Ever since the Restaurant Reforma changed hands I have not had a dive for mole and my lunch life has been sadder for it. Yesterday, on a Sunday no less, I ended up going to a very hippy dippy hole in the wall with Oaxacan fare on the menu. At El Apapacho half the menu is vegetarian. I had the red mole (spicier) but most of the plates I noticed coming out of the kitchen had black (sweeter). I had the emmoladas stuffed with potatoes and Oaxacan cheese. My other veggie options were nopales or mushrooms. My friend had a beef huraches. It´s also nice at lunch when there are fresh fruit juices by the glass or carafe on the menu. Natalie had lemonade and I had Watermelon. I cannot wait to go back. The only down side was the slowness of the service but it seemed we arrived right after 3 other tables and it is a small kitchen. El Apapacho Calle 62 no. 354 x 41 & 43 it´s an art gallery, it´s a bookstore, it´s a restaurant.
On my second trip this month I had the black mole which was even better than the red mole! I would recommend you come before you are starving as it seems they make everything to order and the service is good but the cook is not fast.
Merida´s Cemeterio General
A walk down the main road of the cemetery in Merida, Yucatan where the wealthy hacienderos made their Mausoleums in the 19th and early 20th century mostly in the Victorian Neo-Gothic style.
Most of the monuments are virgins, angels and Jesus on or off the cross. but there are few interesting monuments like the girl with a duck from about 1920
There guided tours of the cemetery at night. On the day of the dead the paseo de animas starts in the graveyard and parades up the Camino Real de Campeche past the Ermita de Santa Isabel Church and up to the Parque de San Juan.
Should be on your top ten list of places to visit in Merida and it´s open every day.
Casa T´ho Pops Up
Not sense never have I ever seen an evening like Oct 12 in Merida. A new concept store Casa T´ho has finally opened after months of teasers on social media. It was like opening night at the opera. In the first room the center piece was a tiara of old mexican coins from designer Daniela Bustos Maya whose things we have seen at Coqui Coqui´s boutiques but here she has more space to feature he clothes, jewelry and home decor. Across the hall is the very popular Carla Fernandez of Mexico City´s first boutique in Merida and it does not disappoint.
Then you walk into a splendid Porfirio courtyard. It is rumored to become a cafe and that could be a very pleasant addition to this end of the Paseo. On the left is a guayabera shop and on the right was my favorite shop, Made in Mexico con Amor. MIMA is a very chic selection of well curated crafts from all over Mexico.
Shoppers that lament the lack of stock recently at Coqui Coqui since the owners took off to Bora Bora will find what they were missing at this new group of boutiques. So many of my girl friends were happy to see their favorites bags back on the shelf and some new models as well. Now if only a nice shoe designer would pop up.
One of my favorite discoveries last night was a soap and perfume maker from Merida. I loved their candles that were busts of famous Yucatecans called Sandovalis.
Breaking Fast + Coffee
Eclipsed in Mayapan
Yesterday I posted some photos of Mayapan on my guide to the Yucatan city of Merida. We have been renting houses in and around Merida for the past 15 years. I love the little visited sites of the Yucatan. Mayapan is just less than an hour from the center of Merida.
Whenever I find myself in the ruta puuc area I head over to Mani for lunch at El Principe de Tutul Xui. It´s the very best place to have a poc chuc or relleno negro. I was happy with the hand made tortillas and guacamole since I no longer eat meat. The convent was closed after lunch so we strolled around the grounds before heading back to Merida.If you are coming to the Yucatan check out my blog and website.
What´s in my Garden?
When I moved to the Yucatan I thought I had a green thumb. Turns out, I didn´t even have a tropical pinky finger. My experience with tropical plants was limited to atriums of glass buildings from the 80´s. In fact I had a deep-seated aversion to heliconias and philodendrons. My years in France made me long for a hedge or parterre. I have murdered hundreds of roses and lavenders over the years.
The garden at my house, Meson San Sebastian for years was just two giant blue agaves and a wall of giant prickly pear cactus. But now there is fragrance garden in the corner that has something blooming year round. The lily pond is being taken over by giant lotuses.
