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 Fine dining in Morelia

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Join date : 2011-07-12

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PostFine dining in Morelia

The dining room at the Virrey does an amazing cream of artichoke soup, as well as many other local goodies.

El Portal, squash blossom crepes for Sunday brunch.

La Fonda de las Mercedes, a wonderful Michoacan trout Meuniere.

We'll be looking forward to hearing about a few other local spots for our upcoming visit.

I see that there is a chinese restaurant. The big guy loves that.
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Fine dining in Morelia :: Comments

Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 13:40 by Peter
The Chinese restaurant is a couple blocks over from the zoo on Av Universidad. It is the only Chinese restaurant I fully recommend in the area. It reminds me of the food at an old restaurant in Oxnard, California (Golden Chicken Inn established 1928) which has a history of Chinese immigrants since around the turn of the 19/20th centuries.

Chinese food as we westerners know it has its roots in California so it really doesn't get much more authentic than that.

A few places like Virrey Mendoza seem to go all-out on innovation so takes a recommendation on what is good. The artichoke soup sounds like something to try but I wasn't highly impressed with some of their offerings. Inventive, yes, but not always impressive. My opinion.

I always felt like most "swanky" places in Mexico were missing the boat and taking a couple wrong directions. Some of the simpler and even "street" foods are best. There are a few places to recommend for various reasons. Now that I have my kitchen fairly much as I want it I can do "restaurant food" at home. The salamandra I bought from Dawg allows me to put a finish on things, make something ordinary into something special.

I'll take a more positive turn after I get back this evening.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 14:06 by Peter
90 degrees from Virrey Mendoza in the other portales a friend of mind owns the Onix which is perhaps the most "swanky" and expensive restaurant in Morelia. They serve some of the smallest portions on some of the largest plates, which is a sure sign this is the place to impress your special date that you are a big spender. Good restaurant but not my favorite.

I haven't tried them but they do have a couple specialty plates where they serve scorpions. Seems appropriate to ask the waiter, "¿Pica mucha?"
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 15:36 by raqueteer
No hay problema. I agree that the Virrey has had some misadventures in the food department. However, I can assure you that the crema de alcachofa is really yummy.

The big guy would probably walk out of Onix, in disgust. He's not exactly a big spender, and was once, while on an expense account, served 3 shrimps on a blue gelatin bed meant to represent the sea. The plate was huge. Where's the food???

He cooks at home, and does a mean Melton Mowbray pie.

Serious meat and potatoes, plus a few specialties, paella, scallops etc.

No way for scorpions, ditto for maguey worms. Evil or Very Mad
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Wed 13 Jul 2011, 20:48 by JimRP
I just wanted to drop in my two cents.

My wife and I love the Virrey for light meals. We always order off their bar menu, and always eat at their sidewalk tables or in the lobby. I love their Sopa Tarrasca, but obviously we've got to try the artichoke soup. We've only been in their dining room once, for Sunday brunch, which is apparently popular, but we found it overpriced and not that great (though in fairness, that is our reaction to most buffet brunches).

Fonda las Mercedes is a beautifully decorated restaurant--among the best I've seen. The food however, has been inconsistent and that is the rap on that restaurant among many friends. Now we generally take people there just for a drink and/or postre so they can enjoy the decor.

If your husband is a meat and potato guy (as I am), he would probably like my favorite restaurant in town--Las Trojes. It feels like a US steak house, but of course Mexican-style. It is very popular among local business people and is usually busy for comida (come early, late, or make reservations). Among my favorites there are the meat entrees that are brought on a small, table-top comal. There are usually three or four different types of meat being kept nice and hot until you are ready to eat it. They also offer valet parking, a full bar, a nice atmosphere and good service--all at a surprisingly reasonable price. As you can probably tell, I like it!

Another good option is restaurant Lu at the Best Western Hotel Casino diagonally across from the Virrey (down from the Onix restaurant Pete was talking about). You can't beat the location, right across from the main plaza and the catedrál, and they offer a nice assortment of foods. Their fish plates, salads and beef entrees are all good. They also do a good breakfast. You can sit outdoors, or they've recently opened a nice, new and badly needed indoor dining room (the old one was dreadful).

Another good option is La Jaiba, a seafood restaurant. They have all manner of seafood. I've been there a few times, and always found the food and service first-rate.

There are a number of other options for "fine dining" but this is a good start.

Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 10:02 by raqueteer
Great information Jim. I think this would be a handy reference point for people traveling to the area.

Our prior purpose for visiting, was R and R, a good mini dose of luxury, and some memorable meals.

The news about Las Mercedes is disappointing, it is gorgeous. I guess we hit it on a good day last time. There are a few of those drop dead gorgeous places here. Food... well not too hot.

We will try all of your recommendations when we visit in September.

Good to hear that the Casino has improved. We stayed there a number of years ago, and were quite disappointed. It's a super location. All the cafés along there are a great treat for coffee and more.

Naturally locals all have their own favorites, mostly not snazzy places. Our favorite here is a hole in the wall Japanese, which has NO atmosphere at all, but they do a fantastic shrimp tempura.

