Each month Yucatan Today visits a restaurant in order to describe what it has to offer. This is not a review; it is a summary of the menu, service, ambience, prices, and opening hours.

September 2008

Cuisine: Progressive Mexican. Chef: Roberto Euan Chim. Location: Historic centro, one block from main plaza. Setting: Four areas, indoors and outdoor patios, Mexican décor. Seating: 250 seats, mostly non-smoking tables. Hours: 6 pm to 1:30 am. Parking: Public parking lot next door, 12 pesos per hour. Credit cards: VI, MC, Amex. Average price for two including two drinks each, two appetizers, and two main courses: 900 pesos. Reservations: 923-0942.

Pancho’s is one of Mérida’s most memorable restaurants. Presenting Mexican food with flair, its kitchen offers traditional ingredients prepared in unique, creative ways. The chef prides himself on his truly original, mouth-watering recipes.

The ambience will certainly help get you in the mood for this special evening. With four dining areas to choose from, there is a place for everyone here. Most of the tables are set in an outdoor patio, filled with Mexican décor, lush greenery, and soft lighting. Although there is no live music, the background music is pleasant and unobtrusive.

Pancho’s bar offers a good selection of wines, beers, and cocktails, including perfectly-prepared Margaritas and Mojitos. You can sip your beverage while considering the appetizer menu with options such as the Paté Rústico, made with lobster, shrimp, squash blossoms, goat cheese, and Xtatic chile sauce (not hot). It is served with toasted baguettes. Another delicious appetizer is the Nopal Salad, made with fresh nopal (a type of cactus) and feta cheese. Also available are Empanadas de Maíz, corn-based pies filled with four cheeses, served over avocado and fresh basil with olive oil and lime. The artistic guacamole is served with crispy banana chips instead of tortilla chips, and the Yucatecan favorite Sopa de Lima (lime soup) is also offered on the appetizer menu. If you like oysters, Pancho’s offers several different recipes to choose from.

As tempting as the appetizers are, be sure to save room for the main course! The Cowboy Steak is one of the favorites at Pancho’s, a big juicy rib-eye cooked to perfection and served with crispy French fries. Also in the meat department are tender pork ribs with serrano (not hot), falling off the bone and served with cilantro mustard coleslaw and French fries. For a unique twist on a Mexican tradition, try the Chiles Rellenos, which are ancho chiles stuffed with beef filet tips. For seafood lovers, jumbo shrimps in a tequila sauce will please you.

End your meal with a flaming Maya or Spanish coffee. Be sure to bring your camera, as the setting and the revolution-style waiters are irresistible photo subjects.


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