The Casual Restaurant and his lovely Better Half had the pleasure of sampling these tacos, recommended by someone who we shall call Andrea of Yucatan Today (because that’s her name).
A tiny hole-in-the-wall taco place, with a drive-in parking situation – as in the car drives practically into the restaurant which is cool and also helpful as there is precious little street parking – and a definite hipster vibe.
The truly outstanding food, presented as beautiful small plates and a ton of imagination and variety, is poem-worthy. Kudos to the chef! The service was also extremely patient and friendly as this was the Critic’s first visit (but not the last). Critic’s favorite plate? The two moles! The presentation was very Amazon, as in the meeting of the rivers Solimoes and Negro just off Manaus, Brasil; two colors sitting side by side. Delicious too.
If you like the idea of a great, innovative taco in a patio setting – great for pandemic dining – this place is for you. If you have the occasion to be there when a small group of hipsters from up north invade the next table, be patient and enjoy their animated, loud, oh-my-god!! conversations about landing that next Amazon contract or getting a writing gig on a Netflix show and planning their next Uber outing to a cenote or Uxmal. Delightful!
For their Instagram and more information along with beautiful food pics from their menu, click here!
The Critic has been getting out and about, eating here and there but not finding the inspiration or time to write about it. Please add your comments and finger-wagging at the bottom of this post, he would love to hear from you.
As a reward for your feedback, here are a few little takes on some recent culinary outings, complete with a photo or two.
Kinich – Izamal
Always amazing and one of the Critic’s favorites for Yucatecan food. A sure-fire go-to (so many hyphenated words) when you have company from out of town. Great people, great food, and kudos to owner Miriam for hiring mostly female serving staff – a refreshing change in a traditionally male-dominated industry. A solid operation overall.
This unassuming restaurant near the convention center Siglo XXI is extremely popular with locals and visitors who come for the excellent breakfasts that are full of flavor and reasonably priced. They have the added attraction of hand-made tortillas and salsas made to order just for you.
The Critic hadn’t been here in a while and so was delighted to enjoy a superb curry and guests enjoyed a steak. Service was friendly, Sean was gracious and the beer was excellent.
After attending the restaurant’s inauguration, the Critic hadn’t been back to Zinc either and having visitors over Christmas opened up all kinds of not so regular restaurant outings. The food here is much better than you would expect and the service courteous and prompt. The location across from the Museo de Antropologia or Casa Canton or whatever it is this month, is fabulous as you can sit outside and not worry about stray omicron droplets.
Another favorite and among the top two for Yucatecan cuisine in and around Merida. If you go, go around 1 PM when the food comes out of the pib in back. Their house cocktails are showy and delicious. Try the Xibalba, a study in black. And do say hi to chef Silvio or his daughter chef Silvia.
This is the latest restaurant visited by the Critic, based on a recommendation from the fine folks at Yucatan Today. It’s so good, it deserves its own review, coming later.
Breakfast in two locations in the city – check their Facebook for locations and times and such. Great decor and feel to this place, if their service can occasionally be a little disjointed. They are busy, so they have an excuse but also they have been open for a while now and have two locations so some of these issues should be superados by now.
The Critic had heard about this place and it wasn’t until just very recently that he had a chance to try the burgers they are known for. Fabulous flavor, great presentation and some delicious camote fries/chips as well. Thanks to Romina for great service and definitely another visit or seven is forthcoming to try all the burgers on the menu.
La Quinta de Elena Roldán
This place, just opened and had to be checked out. When the Critic asked what the menu was he was told:
“Ok, ¿cómo los preparan? Tipo Yucatan o Pacifico?”
The Critic went with the always gracious and lovely Better Half. The best part of the experience was the live music which was a conjunto of cubanos playing Cuban music in an unamplified setting. So refreshing and they were very good. The food was OK at best -they’re famous for their pizzas apparently – and the best part of the meal was the complimentary shrimp broth (hot) that was served. Service on this occasion was slow, however they were extremely busy (over the Christmas holidays) with extra-large groups seated at tables for up to 16-18 people at a time. Looking around, the people all seemed to be NOT from the Yucatan. A different-looking crowd. Maybe they all came over from Holbox. Who knows.
Another attempt will be made to further check out their menu.