dining in the courtyard
murals at El Apapacho
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.
guacamole and fresh blue corn chips
a beef huraches
Emmoladas Roja con queso y papas
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.
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…