At the corner of calles 45 and 72 here in Centro Merida sits this little pink restaurant.
They are open every day but Sunday from noon to midnight.
We were introduced to it about 5 years ago and call it one of our everyday favorites. It's not fancy, in fact it's a little shabby, but the food is consistently good. And the family that owns and operates are very sweet.
You have to duck to get in under this hanging vine, I think it protects the front from the sun coming in and heating it up. There is one room with air conditioning, but they have big ceiling fans in the main room.
Tom and I, as well as several friends love this place, it is like going in to Cheers; the owners know us, welcome us, and are genuinely happy to see us.
The ceilings have strips of paint hanging and swaying with the air movement, and the walls are pocked with dried cement pulling away, and layers of a variety of tones of pink paint that it takes all my will power to keep from pulling off. The same little glass and dried flower centerpieces have been on the tables since we first started going there. There are typically stains on the linens, and we just look past it all.
The food is consistent and tasty. In fact Tom says these are the best chiles rellenos in town, and he tries them all over the place. An order consists of 2 chiles; you can get cheese, picadillo (a tasty ground meat mix), or mixto, which is one of each. They are served in a pool of tasty fresh tomato sauce with a side of rice and a piece of fried platano. I tend to get the pechuga a la plancha. Thin strip of chicken breast meat cooked on a griddle, served with beans, rice, and a small salad of tomato slices with sometimes lettuce, sometimes cucumber.
We've each eaten other things, but just tend to stick with these because we like them.
When you sit down you get asked if you want something to drink; the beers are icey cold but you need to check what they have. They advertise wine, but I've not been impressed and stick with the beer; or jamaica.
Then they will bring you a little botana - it could be empanadas stuffed with either picadillo or cheese, or tostadas with beans, picadillo, chopped tomato and cilantro. I don't know if you get the botana if you don't order booze, we seem to ALWAYS order beer. If you love these little tostadas, like I do, you can actually order them; when I order them I get 3 on a plate and they are quite filling.
another friend always gets the chicken flautas, they covered in shredded lettuce, crumbled cheese, and crema; they look fabulous!