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Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

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Washington DC...
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Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

My fiance and I are getting married in Fall 2014 in Merida at a nearby hacienda and we would like to have a rehearsal dinner for our guests in downtown Merida (to introduce them to the city, see the zocalo, etc). We are looking for something Mexican-themed, nice but casual decor, good food (but doesn't need to be outstanding), space for ~50 people and venue that allows for a couple of speeches, and reasonably priced.

We are considering the following, but up for suggestions!

Amaro (visited and considering)

Pancho's (visited and considering)

Vida Catrina (visited and considering)

Apoala Mexican Cuisine (not yet visited)

Portico del Peregrino (not yet visited)

Cassandra Bistro Bar (not yet visited)

La Tratto Santa Lucia (not yet visited)

(We may also direct the larger group of guests to a bar for post-dinner drinks and we are considering Mayan Pub, so any recommendations for that would also be appreciated)

Thanks so much for your help!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

On your list, Ive only been to the Portico del Pelegrino and it was nice, but nothing special.

Was just in Merida this/last week - at Luz - so I got a good look at book Apoala and the new Tratto on Santa Lucia. Great settings. Everyone I met who ate there loved them - one couple said Apoala was the best meal they've ever had, but not sure where they're from or what sort of taste they have!

You would basically take over Apoala unless they have a larger interior than it appears - and you might slam the kitchen, but they probably know how to deal with a large party.

I heard a lot of grumbling about the deterioration of Chaya Maya before my trip, and ended up trying the new one on Santa Lucia. It was as great as I remembered the old one on my first trip 4 years ago. Excellent service and they have rooms that can be closed off from the central courtyard and air conditioned.

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2. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

Pancho's could be fun for your rehearsal dinner (I did a review a year ago). Your group could take over one of the levels.

Merida
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3. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

Pancho's is nice, I agree, because of the outdoors patio in the back which I think you could take over.

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4. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

If you aren't having Yucatecan food at your wedding, you may want to go to the new Chaya Maya. Setting is very pretty, it is not overly expensive and it would give your guests a taste of traditional food. I agree Panchos with its different levels is also very nice.

Merida, Yucatan
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5. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

La Tratto has a very nice setting, but may be too tight for space. Amaro is in a colonial house with its courtyard and has the variation of vegetarian food.

The Chaya Maya, on Calle 55 has a number of side rooms that would just about accommodate your group, plus their courtyard. They offer a very good range of local dishes.

Have you looked at La Tradición? It's an excellent restaurant with good service and deco. I have only been to the one near Circuito Colonias and know that they close at 6 pm. They have a newer place in Santa Lucia, but they may close early too and I don't know how spacious it is.

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6. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

I couldn't wait to try the Santa Lucia La Tradition - because the other location isn't so convenient without a car… It was empty every time I passed (and I just spent 8 nights a block away at Luz, so passed a lot).

Ate there my last night because of all the great reviews of the other location - and it was probably the most mediocre meal of my trip. The poc chuc was OK, but not a tenth as tasty as Chaya Maya. There were 2 lovely servers, but my primary waiter was pretty obnoxious. There were guys handing out a card for a free drink or beer, so I asked for a margarita. It never came - but I did get 1/4 glass of what I'm guessing was chaya.

People at the next table had either panuchos or salbutes that were huge (hard to detect the presence of beans from that far away), so that's probably the thing to order, but I had already had panuchos for lunch.

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7. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

Thanks everyone for your help! We have a few places to check out :-)

One additional we have considered is Slavia/Cubaro. The roofdeck seems like a very nice place (with interior room as backup in case of rain) and we really enjoyed the food. It's not downtown, but close enough and actually close to our guests' hotels. Does anyone have any thoughts on this place?

Thanks again!!

8. Re: Rehearsal Dinner in downtown Merida?

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