Apoala Mexican Cuisine Restaurant
Calle 60, No. 471 x 55 Local 2
Portales de Santa Lucia
Merida, Yucatan, MX
So, the day before yesterday (Sunday) was my 67th birthday. Joel wanted to take me out to a nice dinner (Just for clarification: Joel is mi hermano, my brother, and not my partner). Saturday, Sunday and Monday had been full of family drama from back in the States, so by Monday evening I was ready for some self-medication. Seems like stress can find you anywhere in the world if it really wants to, guess I’ll just have to run faster and farther.
Early evening (about 6 p.m.) found us at what is rapidly becoming our favorite high-end eating establishment: Apoala Mexican Cuisine Restaurant. There is both inside and outside dinning, but we always prefer Al fresco dining whenever possible—and in Mexico it’s almost always possible. Apoala’s Al fresco dining under the portales looks out over the beautiful Parque de Santa Lucia in Centro, Merida (as seen in the photo above).
“The name Apoala comes from the Náhuatl language and refers to the mythic tree from which the first man and woman were born of the Mixtec people of Oaxaca – Yucatan Today.” Apoala’s cuisine is a fusion of Mexican, Oaxacan and Yucatecan ingredients and recipes.
Fortunately Apoala is only a short ten or fifteen minute walk from our casa en Santiago Colonia. We step out from our front door on Calle 78, immediately turn right on Calle 55 and continue until we reach Parque de Santa Lucia on Calle 60. It couldn’t possibly be any easier.
We began with cocktails: Bombay Sapphire on the rocks for me, Margaritas for Joel. Two apiece before finally ordering our meal. We each ordered a beef Filet Mignon grilled to perfection, served on a bed of spicy mashed potatoes and topped with Mexican cabbage and an Au jus type sauce to die for. These were very large filets, about 2-inches thick and 3-inches in diameter. With our dinner we each consumed a very large glass of Merlot, and then moved on to dessert: Chocolate brownie, homemade ice-cream and fruit for me, homemade ice-cream for Joel.
By now it was time to light up the Cuban Cohiba cigars we had brought with us (Juan always keeps us well supplied, and is quick to replenish our stock every two to three weeks). While dining outside, smoking is permissible and even encouraged. We have never had any trouble with the locales relative to our smoking out of doors; the only confrontations we have encountered in Mexico have come from visiting tourists or resident expats. A fitting companion to any good cigar is a premium Cognac: in this case Hennessy V.S.O.P. Once again two apiece. Oh yeah, we were feeling our liquor by this time. But remember, I was self-medicating for stress reduction and overall health care. I don’t know what Joel’s excuse was.
The live entertainment showed up about this time (a man and a woman), acoustical guitar and bongo-type drums in hand. Great musicians and vocalists, the both. For the next hour to hour and half we smoked our Cuban’s, drank our Cognac and listened to a great selection of eclectic tunes—from the Sandpipers’ Guantanamera, to the Beatles, to classic songs indigenous to Mexico. The entire meal lasted at least three hours, and we were never rushed—not even a little. And that’s how dining is done here in Mexico. When you’re finally ready to call it an evening, a simple la cuenta por favor is sufficient.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Ciudad de Campeche, Campeche, MX
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