part consisted of the sauteed mushrooms and onions on the meat and the small size of the platter turned out to be just right – not too much, not too little. The other members of the party commented that their pork was delicious. For desserts, the fantatic tiramisu cheesecake and a berry tart that the Better Half recalled as having been served to her warm on a previous visit. This time it was not warm, but straight out of the fridge. Coffee was excellent , aromatic nd fresh, individually made to order for each person.

The food, at least to this cantankerous Critic, although good, was not as mind blowing as he had expected. Unlike the recent meal at Hennessy’s, which blew the Critic away, this was fine, but nothing that the Critic would say exceeded expectations.

On a nit-picky note, the servers were friendly and plentiful, although large gaps appeared between their visits to the table and in spite of many of them just circling around, including supervisors. They could have been a little more attentive to the table at crucial moments, such as ordering desserts, refilling coffee, when it came time to ask for the bill, that sort of thing. Another detail which stood out in this immaculately beautiful dining room was the fact that the drinks were served not on a coaster with a funky design, but on a servilleta Lys, folded in half. One must assume that the printer is working frantically on those coasters as the limp wet napkin hardly does justice to the obvious care and attention paid to every other detail.

So, while the Critic would jump at the chance to return to Hennessy’s to sample more of their menu and enjoy a frosty Guiness, Bryans did not evoke that feeling. But go and visit the place yourself, and drink in the terrific ambience and then form your own opinion.

Hennessy’s Irish Pub – A New Years Eve Celebration

There is, in this increasingly competitive culinary environment that is the upscale restaurant scene in Merida, a new player in town and it is a stunner! Hennessy’s Irish Pub has moved into a stunning location designed by Henry Ponce the architect, on Meridas most important avenida under the gaze of the nearby Montejo clan statue, about a block from the equally sumptuous Rosas and Xocolate boutique hotel and restaurant, whose most recent claim to fame was Caroline Kennedy popping in for a discrete visit.

When you think Irish pub you think smoke, whisky and a good brawl. No brawls were in evidence at Hennessy’s however, when the Casual Restaurant Critic and his lovely Better Half, along with a new Casual Restaurant Crew, went there to celebrate New Years Eve. The crowd was decidedly upscale, and at least half or more were of the expatriate variety, coming out in all stripes to sip a Guinness and perhaps chat with the ‘impossibly handsome’ owner, one of two actually, who put this place together.

Also when Irish pubs come to mind, the last thing – on the Critics mind at least – is food. What is Irish pub food anyway? A sausage? Something featuring the Irish staple, the potato? No, this was something far, far better.

Appetizers included a spinach salad, fish cakes, an onion soup and the most amazing seafood chowder, red in color and thick with chunks of tender fish and other items plucked from an ocean near you. The main courses had by the table at which the Critic had the honor to sit, were two: the Panchetta and the lamb (or was it beef?) curry. While the curry was tasty and at apparently just the right volume in the spice department, the Panchetta was the hands-down winner. Crispy, fatty pork (how can you go wrong!) on a bed of something that resembled a mashed potato and apple concoction that provided a perfect, sweet without being cloying complement to the perfectly roast pork. And the portions were enormous!

For dessert, there was an amazingly thick cheesecake and a delicious apple strudel, served with vanilla ice cream.

Service was, as is the case at these type of events, adequate at best but always friendly and the ambience as well as the place itself, outstanding. Take your best friends and head over there tonight!!

Please enjoy the photos, provided by a member of the Casual Restaurant Critic Crew; aka Juan. Gracias Juan!

The Spinach Salad

Crispy Fish Cakes

The Seafood Chowder!

French Onion Soup

Pancheta! That's what it says on the menu BTW. Nevertheless, it is to die for. Honestly.

Curry! Was it lamb or beef? Can't recall - too much of that rose wine!