For many years one of my favorite restaurants in Mérida was a place called "La Casa de Frida". It does not specialize in the cuisine of Yucatán, but instead features traditional dishes of central Mexico. Its signature dish is "chiles en nogada", that delectable creation of a poblano chile pepper stuffed with meat and fruit and topped with a rich, cream nut sauce. It is usually served in the late summer and autumn, but "La Casa de Frida" serves it all year round.
On every trip to Mérida, "chiles en nogada" at Frida's was a "must". But then about four years ago it seemed that the place was going downhill. The "nogada" sauce seemed watery, and the service was absolutely abysmal. Frida's was removed from the list of Mérida restaurants that I patronized.
On this latest trip to Mérida, Frank really wanted to go to Frida's, because he had heard me talk so much about "chiles en nogada". So, I acquiesced, and after a long absence, went back there. The place looked about the same, decorated with memorabilia of the painter Frida Kahlo. I was glad to see that there was a different waiter. He wouldn't win any congeniality awards, but at least he was efficient. Our beverage and starter were brought out in a timely manner. Then came our main course. When the chiles were brought out my first reaction was, "What the heck?" (or something like that). Instead of having pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top there were small pieces of a red fruit which I never did identify.
However, as I tasted the chiles, I forgave the chef for the lack of pomegranate. The sauce was rich and smooth, and the filling was a wonderful mixture of sweet and savory. Frank was impressed, and said that the dish lived up to my hype. Although I would not say that it was the very best "chile en nogada" that I have ever tasted, it was delicious enough for me to put "La Casa de Frida" back on my list of places to dine in Mérida,