The Little Lunch Group

I’ve been having lunch with the same small group of delightful people once a week for some time now. We always meet at the family-owned Reforma restaurant on 72 and 45. The family who owns the place knows us, of course. We always occupy the same table, and Matteo the waiter pretty much knows what everyone wants. I usually get one chile relleno which costs 30 pesos.

Pechuga de pollo

Pechuga de pollo

We are an odd group. There’s Lorna Gail, the well-read deep thinker with a flair for singing and acting.  Then there are Doug and Sally, an American couple in their 80s who live in Merida. They’ve been here for many years and are continually delighted with this place. They drive an ancient car with a large artificial flower extending upward from the driver’s window.



Bill M comes to the group occasionally and we welcome his wry wit whenever he gets there. Bill, from New Mexico, has been in Merida for years and is a retired agro business guy.

Bill and Lorna Gail

Bill and Lorna Gail

Tony Gonzalez is an engineer who works at a firm in Santa Ana. Tony loves learning American colloquialisms and has an encyclopedic knowledge of American movies. And he can answer most of our most esoteric questions about Merida. Like, Where Does The Garbage Go?, an obsession of mine.

Then there’s me.

Lunch group

Lunch group

Doug and Sally used to lunch regularly in a cocina economica in Santa Ana park, as did Tony. Ten years ago, after noticing each other there for quite a while, they decided to eat together and have been ever since. At some point they moved to the Reforma restaurant.

One of our best lunches was the day Doug decided to tell us some of his adventures as a hat check boy at New York’s Copacabana nightclub in its heyday. He loved it. He told us that he hit on every pretty girl who crossed his path. Someone asked him whether he ever got smacked and he said yes, but that one out of ten times, he scored, so the smacks were worth it.  He looked delighted. Sally looked bemused.

Sally and Doug

Sally and Doug

Doug enjoys testing us with titles of old American songs to see whether Lorna Gail and I know them. We usually do and we sing them, much to the amusement of other restaurant patrons. Songs like Daisy, Daisy, How Much is That Doggie in the Window? and Smile.  When Bill is there, he joins in. Last week, we sang Goody Goody. I don’t know why this is so much fun, but it is.

At the same time we meet, there are two other groups there regularly. Both are comprised of six to eight men over 70. We all greet each other warmly.

This is an unlikely aggregation of people who I find very dear. I look forward to those little lunches more than I do most of my activities.

Leaving the Restaurante Reforma

Leaving the Restaurante Reforma



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.
This entry was posted in Merida Expat Life. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Little Lunch Group

  1. lg says:

    Hola! Yenta …
    So glad to see your camera is online again. You take a great pic! However … I ask you to remember the 39th rule of photography …” Nobody looks good when they are eating.”
    Just a reminder.

  2. I don’t see the pollo in your pechuga de pollo photo! Like the BK lady said (with a twist): “Where’s the Chicken!!”


    BTW went to Baca a few days ago and it is as delish as ever!

  3. Lynne Chesley says:

    you have a great life lady!

  4. gerardo martínez says:

    What a wonderfull meeting, including Billy a man always positive.
    Kind of people than Merida needs

  5. Anne Winograd says:

    I think my husband and I met you on the plane from Houston or Atlanta to Merida two or three years ago.I was fascinated by your tiny computer and you readily answered my questions about it.We so love Merida …as you said we would and are looking forward to this year’s trip.By chance,we also discovered The Reforma restaurant during last year’s stay in Merida.A friend suggested it and the Chile Relenos and we have been hooked ever since.Enjoy your blog very much.Are you the gracious lady from the plane?

    • BG says:

      Well, I do have a tiny notebook computer, so it could be me. Thank you for your kind words. As it happens, I’m headed to the lunch group today!

  6. Anne Winograd says:

    Very interested in the Rosh Hashonah picture showing the blessings of wine and bread…..was that picture taken in Merida?My husband and I were not able to locate a synagogue in Merida while we were there…..maybe we didn’t do enough research.This is probably not the correct place to post my Rosh Hashanoh comment…sorry!

  7. Debi says:

    Tom and I love Restaurant Reforma and go frequently as well. How would your ‘gang’ feel about an occassional interloper?

    You’ll have to get to know Roberto as Matteo is soon off to get on with his life as he will soon be completing his Universitario. He can’t wait to get away from this heat!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free