1000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall
Somewhere around Xcanatun there is a brewery that has been spewing forth some very nice handcrafted beer without additives or chemicals. Water, hops, yeast and malt are the only ingrediants of Patito (Little Duck). Now you can head over to drink it at the corner of calles 64 & 55 where the brewery have opened a sort of pub, I suppose. It´s a very pleasant ruin of a house that has not been over restored. Apparently a real live Merida born chef trained at the French school (Bocuse) has made the menu adapting local recipes and ingredients. His name is Alex Méndez and I know that from reading the article I linked to. Otherwise I would have thought the food had never been given a second thought as everything I´ve seen come out of the kitchen is very mediocre. But, ni modo, we are here to talk about and drink some beer. You can walk down the street two blocks (if you pace yourself) and eat in Santa Lucia square. But you might enjoy the beer so much you won´t mind what you´re snacking on.
The very nice thing is this. There are two samplers of 4 beers each in 5 ounce glasses. If you are with close friends or family who have thrown caution and hygiene to the wind you can taste them all. The brewery started out with a Belgian Blonde Ale and a light Pilsner then they added an India Pale Ale. These beer are not pasteurized and have no added alcohol or flavors. Now they have added a Dry Stout, a Wiezenbier, a Porter Vanilla, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale & a Chocolate Stout. Seasonally they offer other specials around Christmas and Octoberfest.
The brewery and the mothership restaurant are located in Xcanatun on the highway to Progresso. The food might be better there as reviewed by the Casual Restaurant Critic. But I have my doubts as the prices there are in dollars and it´s on the cruise ship itinerary. But if you want a pleasant afternoon break drop in the downtown Hermana Republica and imbibe. FYI this brewery does not offer bottled beer though a few come in cans…
Mayazul en Mejorada
Mayazul is a vacation home in the historic center near Merjorada Park and the Santa Lucia Square. The Owners live in Mexico City and created the house for their friends and family to gather for a relaxing time in the Yucatan. It was created by the Reyes Rios+Larrain Studio at the same time as they were designing the hotel Rosas y Xocolate. You can rent the Casa Vieja or the Casa Nueva or both. They share a common entrance and parking space. It´s a very popular rental for family reunions and wedding parties.
Casa Nueva has 3 bedrooms all with garden views. The master suite has a king and large bathroom. The girls room has twin beds and the guest room is upstairs and has a queen. The large living space has the kitchen and dining table but if you are a big group there is also a dining table on the tejaban portico.
The Casa Vieja was an Art Deco house that has been renovated. There are two bedrooms a king and one with two doubles. The living and dining room is under a portico with an open kitchen. Find out more about this house at Urbano Rentals.
Villa Los Arcos de San Juan
We recently started renting this Colonial Casona that belonged to one of the hennequen haciendero families. The house was renovated in 1930 for a couple while they were on their honeymoon. Many o…
Source: Villa Los Arcos de San Juan
Doctor Guzman’s Antique Bazaar
Doctor Guzman´s Antique Bazaar happens once or twice a year in his shop behind the family home in Garcia Gineres. The local gentry bring out their family jewels and baccarat. There´s always a lot of belle epoque glass and ceramics amount the gold and and coral rosaries. If you are lucky enough to be in town when it happens you are sure to find something you´ll treasure. Here are a few things that caught my eye for one reason or another.
Don´t miss Izamal…
I go to Izamal about once a year. Usually I´m with guests so I do the touristy things like the crafts museum and the convent. But yesterday I went just to see an antique dealer who had a few saints I wanted to see. After spending all my cash there I went to town and used my debit card on some crafts at Hecho a Mano. All that shopping made me hungry so I went to the Restaurant Kinich. El Pricipe Tutul Xul in Mani has long been my favorite restaurant for the classic Yucatecan cuisine but now Kinich has take it´s place. Nothing in Merida compares to these two restaurants. It´s a pleasure just to have a cool drink and lather the beans and habanero sauce on the freshly hand made tortillas. The staff are all so friendly and attractive in their traditional dress. It´s worth including Izamal as a side trip with Chichen Itza or Valladolid. It´s also worth just heading there for the day from Merida without a to do list… For more daytrips see my Best of Yucatan blog.