My friends wonder out loud what Paul and I will be eating once we make the big move to Mérida, and I want them to know that it won’t be all tacos and enchiladas. Despite my attempts to educate my poor unenlightened friends about Yucatecan food, they don’t know much about it.
So how do I go beyond that and tell them that I’m also going to be enjoying other cuisines as well?
La Musa, a French-inspired café, opened recently on the Paseo and Calle 43, very close to our home. I think it attracts more of a local, younger crowd. If we’re the only aging expats in line, so be it.
The Facebook group Bienvenido a Yucatan gave them a little shoutout, and a friend whose opinion I trust gave it a thumbs up. The Bienvenido page says one of the owners, Tomás, left France at 17 and traveled throughout Latin America, gaining kitchen experience in restaurants and hotels. On the path of the Sunday Bici Ruta, La Musa gives a 10 percent discount to customers who arrive by bicycle. Sounds like La Musa has a solid basis for success. Its storefront is a place I’ve often remarked should be a café because of the trees and shrubbery that screen it from the sidewalk.
We also started to compile a list of places “not to miss” on our next trip: Bistro Cultural, Café Créme, the place that took over La Boheme, which is now called Pistache Pastisserie & Boulangerie.
Do you see a theme here? So do I. Who thought we’d be so Frenchified by embracing Yucatan!
Bistro Cultural is a corner bistro, very basic. Some of the best cappuccino. It was started by a Frenchman who then sold it … to another Frenchman. Imagine that. It’s a limited menu, but we’ve never been disappointed and never failed to be charmed by its handsome chef owner, Yohann Chauvineau. Yesterday, he posted a typical menu de hoy, with French terms in Spanish:
Sopa de cebolla —> $30 MX
Ensaladita de queso de cabra —-> $30 MX
Pescado en salsa de vino blanco
Crepas de jamon, queso y huevo
Tartina del chef
Quiche de cebolla
Quiche de poro
Then there’s Café Créme, in the Maison Blue building. Here’s their weekend menu, another Spanish-French mashup:
Rillettes de puerco
Ratatouille con pescado a la plancha
I haven’t gone to Pastiche, but online I can see it’s been received well. Also, the Escargot bakery, which we poked into late one afternoon when its selection had been picked over… that had expats swooning.
That international quality is one of my favorite things about Mérida. Don’t even get me started on the good Italian food that’s gradually hit the scene!