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Holiday Inn’s often overlooked restaurant goes for broke with all-new menu

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Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.

La Arboleda at the Holiday Inn announces an overhauled menu. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — The head chef at the Holiday Inn’s La Arboleda wants the dining public to give the restaurant another look.

The restaurant patio looks appealing from Avenida Colón, where it faces Sanborns. But it has gotten too many lukewarm reviews and some harsh jabs online. If the buffet at the Hyatt is sold out, patrons go to the Fiesta Americana, not here.

Maybe that will change.

La Arboleda’s new menu includes colorful presentations that combine traditional Yucatecan food with international dishes. Chef Alejandro Gallegos Gómez told La Jornada Maya the changes came last Thursday.

A Peruvian leche de tigre (tiger milk) ceviche and Japanese tempura shrimp tacos bring international flair. The local essence is not lost, because as explained by Alejando Gallegos, the dishes have a traditional touch. The shrimp tacos, for example, are marinated in recado negro.

Sopa de lima, crema de queso de bola, Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, cochinita, rib eye steak, salmon, panuchos de pavo, churros or dulce de papaya are some of the 26 dishes that make up the renewed menu.

It’s an entirely new menu. Even the traditional dishes are different. “They are more aesthetic, they have more colors, more presentation,” he described.

Arboleda’s popular tacos, for example, survived the menu’s overhaul. But now its tortilla is blue instead of white. “Here we order the corn, we make the flour, the dough, we put the blue corn right here,” the chef explained. “It’s just a variation of the presentation.”

In addition, the head chef said that ingredients are completely fresh. They do not use canned products or artificial colors.

“Everything we have is natural, we do it from scratch,” he said.

The dishes will be available for six months, priced between 60 and 400 pesos, which is for the parrillada grilled meat sampler for two. It piles on rib eye steak, poc chuc, arrachera, chops and side dishes.

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