The Casual Restaurant Critic and his amazing Better Half recently had the pleasure of an overnight at the Diez Diez Collection boutique hotel, located on Calle 56 at 37, just off the Paseo de Montejo in what could still be considered the historic part of Merida. Pleasure because it really was a most pleasurable experience from the reception to the checkout, rooftop bar, restaurant, bicycle availability for a Sunday ride on the closed-off Paseo… everything was really well done. The one caveat to keep in mind is that the ultra-hip loungey music is pumped out of speakers all over the property and one very potent sub-woofer which booms low bass throughout and that reaches all the rooms, until it is turned off.
This review is about the restaurant, Fronto, which BH and the cantankerous Critic found delightful. Under the active managing supervision of Irwing who is decidedly not standing around checking his IG fee but is actually on the floor doing the work, the ambience is welcoming, friendly and even fun. Every employee seems to be genuinely enjoying their work.
The room is tiny, about 4 tables at most and there is a terrace out front for al fresco – or al calor – dining. For those guests, like the Critic, who have reached a certain age and have trouble with moody low lighting and tiny printed menu fonts, it will be a true revelation to note that upon opening one’s menu, the entire inside pages light up spectacularly and one can read what is there with no difficulty whatsoever. Fantastic! The Critic has not seen this anywhere else. The bar makes up half of the space where the tables are and so there is always something to see if conversation wanes.
After a drink, the Critic and Better Half samples several dishes and all were amazingly good. Again, the service is very possibly among the best ever had in Merida, which is very welcome in this town, which shines when it comes to singularly sloppy servers.
The fries are some of the most delicious the Critic has tried, but everyone has their favorite fried potatoes so I won’t say they’re the “best”. But these are the best the Critic has tried lately, anywhere. The burger is a monster, both in the amount of beef (800 grams of ultra-tender meat) and also for the price, at $1000 pesos. Definitely worth the splurge and share it if you must. The other items are lost to memory but were all delicious.