Can't say that I'd recommend El Portal for dinner, but the decor is fascinating.

Yes, the Sopa Tarrasca is really good at the Virrey.

Don Cuevas
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 12:08 by Don Cuevas
People seem to either love Lu or hate it. Count me in the group that considers it over rated.

I agree about La Jaiba.

Overall, IMO, the best eating out value in Morelia is Hamburgesas Richard's, Morelos Sur # 396, Centro
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 12:34 by Peter
Glad someone else brought up Casino restaurant Lu. We had one big promoter of the restaurant - from another discussion board, not this one - that highly touted Lu but her experience in the area was from more recent times. I recall Casino's restaurant being one of my favorites in Morelia until I noticed a drop-off in quality a few years ago. Those discussions of the new owner, Lucero, explained why.

To be fair, I still consider it one of the better value and quality portales restaurants but just not up to the standard it had previously. As for Lu's local cuisine I would recommend Fonda Marceva instead. Fonda Marceva is on Abasolo and south of Aldama on the east side of the street. good value and very "Mexican" in the tierra caliente fashion so be careful and ask the waiter about the selections if you don't like picante.

Tere and I had gone to Hamburguesa Richard's and agree it is great. We've tried going back on several occasions but don't find it open. I don't know the horario for the place but it seems to not be open for the earlier comida hours and probably does the bulk of its business later and for cena. We do want to go back soon though.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 16:52 by Amigo
What about the Villa Montana, Emiliano's and Amazonia? Or Bariloche and La Mansion? Has everyone forgotten about those places?
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 18:30 by JimRP
Good discussion!

I agree that the regional specialties at Lu's are less terrific than those at Fonda Merceva--another good restaurant. But Lu's is a rare creature in Morelia restaurants--a VERY consistent kitchen.

Villa Montaña has a first-rate chef, however their prices are high and for those who like wine, their pour is absurdly small for the price. To a lesser extent, Lu's is guilty of the same offense. Villa Montaña does offer a marvelous setting on a clear day, with drop dead views of Morelia. We generally consider it to be a "special occasion" place.

Emiliano's is another good restaurant--same owner as Las Trojes. I prefer the latter, but my wife prefers the former. Emilianos is more Italian, though it also has good beef.

I can't believe it, but I've never tried Amazonia, though I hear great reports about it. Ditto for Hamburguesa Richard's.

La Mansión is part of a chain of steak houses that I believe originated in and is headquartered in Mexico. Think very formal service with teams of liveried servers hovering about. The food is good, however I didn't feel it was worth the tariff, and I guess I just prefer a less formal place. It, along with Villa Montaña, are among the most expensive in Morelia.

Fortunately, Morelia does have lots of good places, and we still haven't covered them all.

Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 18:33 by Amigo
Emiliano's is much better than Las Trojes --- the parking is better, and you're not as likely to finish a meal with blood splattered all over the place. Don't you just hate it when that happens?

And has anyone noticed that Carl's Jr. is going to open?
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 19:38 by Peter
Carl's jr.?? Where? I'm hoping for a Johnny Rocket's here soon, hopefully in the new commercial center being built near me in the N/W part of town.

I went to Amazonia once. I wasn't used to the Brazilian sword thing, was with Mexican friends of mine, and of course the waiters came straight to me first with a bunch of skewered meat. It was fairly early, didn't see them serving anyone else and had no idea what the hell they wanted. Anyways I told them to go bother someone else first.

Plenty of meat of all kinds, all you want. The veggies were good. Left there stuffed. Couple years ago or more. Seemed like the price was around $250-300 per person at the end of the meal and I don't recall if there were things added in but seems like the price included some sort of cocktail. The experience was different to me, no one to explain the procedure, and they showed-up with the food while I was still waiting for a menu.

It was good, I would go back, but other locals tell me there is another place similar that is better-priced. Don't recall the name of the other place nor that I really trust the locals to say it is better for any reason other than the price, could be marinated leather and they would tell me it was better because it was cheaper.

Bariloche was just around the corner from where I lived in the Centro. We went there a number of times. I like it fairly well but it wasn't really outstanding for any particular reason. good for us because it was close and something a bit above average.

For a close-by place, good price, and good food we went often to Spaghetteria GianCarlo's.

Las Trojes or Emiliano's I haven't been to yet, not really sure where they are but didn't realize it was any sort of trouble spot. Blood??

Now, our favorite so far for moderately pricey is Solar de Villagrán. Others always say there are other places they prefer but no one has ever said anything bad or mediocre about Solar

Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 22:29 by Amigo
People have lost their lives at Las Trojes. Just ask any old-timer Moreliano. The last time that happened was around 2006, so it may be time again.

Amazonias doesn't have a menu. The price includes the cocktail, soup, chayote, beets, potato salad, riceballs, rice, beans, salad, bread, pan de queso, and dessert. Iguazu on Isidrio Huarte follows the same pattern, right down to the same side dishes. Iguazu may be about $10-15 pesos cheaper, the meats are not as extensive but do include American-style BBQ ribs sometimes which Amazonias does not. The waiters at Iguazu explain the routine to diners. Again, there is no menu there, and the price is set. Really, the 2 places are about the same, but Amazonias was here first and seems to attract a larger crowd.

