We have made El Toro a required visit for years. This place is for locals and Meridanos, but you will receive a warm welcome (in Spanish) no matter who you are. (Families make the drive from Merida on Sunday afternoons just to eat here.) Cerveza and soft drinks are colder than most restaurants and bars around.
The floor is concrete, the tables and chairs are plastic resin. The building is a big open-front wood structure with open rafters. Ignore the decor; just go in, sit down and order a cerveza or anything you would like to drink.
Your waiter will bring you botanas--little plates of appetizers. (These are always free in Yucatan, but the quality and variety varies widely; El Toro's are among the best.)
Everything here is good, but two things stand out. First is PESCADO FRITO, the breaded whole fish that was probably swimming in the Gulf that morning. Just order by size (pequeno, mediana or grande) or hold your hands apart to show about the size you want. This is absolutely the best rendition of this regional dish anywhere around.
The other dish, which is not on the menu, is "camarones naturale," which is simply peel-and-eat shrimp. Incredibly fresh and flavorful, they are very special. Just ask for them and how much, in kilograms, you want. ("Un media kilo"--a half kilogram--is a bit over a pound.)
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