El Argentino

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 2010

There have been various Argentinian restaurants in Mérida over the years, but the one which has stood the test of time, since 2000, is El Argentino. If you love Argentinian empanadas, sausage, and grilled meats, this dining experience will be your version of heaven.

The dining room is spacious but has a cozy feel to it, because of the wood beams and brick ceiling combined with the white tablecloths. Background music from Argentina and Mexico will get you in the mood for your feast.

The service at El Argentino must be mentioned before talking about the food. As any restaurant-goer knows, the food is only 50% of the reason to return to a restaurant. If the service does not meet your expectations, you will not return. No need to worry here…many of these waiters have been here for years! They are true professionals.

The extensive wine list includes various wines from Argentina, now the fifth largest producer of wine in the world. Originally the wines of Argentina were similar to those of Spain, which is where their first grapes originated, but over the past two decades Argentina’s wines have evolved into their own varieties and tastes.

While sipping your glass of Malbec, consider the menu…and start your meal with some empanadas. El Argentino makes its own pastry, and the fillings are delicious. Ground beef, various combinations with cheese, and a shrimp empanada are all excellent choices, accompanied by homemade chimichurri sauce…go ahead!

For Caesar salad fans, this could quite possibly be the best one in Mérida. Made the traditional way at your table in a wooden salad bowl, the ingredients are fresh and the waiter knows what he is doing. It is a pleasure to watch him create this edible art and even more of a pleasure to eat it.

There are other appetizers which are musts at El Argentino. Chorizo, chistorra, and other grilled sausages are homemade and served hot from the grill. But you must also try the mushrooms with guajillo chile, red wine and spices. You will be asking the waiter to tell you all of the ingredients so you can recreate this at home, but the recipe for this house specialty is a closely guarded secret!

And now for the main event: the beef. Arrachera, churrasco, flank steak, prime rib, beef ribs, and more…all prime quality and grilled to perfection by one of the restaurant’s two grilling masters. And for those who prefer fish or poultry, there are several options to choose from. And there are also platters for two, four or six to share, and also packages with steak by the kilo along with your favorite bottle.

You will have one more decision to make: dessert. We suggest asking the waiter for his other tableside specialty: the apples flambé, prepared with brandy and Bailey’s. You will be able to watch this creation take shape before your eyes, and again you will find the exact recipe something of a secret! The warm apples are served with vanilla ice cream and there is no more perfect way to end your meal at El Argentino.

Prolongación Montejo x Calle 25, Col. México. Tel. 285 0695. 1 pm – 12 am.

There have been various Argentinian restaurants in Mérida over the years, but the one which has stood the test of time, since 2000, is El Argentino.

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