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Meraki Bistro in Ajijic (Ocampo #20C)

Bisbee Gal

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A new gem.  Our kind of food....light, bright and tasty.  Eclectic, fusion......whatever you want to call it.  It's well-prepared, high end cooking with flair and finesse.  Good clean food, not hidden under heavy sauces or served with a ton of carbs to make the portions look larger.  

We walked by Saturday and their chalkboard menu looked interesting, and it was.  We are light eaters, but want a lot of flavor packed in small plates we can share.  That's our thing, may not be yours. 

We shared the following starters/appetizers/small plates: 

---  Boudin Balls, sausage and rice balls, Cajun style.  Crispy and served over their own aioli, topped with a dab of mango-habanero sauce and crowned with a thin slice of pickled radish.  A small bite with a big wallop.  3 balls were 50p.  

---- A small plate of "chips and dips" with a twist.  Not sure what the chips were, but they were very nice/different.  There were two dips on the plate; one was peanut with poblano and the other was a baba ganoush made with okra....all were well seasoned.  Also 50p.

--- Calamari, cleanly fried with a light chipotle sauce, sauteed onions and peppers on what can best be described as a rice paper tostada.  100p. 

---  We shared 2 tacos; one was filled with chicken and pork gumbo; the other was filled with a light shrimp Creole.  Both very good and priced at 40p each.  

Highly recommend the Boudin Balls (we would get a double order next time) and the calamari as it was so clean (no heavy oil taste).  

House wine was good and priced at 60p per glass.  There were a few main dishes on the menu (shrimp etouffee and a jambalaya, something else??).  They also serve breakfast (a diner seated near us told us he had returned for lunch after having a great breakfast earlier in the week).  

They have a beautiful garden seating area, BUT they do not yet have sun shields; the owner said those tables would be covered next week.  There is also inside seating with interesting art on the walls.  

Service was excellent.  Open covered kitchen in the garden area.  Owner came to tables to get feedback.  They have only been open a few weeks, but seemed like it was running smoothly.  They have live entertainment weekends.  It is a work in progress as they add new dishes; the owner said he may have special nights, such as Tapas Tuesdays, etc.  They have no printed menus and will likely add and/or change their offerings as they evolve.  

Facebook page here where you can see hours, map, etc.   https://www.facebook.com/pg/merakibistromexico/posts/?ref=page_internal




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I believe that this is Joel, the former chef at Gossip's and Avocado Club who is from NOLA, who has opened his own place. He is a very talented chef and has done a surprie private birthday dinner party for me once that was so special and creative. 

If I'm wrong, I know someone here will correct me. 


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His name is Joel Galliano, from Galliano, LA. It is south of New Orleans on Bayou Lafourche near the Gulf of Mexico. He has been a chef in New Orleans, Mexico and other places. He is an inventive and talented cook. His new place is worth a try. I enjoyed the food and will go back.

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Yes Joel is very creative. We ate the lumpia, the boudin balls and the avacado toast appetizers. All good and presented beautifully. My favorite was the avacado toast. Also ordered the jambalaya and etouffe. Both good. The chairs weren't very comfortable and the garden is a work in progress. So nice to have a new restaurant with NOLA/ Cajun cooking. We'll definately go back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wonderful spread of small plates again last night.  They now post their menu outside so you can see offerings and prices. 

They are in compliance with regs on new hygiene, spacing rules.  

They have eliminated the large communal table in their front room (these sort of communal tables were all the rage in the US in the past few years, a way to encourage singles and others to mingle).  

When you look in from the street, it doesn't look all that inviting BUT BUT BUT when you walk through the front room you will find their garden.  That is where the seating is, and it's mostly tables for 4 spread out at least 6 feet from each other.  They have added a 2nd sun sail and a patio umbrella.  We were there at dinner, so the sun wasn't much of an issue. 

Food still super good....little plates that pack a punch.  The shrimp toast, new to us, was exceptional.  They have added 2 desserts, a panna cotta and cheesecake. 

It's gonna be tough for them with this virus as they just opened last month.  

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