Restaurant Review – La Choperia, Merida

Jim and I like this place. It’s on Called 56 between 51 and 53, where the owner bought an enormous unsightly ruin and lot and made something beautiful out of it.

The dining room is huge. The chairs are hard and uncomfortable, but you can sit in the glass-walled smoking area where they have sofas. Often there is no one else in there, and in any case, it’s open to the sky. They’ve left the original trees, which in some places have grown into the walls. The whole thing is tasteful and pleasant.

There are TVs and speakers everywhere. They can turn down individual speakers if you ask nicely. On nights when there is an important sports event, like a soccer event on TV, the place is packed and beers are two for the price of one. I think they’re affiliated with Modelo.

The waiters are funny and professional.

The place is new this year. When they opened, all they had was red meat. It is, after all, an Argentine steak house. But now they have major salads, soups, and several chicken dishes.

Last night our friend Judy had shrimp pasta and she said it was pretty darned good, but very rich. It smelled divine. The rest of us had red meat. Jim and I, only moderately hungry, split an order of brochetas, an excellent shish kebab with lots of fresh vegetables. Two brochetas to an order. The beef was grilled nicely, cut in small pieces. It came with guacamole and beans. One brocheta each was enough for us, and the dish cost 75 pesos. Such a deal, and we weren’t even trying to be cheap.

Our friend Gary had a huge steak arrachera that he ate in the blink of an eye. He said it was great.

On previous occasions when we’ve been there with four or more people, we’ve split their sample plate, which has all kinds of steaks, potatoes, sausages, etc. It’s enormous and it’s about 250 pesos.

Some of the steaks are cooked at your table.

Although it’s noisy, there is something about this place that makes you want to sit around.

Some months ago, a bunch of us went there for someone’s birthday. They don’t serve dessert, but I asked whether there was anything they could do to simulate a birthday cake and darned if they didn’t rig up a fairly elaborate and pretty dish with lots of maraschino cherries, cream, etc. They even found a candle. Then they all sang to her, of course.

Another time we walked in and Choperia was closed to the public because there was a huge private party. (We hadn’t noticed.) ¬†They brought us in anyway and found us a nice table on the edge of the party.

The place is reasonably priced and immaculate.

Full bar. Private parking for about 40 cars. Large parties accommodated.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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