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Maíz, Canela y Cilantro

Type: Breakfast and Mexican/Comida corrida (A set menu that changes daily)
Neighborhood: Santiago, Centro, Mérida
Cocina economica in Merida Yucatan MexicoTelephone: 999-923-3424
Address: Calle 70 #464 between Calle 55 and Calle 55A
How to Get There from the Centro: From the Plaza Grande, take Calle 60 north and turn left on Calle 57. Take this to the “T” at Calle 70. The restaurant will be to the right, but it is recommended to turn left (you have no other option) and park near the Santiago church/park area.
Parking: Street Parking. As mentioned, parking in the spots at Santiago’s church/park area may be best.
Air Conditioned: No. Floor fans available.
Outdoors: No
Drinks: Aguas frescas (Fresh fruit waters) and coffee and juices during breakfast hours
Payment: Cash Only
WiFi: Yes
Facebook: No
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00-4:00, Lunch service begins at noon
Pricing: Breakfast $40-$60 MXN, Lunch $50 MXN- fixed price (except for the few days each week that the chef prepares milanesa- a breaded filet of beef, chicken or pork for $60 MXN)
Notes:
The Santiago neighborhood is home to a cozy little eatery known as Maíz, Canela y Cilantro- Spanish for Corn, Cinnamon and Cilantro, three prominent ingredients in Mexican cuisine. The old colonial building where it is housed is typical of the city and adorned with Maya art inside. The space is fairly small with a sparse amount of wooden tables and chairs, but it is recommended to be patient and wait for an opening if all are occupied. The wait will be worth it!
Totopos at cocina economica in Merida Yucatan
Do not allow the Maya pieces to fool you into thinking you will be served the usual Yucatecan cuisine because Ana, the owner and chef, is from central Mexico. Your taste buds will relish the flavors that are common far from the Yucatan Peninsula.

Your restaurant reporter strolled in on August 7, 2013, and found the main table by the front door available. Ana, who is very welcoming and shy, introduced us to her haven. The pride she has in her establishment is obvious. The kitchen is within view of most tables and the detailed labor is visible by all who dine. We were quickly informed that the establishment is one of comida corrida where each day you will find a different multi-course set menu with two options both for $50 MXN each. One option is always a vegetarian platter. She explained that you receive a fresh fruit water (agua fresca), chips with bean dip and salsa, a soup and an entrée.

albondigas soup at cocina economica in Merida YucatanThe list of fresh waters was extensive and on this sultry August afternoon we chose the lime and orange waters to quench our thirsts. (You can get refills for $15 pesos) On this visit we felt like carnivores and opted for the albóndigas (seasoned meatballs) topped with a rustic tomatillo sauce, and a side of rice. The meatballs were well seasoned, not overcooked and very satisfying. We could have opted for the vegetarian dish which on that day consisted of a rice pilaf with squash and eggplant. We saw one go to another table and it looked equally as pleasing.

Ana quickly rushed our beverages and snacks out to begin our culinary experience. The soup followed soon after. We chatted and refreshed ourselves with the aguas frescas, as our stomachs anticipated the meal, encouraged by the savory scents escaping from the kitchen. The soup of the day was a typical sopa de fideo (pasta soup) with vegetables. It was very light, as it should be on a hot Yucatecan day. After the last drop of soup disappeared, Ana promptly delivered the delicious meatballs.

As we enjoyed our meal in this charming locale we kept pondering… What will be on tomorrow’s menu? Or the next day? The mystery of an ever-changing menu of delicious food will lure us back again soon!


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5 Responses to “Maíz, Canela y Cilantro”

  1. A very nice article, I like the sound of this restaurant & will look for it next time we are in town.

  2. Tom and I have eaten here several times, we really like it. the portions are generous, the preparation is tasty AND healthy, the prices are fair, we will continue to frequent and appreciate Ana for her good food and hard work.

  3. For breakfast you gotta try their whole wheat pancakes, excellent! Ana has a warm cinnamon sauce that beats the honey or “maple” (not maple). For her vegetarian meals, she goes the extra mile by featuring brown rice. My standard lunch place.

  4. I don’t need to comment on how “rico” the food is. If you’ve been there you know it.
    What I would like to comment on is the inviting warmth of Anna and the simple sincerity and hard work being performed in that kitchen. This is not a restaurant it is a refuge of delightful culinary surprises. From August till November 2013 I looked forward to visiting and enjoying the personal touches that Anna brought to everything she prepared and the explanations of her dishes. When I return in late February to complete my work visa “trámite” Maíz, canela y cilantro” will be the first place I go for a meal fit for the gods of the “tierra de maravillas”. You can be sure that this is one of those “maravillas”.

  5. This restaurant is just wonderful. I eat here almost every day for lunch or breakfast when I am in in Merida for the winter months. The delicious and healthy food, the great fruit juices ,the pretty and inviting interior and Anas’ charm make it truly a home away from home.

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