Thai food in Merida at last? No, but…

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.

24 thoughts on “Thai food in Merida at last? No, but…

  1. I was pleased with the food. It was so tasty, so well prepared and the garnishes were beautiful.

    But being the service freak that I am, I was delighted to notice that both young waiters (a young man, and a young girl), dutifully placed the plates in this order: first my mom, then me (second oldest, obviously), then my two sisters-in-law, then my teen niece, then my 11 year old niece, the youngest, and then the men. My brother, the host, was served last.

    They did this for every course.

    I was in heaven.

    Please believe me: I haven’t had this experience anywhere else in Merida.

  2. William, where is Baca? It’s long way from merida, we have lots of choice Thai rest. in Houston . My favorit is pad tie, stir fry noodle with tamarin souce fresh bean spurout, fry egg, calramari all together & hot thai chilly pepper in fish souce. I need to check it out. Tx for great info. Lol suk

  3. Thank you Better Half!

    Jonna – you will not be dissappointed!

    Mitch – Neither will you.

    Suk – Where’s a good Thai restaurant in Houston? We go there sometimes and like to eat. One of my favorites is House of Pies on Westheimer – GREAT pie!

  4. It sounds wonderful. What is the name of the restaurant and the holistic heatlth center? I am moving to Baca and I love Thai food . . . .

  5. Hello Carolyn! You are moving to Baca?!? Wow. It’s a small town as you know and this holistic center is on the main road entering Baca on your left. It’s name I do not know, and the restaurant is nameless also as it is the dining facility or commissary of the center and it is open to the public only to help with fund raising for the facility. If you are going to live in Baca it shouldn’t take more than a few questions asked of the locals to locate this place! Happy eating and enjoy your new home!

  6. What?!? I need to find someone to drag to Baca to have some Thai food with me 😕

    Hey, I’m curious… Did they give you a reason why cellphones and cameras are not allowed?

  7. The ‘restaurant’ is actually the outdoor dining room of a holistic retreat where alternative methods are used to fight cancer; they opened the place to the public to be able to raise funds to support their program. Cell phones and video and regular cameras don’t fit into the zen feel of the place. Does this help explain it?

  8. Nit Noi is really good for Thai in Houston. The original Rice Village location is “temporarily” closed, and they moved over to Richmond. Still great, even though they’re franchising and expanding like crazy. Thai Pepper, just down the road in Montrose, is great too.

    On a separate note, sometimes I dream about the strawberry pie at HOP. A true slice of Heaven!

  9. Darn. Now I can´t wait to get back to Jiustom to try Nit Noi and Thai Pepper. Are they easy to find, I wonder?

  10. I just left. Go there. Totally unexpectedly delicious food. Follow the signs when you get to Baca. You won’t be disappointed. I know the signs said Baca, but it felt more like Thai heaven.

  11. Dear Mr. Lawson

    I know this may sound crass but please give me a clue as to how much a meal at this wondrous restaurant in Baca would cost. Surely you much have a tiny inkling of how much this would set me back.

    My friends and I know we would have no trouble getting there as there is a local bus which goes to that pueblito.

    I adore Thai food but am on a budget. I need to know if I can afford to eat anything once I get there.

    Thanks in advance.


  12. Hmm. Agnes, that is a good question. I seriously do not recall what the price of a menu item is there or what we paid. I know it wasn’t cheap like La Susana Internacional but it wasn’t Trotters either. I am thinking maybe 3-400 pesos for two people?? Even if you don’t eat there, there is a lovely church worth looking at in Baca as well. 🙂 Seriously though, I think you may try one menu item and be fine.

  13. Sure! Take the Motul highway and turn off at Mococha exit. When you reach a T turn right and go to Baca. Its before town on your left!

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