restaurant review - el emporio

A friend invited us to go along to this relatively new Steak restaurant  in Colonia Mexico Oriente, 
and of course we accepted.  This happens to be her new favorite.

El Emporio has restaurants in Cancun, and Chetumal. This Merida branch opened about 3 months ago.  

Jose, the Manager, is very personable, and quite good at restaurant'ing, he was busy the whole evening watching over the staff, offering them training tips, making sure all the tables were happy, and just in general being a very nice guy and a very good restaurant manager.   

The interior is very pleasant, but with some funny, corny, and entertaining murals painted on the walls.
This looks past the bar towards a second seating area. And of course there are tables out front as well.

Naturally there was a TV, it was playing a concert, but it wasn't overly loud, in fact we were quite close and had no trouble having our conversations.

They start you with this lovely bread and a fabulous chimichurri, but be careful of that tomato habanero sauce, it will light you up

This was our wine choice for the evening.  Montes Toscanini Elegido Reserva. 

El Emporio specializes in wines from Uruguay, who knew right!  
We went with this Reserva, and it was very good, held up well against the spiciness of the foods we ate.

We ordered an empanada of Spinach and Ricotta, they have a large variety of empanadas.  The empanadas are very light and VERY tasty.  The dough is quite thin, and they are not greasy at all.  The 3 of us were able to share one empanada, but that was because we had salad coming

This was the salad we chose -- HUGE, and very tasty.

Our waiter, serving our salad, Arturo, very nice young guy, very observant and conscientious.

Out in front and to the right as you are approaching the door is the parilla, the grilling station. This is where the meats are grilled, over carbon, or coals, and baby it is HOT in that space.  The grill chef and his assistant are in there!  The bread served comes from that domed brick oven.

 those are our steaks on the grill, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

 and this is the Churrasco steak with the bone in - it is the equivalent  to a rib eye.  

This is a large piece of meat, the potato, don't be fooled, it is still a thin skinned potato, however it was very tasty, and the onions and peppers are quite spicy but really set off the other things!

The grill chef was able to cook to the temperatures requested, we asked for 2 medio rojo (medium rare), and one rojo rojo (extra rare)

We encountered one issue, and were quite surprised at the outcome.  Tom's steak was riddled with fat and gristle he wasn't going to say anything, but well, one thing lead to another and when Jose was apprised of the problem, he removed Tom's plate and brought him a complete new steak and all new trimmings.

We were unable to take a dessert, those steaks are huge.

El Emporio
calle 20 #59A x 1G y 1H
colonia Mexico Oriente
Merida, Yucatan
948-3232 y 948-4393
sure wish they had a webpage with a menu, I forgot to take photos of the menu for you.

Monday - Saturday 1 - 11:30
Sunday 1 - 6