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.
Sooner or later, whether you live here or are a visitor to Mérida, you will want to find a restaurant in Centro with truly authentic Yucatecan food. La Chaya Maya prides itself on preparing the traditional menu to perfection.
This spotlessly clean, cozy restaurant will make you feel at home from the moment you arrive. The staff will escort you to a table, no matter how busy they are…and open the door for you when you leave. Although informal, the standards are high. The owner, Osman, works right alongside his staff in a spirit of real teamwork.
Chaya was chosen as a theme for this restaurant, because of its importance to Yucatecan cuisine and its significance to the Maya over centuries. With this as an inspiration, the chefs at Chaya Maya have included the spinach-like leaf in several of the recipes. And they have only the freshest ingredients in their kitchen.
The details are part of the experience: the embroidered tablecloths; the hand-made tortillas cooked in an open space in the restaurant; the henequen box for the “cuenta”; and the open kitchen, where you can watch the chefs in action. And if you like what you eat, or what you see, just ask…they are beginning to offer ingredients such as chaya and habanero plants, 100% Yucatecan products, plus regional crafts, music, and fruit candies.
And the menu…a work of art in itself! Colorful images of the people and cuisine of Yucatán will get you in the mood for your feast. Both the Maya and Yucatecan breakfast combinations start off with a fresh chaya drink, and include several options such as Huevos Motuleños, Vaporcitos, and Machaca of Turkey or Cochinita. Soups include Cream of Chaya, Sopa de Lima, and others. And for Comidas, you will see everything Yucatecan, including Brazo de Reina and…Mucbil Pollo! Osman felt that many visitors to Yucatán are disappointed not to be able to sample this traditional dish of the Day of the Dead, so he decided to include it on his menu as a regular item. Tikin xic is popular at La Chaya Maya, and they also offer Pipián de Pavo among other turkey options.
As an added plus, La Chaya Maya has its own Yucatecan invention: Los Tres Mosqueteros Yucatecos. This unique dish consists of three crepes…made from corn and chaya flour. Each one is filled with shredded turkey, and each one is bathed with a different flavor of Yucatán: sauces of Papadzul, Pipian, and Relleno Negro. It has to be tasted to be believed!
Another wonderful option is one of the three Yucatecan combination plates: The Tradición, which has tacos, a panucho, and a vaporcito; the Parrillada (for two), with grilled meats and fajitas; and Cuatro Yucas (for two), with four of the classic Yucatecan specialties: cochinita and three turkey recipes.
Desserts are classic, and freshly made each day…be sure to save some room!
La Chaya Maya, Calle 62 x 57, Centro. Tel. 928 4780. Hours: 7 am – 11 pm.
Esta entrada también está disponible en: ES