Sunday, November 20, 2011

Acqua Cocina Creativa

I celebrated my first birthday in Mérida and since I am twenty-nine AGAIN, Ty wanted to treat me to a relaxing and delicious birthday date. I chose Acqua Cocina Creativa. We head out for a late lunch, arriving at the restaurant about four thirty. The sun hangs low as we are graciously greeted by Fernando and shown to our outdoor table nestled under a stand of bamboo. The sidewalk dining area overlooks a quiet boulevard with several other restaurants in the area.   
Ty selects a midrange red wine and we have a choice of menus, Spanish or English, the Spanish version is much more romantic, but with the English menu we will know exactly what we are ordering! My mouth waters at the descriptive selections, it was difficult to decide given the variety of tempting appetizers and entrees.
To begin our evening feast we select a wonderfully spicy Tuna Tartare served with blue corn tostadas. Ernesto (the owner) comes by our table to say hello, he is a friendly and warm fellow who says mi casa su casa.
We enjoy the Acqua Salad of dark leafy spinach, pungent creamy goat cheese, crunchy sweet caramelized pecans and balsamic vinegar dressing.
Fernando and Mauricio place our entrees before us and the first thing we notice is the wonderful presentation, Ty has selected a creamy dish of gorgonzola cheese sauce, penne pasta and roasted tomato topped with large grilled shrimp.
  I swoon over the asparagus and bacon rice soufflé topped with slices of succulent duck breast in a dark balsamic thyme fig sauce.
The twinkling city lights, the soft breeze rustling the bamboo and our taste buds completely satisfied, Fernando tempts us with a scrumptious dessert and after dinner aperitif. We relent, not sure we have room for another bite, when the Cinnamon Almond Streusel arrives we do not hesitate to put away the entire dessert.
Chef Pablo Gomes

Lingering over our after dinner drinks, Pablo Gomes the chef who expertly prepares Maricela’s recipes, comes by our table, shaking Ty’s hand he inquires as to whether or not we have enjoyed the meal.
 Fernando and Mauricio
 Some of the staff of Acqua
Maricela has managed to carve out a comfortable dining experience with creative recipes and ample servings. Their staff’s attention to detail is impressive. We spent around a hundred dollars including tip, we had one bottle of wine, an appetizer, salad, two entrees, dessert and three aperitifs. While the restaurant decor is ultra-contemporary (not really our taste), inside can be a little noisy as it fills with people, the tables outside are relaxing and comfortable. Fernando inquires about calling us a taxi as he places our doggy bag on the table, Adie will be disappointed when we do not share.
Maricela and Ernesto have created a wonderful place to dine in our beautiful city and I believe the name of the restaurant says it all, Acqua Cocina Creativa.
Avenida 21 # 73 x 12 y 14
Colonia Mexico

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We had the opportunity to meet Hamish through two great folks who became our first friends here in Mérida. Being just two doors down from our Casa Renta it was easy to bop back and forth for little visits. Hamish always greeted us with a smile and welcomed us into his home. He moved slowly as age had caught up with him, but his eyes reflected the heart of a youngster. I well remember a party at his house, in his quiet manner he greeted each guest and mingled with the crowd, when he had enough, he laid down, unfazed by the music and chatter of the guests. When I visited Hamish, with his crippled gait he would approach me with his favorite toy, wet with slobber I would tug gently and he would tug back.
Hamish passed away last week and left sadness in the hearts of our dear friends and in ours as well. I have thought of what a dog brings to human lives, of what Adie has brought to our life. The unconditional love dogs have for their human companions is never ceasing, the smiles that cross our faces as we watch them play and their unwavering devotion, we welcome them into our homes and they become a family member. They sense our emotions and alert us of danger. They simply love us and we love them back.

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On A Sunday in Mérida

On an almost crisp or should I say less hot and humid Sunday in Mérida you have a smorgasbord of activities to choose from. You can choose to walk your dog along the beautiful Paseo Montejo, you can bicycle the historic streets of centro or you can head north to Colonia Chuburna to an open-air market called a tianguis. Since I am an avid estate sale and flea market shopper, that is exactly what a couple of my girlfriends and I decided to do. With the morning a comfortable temperature and clouds threatening at least a sprinkle or two, we head out shopping bags in tow to see what goodies we might unearth.
The pretty and simple red stucco church has parishioners spilling out onto the lawn, and the smell of street corn drifts through the air as we begin our expedition.
Many vendors have used clothing, which was clean, on hangers and in good shape, my friend Sara sorts through the clothes for interesting fabrics to make designer pillows.  Linda searches the new and used jewelry for interesting beads; she takes apart her finds to create new earrings, bracelets and adornments on her hand knitted pillows and shawls. I just like the thought of finding anything interesting. I buy a little cross body tapestry tote for 25 pesos and admire a large wood carving which started out being priced at 1600 pesos, but by the time I began to walk away the vendor had reduced it to 1200 pesos, with no haggling on my part. As interesting as it was, I passed it up.
What I could not pass up was at Alejandro’s plant stand where I bought a lavender plant and two tropical plants of some kind which were very reasonably priced.
After we had completed our tour of the tianguis, we stopped in to see Miguel at his vivero (nursery). From the street it looks like a small place with nice plants, truth is it is more like maneuvering through a well-kept jungle, flowers of every color lighting our way.

I choose two gardenia plants with fragrant white blooms and four bags of fine composted coffee colored dirt.
Our shopping complete and our tummy’s growling, Miguel suggests a cocina economica where we dined on hot off the grill chicken, tortillas and macaroni soup. Lunch including drink set me back a whopping 46 pesos ($3.50 usd).
I dropped my friends off and headed to Casa Sur for a wonderful Sunday siesta!