Years ago, when I first started traveling to Mérida on a regular basis, my favorite restaurant was a place called "Ki'bok". It was there that I first tried some of the specialties of Yucatecan cuisine such as "queso relleno" (stuffed cheese) and cream of "chaya" soup.
Unfortunately, by my third trip down here, "Ki'bok" had closed its doors. However I read that the chef of the restaurant had opened his own place, a "cocina económica" (a small restaurant with low prices that only serves a set menu in the afternoon). The place was called "El Templo". I went there and had a lunch of absolutely superb chicken with "mole" at a ridiculously low price. After that, whenever I would pass the place, the doors were shut. I thought that it too had gone out of business.
Yesterday, after taking my long walk around Mérida, I saw that "El Templo" was open.
I asked the waitress if the place was still owned by the former chef of "Ki'bok". When she said "yes", I had to eat there, even though I wasn't hungry.
As you enter the restaurant there is a mildly blasphemous mural painting on the wall. It's of the Last Supper, but Jesus and the disciples are all wearing the masks of "lucha libre" wrestlers!
I ordered from the set menu. I had "sopa de lima" (chicken soup flavored with lime), "tortilla española" (Spain's version of a frittata) and rice.
It was good but not spectacular. I think perhaps the chef has discovered that he can't serve gourmet food at "cocina económica" prices. My meal, including beverage, was a whopping 55 pesos (that's less than $3 US)! While I can't recommend it as a fine dining option, I certainly recommend "El Templo" for anyone who is traveling on a budget.