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A typical week in Merida

Being that today is Thursday, this will really be an abbreviated week, but still fairly typical for us.

Normally on Mondays I go to my crafts group from 10 am to noon, the location varies as we take turns hosting. This week, I did something else, Husband and I attended a small gathering honoring one of our friends. Since it was being held downtown, we planned on walking,stopping at the pharmacy on the way. The offer of a ride changed our plans. We are nothing if not flexible.

Feeling peckish after the gathering, we decided to have an early lunch. Like most expat gatherings,there were cookies and soda available but we refrained. Husband used to have a big sugar jones, but he wasn’t tempted by the homemade cookies where before he would have consumed his share happily.

The German restaurant, La Bier Haus has opened a location on Calle 62 x 57 y 59, we’ve been talking about checking it out. Having been to the original several times, our expectations were high. The restaurant is nicely laid out, the food is as good as in the original location. However, the service really let us down. Admittedly, we were early for lunch, it was probably noon. Only the staff was present and they were busy with several tasks. Husband ordered jäger schnitzel , and after enquiring if it was available I ordered haxe ,pork shank (ham hocks but not smoked)  or chamorro as it’s called in Mexico. Herein lies the rub. We consumed our beverages while waiting for our meal, eventually, our waiter informed us that there was a problem. Husband’s food was ready but mine wasn’t yet. I said bring his out now, but Husband gallantly overrode me and said that he would wait. The waiter offered to bring out pretzels, which we declined. An hour after ordering, those preztels were sounding pretty good. We had just decided that we would be eating elsewhere when our food made it’s appearance. Here is my complaint, knowing that the shank would take longer, why didn’t the waiter inform me in the first place? Secondly, why did they prepare Husband’s dish so far ahead of mine? Seriously, the waiter told me it would take five minutes instead it took half an hour. I realize that this often happens in Yucatecan restaurants, but I have come to expect a higher standard from La Bier Haus. The portions were generous,so taking our left overs to go, we headed to The Italian Coffee company.

Monday was turning out to be an international sort of day. While drinking our coffees, the idea came to us that we could buy some espresso grind to take home, thereby eliminating a trip to the organic store on Reforma. Overhearing our conversation with the waiter as I explained what we wanted, the gentleman at the next table struck up a conversation regarding coffee in general and expresso in particular. When I lamented the disappearance of Cubita  from the marketplace, he pulled out his cell phone and searched the web! Unfortunately, he was no more successful than us.

Juggling our coffee and left overs, we finally made it to the pharmacy. The only thing of note that happened there was the young man behind the counter wanted to know what part of Mexico we’re from. My standard answer is “¿Oyéndome me hablar español de verdad crees que soy mexicana?” His reply that we speak Spanish very well, tickled me. The truth is that he only heard a few words from Husband, and since we buy medicines routinely, the script doesn’t vary much. I can converse about tomatoes and cilantro for hours, it’s politics and philosophy that slows me down (not that I ever discuss Mexican politics, only those of my native land).I’m not sure if my Spanish is improving because recently a taxi driver told me that I sound like a Yucateco! Sharing that tidbit with La Muchacha made her guffaw.

This post is getting a tad long, so Tuesday thru Thursday will need to wait until tomorrow.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Marianne, so good to hear from you! You and the mister are missed in Merida. The Mexicans must of learned it from the Germans, because I’ve experienced it before, but not as extremely as this time.

  2. This “staggered” service is typical of Germany. They bring the food when it’s ready, which is not necessarily the same cooking time for everyone’s order. (We just returned from Germany yesterday and, though their timing is better than on our first trip thirty years ago, it isn’t Commander’s Palace, New Orleans.)

  3. Lee,Don’t despair, TIM,service is often variable in Mérida. The food however was good. Hammockman went and everything was fine. So maybe the lesson is avoid Tuesday at noon? Or order sausages not something that needs to be oven roasted?

    Since I don’t drink cappuccino, I can’t comment on that. I normally drink plain black cafe americano when we have coffee outside the house. Most coffees taste a bit weak to me compared to what we drink at home LOL. As for Nescafe, it makes great cafe con leche when you add it directly to warm milk. Mexican Nescafe doesn’t taste like NOB instant.

  4. It’s slightly discouraging. The German restaurant is in the place of El Hoyo, a funky cafe that we really enjoyed. And then you went to the Italian Coffee Company, which we really hate! The cappuccino tastes like it was made with instant Nescafe powder and it’s staffed with indifferent teenagers. (I can get that at home!) Thanks for the review. If in a weak moment we go to the bier haus, we’ll accept a bowl of pretzels.

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