As of this publication date, Apoala Mexican Cuisine is rated No. 2 on TripAdvisor; it opened only 4 months ago and has moved up from the bottom of the list (280 restaurants) in this short time. Their consistent amazing quality of food and service has impressed locals and visitors alike, both of whom return to the cozy restaurant over and over. Its setting in Santa Lucía park provides indoor and terrace seating with a view of the people and cultural activities in this lovely park in the historic Centro of Mérida.
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.
“Passion for Mexican Flavors” is the restaurant’s slogan, and indeed the award-winning chef-proprietor, Sara Arnaud, is clearly passionate about her culinary creations. She and her brother co-proprietor Carlos have brought a touch of their native Oaxaca to Mérida, with a fusion of Mexican, Oaxacan, and Yucatecan ingredients and recipes, creating fresh nuances of Mexican flavors, textures, and aromas. The servers have been highly trained by manager Arni Murillo in providing caring, attentive service. Both Arni and Sara have worked in 5-star restaurants in Mexico City and Monterrey, and try to make sure every customer has an experience beyond their expecations.
The menu is divided into six sections: appetizers, corn-based recipes, salads, soups and pastas, seafood, and grilled meats. On January 15 a new menu is being launched, including Sara’s award-winning rack of lamb: the rack of lamb is first cooked in the skillet and finished in the oven with a crust of chopped walnut, served on pureed corn and potatoes with a touch of bleu cheese and Edam, with a citric sauce and garnished with squash flower in tempura.
Apoala has a collection of over 30 mezcals that include more than 10 different species of agave, both organic and wild, including some artisanal varieties brought directly from Oaxaca; this centennial Mexican spirit pairs perfectly with their menu. Try their unique cocktails with this liquor as well.
In keeping with the Mexican theme, Apoala proudly presents their new wine list which are mainly Mexican, from the heart of Ensenada. These are artisanal wines, from small wineries with limited production. A few of the wineries include : Casa de Piedra, Viñas Pijoan, Hacienda La Lomita, Barón Balché and Adobe Guadalupe. Other labels are projects which were born from Hugo D´Acosta’s “La Escuelita”. You will find well-known grapes including Tempranillo, Carignan, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and other lesser known grapes such as Durif, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre, among others. All of these are gifts of the Terroir of Ensenada with its Mediterranean climate and pleasant minerality due to its proximity to the sea. These wines will allow you to experience the contrasts and flavors when they are paired with the Mexican cuisine of Apoala.
Parque Santa Lucía Calle 55 x 60, Centro
Tel. 999 923 1979
FB: Apoala Mexican Cuisine
Monday to Saturday 1 pm – 12 am
Sunday 2 pm – 11 pm
Friday and Saturday the bar closes at 2:30 am
Apoala’s consistent amazing quality of food and service has impressed locals and visitors alike, both of whom return to the cozy restaurant over and over.
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