There was a divey but authentic Argentine restaurant, La Estancia or something like that, near the Tarascan fountain, run by an Argentine, but it closed. Does anyone know if it has relocated someplace else?
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Thu 14 Jul 2011, 23:36 by JimRP
So long as people are not killed by the food, I won't hold that against Las Trojes. I had known about the assassination there, but never looked up the details until now. It seems that on September 16, 2005, the Public Safety Director for the state of Michoacan was dining in the restaurant with his wife and bodyguards, when two guys came in with rifles and killed him. One of his bodyguards was also killed, and another injured.

I won't hold it against Las Trojes that he chose to dine at one of the best places in town!

Besides Iguazu (another place I haven't been), one more Mexicano version of Amazonia is called La Nueva Brecha. An amazing array of roasted beef, chicken and pork arrives on large skewers where you point at the amount you want and they dump it on your plate. Especially on weekends, it is jammed and you'll want reservations. When you first arrive, they let you order salad and sides to go with your meat.

Bariloche has never done it for me. I wanted to like it--it is very close to our house, and I generally love Argentine beef. But I've found their beef to be strangely flavorless. Yes, Amigo, there was another Argentine place a few blocks away, but I don't know what happened to it.


Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 02:12 by Peter
I guess I was aware of the assasination but not the restaurant or detail of the incident, I just remember the checpoint precautions being taken in the aftermath of that. That happened in my first fre months in Morelia when I was still working (sort of) and here most of the time burning up my super-accumulated leave time.

Thanks, Amigo, some of that routine would have been good to know at the time. Still just learning as I go along here. Come a long way so far but still get thrown the occasional curve.

Where abouts is Iguazu in relation to Av L. Cardenas or another cross street? I need a new place to take Tere out to, perhaps tomorrow even as we need to go to the Centro then. She likes BBQ ribs so sounds like we should try there rather than Amazonia.

Where is Emiliano's? I believe las Trojes is on Ventura Puente somewhere. We'll try those later sometime, Iguazu for now I think.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 02:58 by Peter
Just noticed another Brazil espadas place, Espadas Nacozari, "Las Mas Baratas de Morelia" they advertize. On Heroes de Nacozari #190, one block from Templo San Jose, open 12-6pm, closed Mondays.

Iguazu gives their address at Isidro Huarte #75-B so I'm guessing that might be around the triangular plaza?? Doesn't say Centro or name a colonia. I. Huarte is a long street though so could be Ventura Puente or Felix Ireta even, and those might start numbering new again.

If I don't figure that out early tomorrow I may end up at Las Mas Baratas because I can find it easily. I don't drive to the Centro so have to depend on the taxista, and they don't eat at those expensive places. Probably not even at Las Mas Baratas.

Tere likes to avoid the crowds like me so we eat early and wouldn't need reservations.
Don Cuevas
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 07:58 by Don Cuevas
Emilianos is on Artilleros de 1847, just west of Enrique Ramírez (east of the Las Américas mall and a little past Mega.)

Never have eaten there. Reviews on another forum a few years ago were scathing, and a fussy gourmet friend of ours was there recently, and he panned it.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 08:37 by Amigo
2 assassination attempts, 1 successful at Las Trojes, before the public security director was killed.The restaurant is located on Bach in La Paloma.

Iguazu is located where Mr. Muuuu once was on Isidrio Huarte, less than a stone's throw from Lazaro Cardenas. There is valet parking but always plenty of street parking on Isidrio Huarte. Even the soup is the same as Amazonia's, and the meats are the same but different.

Emiliano's is on Art de 1847 right across from the Mega parking lot, troje-like cabin which which first house a restaurant called Erendari or some other Tarascan princess.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 08:39 by Amigo
Iguazu is about 1 1/2 or 2 doors down from Lazaro Cardenas on Isidrio Huarte.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 09:17 by JimRP
Pete, Iguazu is at Isidro Huarte #75, in the first block south of Lazaro Cardenas.
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 09:17 by JimRP
Is there an echo in here?
Re: Fine dining in Morelia
Post on Fri 15 Jul 2011, 10:13 by Peter
Thanks. Turns out Tere knows right where it is, said she used to be a cook at a little taqueria close by. She also worked for the Amazonia, actually the same owners at a different restaurant they had on the salida a Pátzcuaro. They had the same style of restaurant but didn't get the business in that location so finally closed. She worked in the kitchen there. Ate there many times but in the kitchen not the dining room.

She had been wanting to try Iguazu for a long time, passing by it frequently. I told her we would try Iguazu because they sometimes had the BBQ ribs she likes. She said they also prepared them at the Amazonia as well but it was not a regular daily offering.

Tere mentioned there is or was another Brazil espada place on the salida a Quiroga. Guess I know what's for lunch today.
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