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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Off the beaten path in Yucatán’s capital

Food sleuth Maggie Cale uncovers more hidden treasures in Mérida, and updates her earlier finds

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Maggie Cale
Maggie Cale was born in the United States and has lived most of her life in Pennsylvania. She has a social work degree from Penn State University and finished her career in Washington, D.C. working with families. She moved to Yucatán in 2017 and has worked part-time ghostwriting for bloggers. She lives in Itzimná with her two dogs.
Dulce Ch’uhuk in Mercado Chen Bech has sweet candies, mazapán de pepita, which are sculpted into fall/ Halloween type shapes. Photo: Maggie Cale

On to another grouping of fun places to enhance your life while living in Mérida.

Mi Ranchito has delicious selections of pastries and cheesecake. Although it is a little farther away, by the airport, the good news is they deliver. Their specialty cakes are very pretty, but you need to order ahead for that special occasion. They carry a mixed box of pastries daily. In the box, for 100 pesos, are two each of cream puffs, coconut flan, brownies, and a cream-filled sponge cake. If you are shopping in person, feel free to mix and match your own dessert box. The personal cheesecake, topped with strawberries and whipped cream, is 70 pesos. It would easily serve three people. 999-112-8011; Avenida Canek × 98 y 100, Col. Bojorquez

Photo: Amaretti Brownie y Bocaditos.

Amaretti Brownie y Bocaditos is from a new couple starting out in Mérida. They love desserts and baking together. Everything started with chocolatey, sweet brownies. Other items they are adding include carrot cake squares with cream cheese icing and a lovely no-knead cheese bread. I had 10 carrot cake squares delivered to my home in Centro for 125 pesos. The cake was very moist with a good flavor — nut alert — and the icing had a nice ratio of cream cheese. My recommendation is to order half with icing and half without. Great with morning coffee or tea. I would follow them closely because after being open for just three months they are already expanding. 999-335-6422, Avenida Yucatán 411A, Col. Jardines de Mérida

Photo: Baguettes Café Mérida

Baguettes Café Mérida is a busy restaurant that locals visit. They serve many Mexican dishes like enchiladas with good mole, burritos which are really stuffed full, or huevos Mexicana for a range of 120 to 95 pesos. This is the restaurant that my landlords take me to every Christmas. What has also caught my eye is their take on American dishes, too. They serve a chicken cheesesteak baguette, a sirloin mushroom cheesesteak baguette, and Buffalo Chicken Philly baguette with fries for about 160 pesos and they really hit home for me, a Pennsylvania gal. It is an indoor restaurant with a nice variety of food and good service. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 999-943-7979, Calle 31 84, Itzimná 

Dulce Ch’uhuk is a cute new place that has opened in Mercado Chen Bech. Photo: Maggie Cale

Dulce Ch’uhuk is a cute new place that has opened in Mercado Chen Bech. They are calling themselves a bakery but they have much more. The sweet candies made from pumpkin seeds and sugar, mazapán de pepita, are sculpted into fall/Halloween-themed shapes. They also carry a good variety of frappes. Then the bakery part, from glorious chocolate cakes to cupcakes and of course Neapolitan flan. Currently of course they have the Day of the Dead bread, as they were calling it. A lovely mother and two daughters run this business. My favorite was a slice of cheese pie that melts in your mouth for 30 pesos. The final perk is that they also sell fresh coffee. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Calle 57 420 B, Centro

Here are some follow-ups on places that we previously mentioned.

A Japanese cheesecake from Sunny. Photo: Courtesy

Sunny: I finally have had the Japanese cheesecake. I found that ordering the single-serving ahead of time is the best way to pick it up in the morning. It is only 50 pesos and I can get two servings from it. It is airy and light with a wonderful creamy texture. Take it out of the fridge for about five minutes before devouring. Removing the chill accents the cheese flavor and creamy texture. She is also adding new menu items weekly. Calle 59 463, Parque Santiago, Centro, 999-421-2230

Mercado de Pan: As if their bread is not always delicious enough, they are now baking a beautiful loaf of cranberry nut bread every three days. The texture is great and they use a sourdough base. It is a large loaf for 120 pesos but freezes easily and if preferred they will slice it for you. If you arrive by around 10:30 a.m. the bread is still warm. Calle 17 102A x 20 y 22, Itzimna 

Asian Mart carries so much of a variety and they keep adding to an already great selection. Recently I needed spices so after stopping in local stores and not finding them, I stopped at Asian Mart. I was able to get rosemary, pumpkin pie spice, caraway seeds, and celery seed. I love one-stop shopping and this was a great find for me. If you don’t need much of a spice they have some in small plastic bags or the regular size. The approximate price for a normal jar of rosemary was 100 pesos. Calle 25 92 x 18, Col. Mexico, 999-277-2126

Earlier: Robert Willson’s baked goods are what we were longing for all along

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