We recently went to Morelia to shop and dine, riding with our friend, Ron.
I'd read a review on MoreliaConnect by Wayne Brewster owner of the shop, Aquí y Allá, recommending a new restaurant, featuring both Lebanese and Yucatecan specialities, as well as carnes a la parilla. (Grilled meats.)
Before commencing our arduous shopping tasks, we fortified ourselves with some succulent and tender birria de cordero tacos and sabroso but salty consomé in the converted garage of La Esquina del Borreguito, at the corner of Antonio Moral #267 and Aristeo Mercado, Colonia Nueva Chapultepec. (It's also within range of the INM office, and makes a good, restorative stop after a visit to that service.) The birria effectively muted the edge of our appetites for dining later, but we made a good effort.
After shopping, we returned to dining. We had no trouble finding El Asador La Hacienda at Morelos Sur # 1500, Colonia Félix Ireta. There was easily accessed off street parking. The new restaurant building is atypical next to its worn (but non threatening) neighboring buildings.
The restaurant is attractive, although relatively sparsely decorated, which I didn't mind. The dining area consists of two spacious rooms, with the one to the back about half the size. There's a small playground where your kids can entertain themselves. I saw a young, uniformed woman nanny supervising them. I assumed that she worked for the restaurant.
The soft-spoken head waiter welcomed us, brought us a small plate of lightly seasoned raw vegetables and not very good bread, then asked if we wanted menus. That puzzled me somewhat. Why else would we be there? We had the attention of that waiter and two newbie assistants throughout our meal. It would have been too much attention, but at least they didn't pester us with "¿Todo bien?" every few minutes.
There was a loud noise from the kitchen ventilating fan, and we considered moving to the back room, but the head waiter had the kitchen turn off the fan.
The menu is quite extensive but we were not up to trying very many dishes due to our earlier indulgence. The attractions for our group were the Combos Yucateco and Libanés, both offering a sampling of specialties not often seen in the area.
Ron ordered the Combo Libanés, which is comprised of stuffed grape leaves, hummous, tabouleh, a kofteh (it may have been baked kibbeh.), jocoque, cucumber salad, rice with lentils and triangles of pita bread.
But ever curious, he also ordered three panuchos de cochinita pibil, to share with us.
|Panucho de cochinita pibil|
on a comal, then partially split open and filled with black beans. They are then topped with shredded meats or chicken. Cochinita pibil, marinated pork, wrapped in banana leaves and slowly cooked in a pit, is then served as a plate or on panuchos, or as you like. The garnish of purple onions marinated in lime juice is classic. A very small dish held some potent salsa de chile habanero, with a thick, jam like consistency. Believe me; it wasn't jam! We all liked the cochinita.
Doña Cuevas and I spilt a Combo Yucateco platter, which reprised more panuchos and cochinita. Good thing that we liked them.
It's apparent that the Combo Libanés offers more variety and interest than the Yucateco, and at a lower price.
But wait! There's more: we were offered the option of also having Part 2 of the Combo: Relleno Negro de Pavo, a very distinctive dish of the Yucatan. Naturally, we accepted. Here it is.
Two out of three of us would like to return to try other dishes (but, please; no more cochinita pibil for a while!) Due to the circumstances prior to our visit, I would give the restaurant a tentative rating, as follows:
• Food: ****
• Service: ****
• Price: $$, higher for grilled meats. Our bill was $425 pesos for the three of us. (Remember, we shared the Combo Yucateco.)
• Ambience: Spacious, open (glassed in) kitchen, new and modern with a smattering of decor.
• Restrooms: Sparkling clean and new.