On a very recent visit to the Valladolid area, the Casual Restaurant Critic and the three ladies known as the Belle Groupe (it’s a southern thang) followed up on Casa de los Venados owner John Venator’s recommendation to try a restaurant he likes, called Yerba Buena.
A colorful facade
Located across from the convent, this restaurant was previously unknown to the Critic and so, in the spirit of research and with the hungry Belle Groupe de acuerdo, this is where lunch was had.
Among all the pretty painted colonial facades across from the convent and right next to a video rental place (do video rentals still constitute a viable business option one wonders) was Yerba Buena. It’s even more colorful facade and interior, compared to the rest of the houses nearby, was a delight to behold.
The colorful entryway and restaurant
A most accommodating young man, friendly as one can be, asked if the group would enjoy a table in the garden and there, several tables of Europeans were enjoying the sunny, cool day and zen-like atmosphere, surrounded by eclectic decorative items and a ton of jungly greenery.
It only got better.
The Critic was amazed at the level of kind, friendly attention and service and the freshness of the food. When asked about a menu item involving corn masa and maculan or hoja santa, the waiter promptly disappeared into the foliage and came back with a leaf of this plant on a plate, for the group to examine and sample.
Maculan, or hoja santa
The items had for lunch included smoked meat tacos (a standard for this area, where longaniza and smoked meat are a specialty), smoked meat in a Oaxacan mole sauce, a poblano chile stuffed with cheese and quesadillas. All were beautifully presented and very sabrosos. There are four salsas that are brought to the table: roasted tomato, xcatic and habanero. But it is the green tomatillo salsa that will blow the taste buds off your tongue. The Critic has never tasted a fresher salsa verde. Anywhere.
Prices were beyond reasonable and the entire staff was welcoming and friendly. Try their ginger honey drink!
Definitely a highlight of the trip to Valladolid and, along with the Taberna de los Frailes, one of the best restaurants sampled to date in this ever-more cosmopolitan city. highly recommended.The Belle Groupe and the Critic were all most impressed at this find!
More info on their Facebook page here.
Enjoy the photos!
Menu at the door
Chips and salsas
Smoked pork tacos and fresh avocado
There’s smoked pork under that rich Oaxaca mole sauce
The fresh corn tortillas with maculan or hoja santa attached
The maculan plants are the ones with the big leaves
Eclectic ornaments in the garden
One happy chef, preparing a giant vegetarian burger
Hard at work
Chef number two
How often do you find a happy dishwasher and cooks assistant?
The view from the front door.