Lunch at Hacienda Ochil

Merida Travel Blog

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Train Engine at Hacienda Ochil
Monday, October 26, 2009
Hacienda Ochil is right off the main road on the way to Campeche and is an old henequen plantation and factory that includes several artisan workshops, a great restaurant (although it appears that large groups arrive here by bus so show up early of late), a cool little museum that shows the history of the site and of henequen production, a really nice little gift shop and a big amphitheater surrounding a cenote.
Entrance at Hacienda Ochil
  What a great location for a party or a wedding.

There is supposed to be an entry fee of something like 20-30 pesos but since we ate lunch there, the nice guy waived the fee.  We started with a walk through the grounds and some of the artisan shops (some don’t open till later in the day) and saw a young girl making pretty, ornate silver jewelry.  You follow the little mini-railroad tracks (you can see the antique train in the picture that used to haul the henequen to the processing area) and eventually go through the big arch to the restored Hacienda now serving as the restaurant, gift shop and museum.  They have this massive outdoor barbeque/oven that they make the conchinita pibil and other dishes in which gave me grill envy.  We need a bigger hacienda!  Our guide walked us around the Hacienda and down to the cenote which they are currently renovating.  It is surrounded by a mini Hollywood Bowl amphitheater and apparently they plan on putting on events.  We also got a tour of the machinery that used to pulverize and strip the fibers from the henequen.

You might be wondering as we did “what the hell is henequen?”  Here is a description from Wikipedia:

“Henequen is an agave whose leaves yield a fiber also called henequen which is suitable for rope and twine, but not of as high a quality as sisal.
Restaurant at Hacienda Ochil
Alternative spellings are Henequin and Heniquen. It is the major plantation fiber agave of eastern Mexico, being grown extensively in Yucatán, Veracruz, and southern Tamaulipas. It is also used to make Licor del henequén, a traditional Mexican alcoholic drink.”


“The plant appears as a rosette of sword-shaped leaves 1.2 to 1.8 meters long, growing out of a thick stem that may reach 1.7 meters (5 ft). The leaves have regularly-spaced teeth 3-6 mm long, and a terminal spine 2-3 cm long.”

Lunch was really tasty and we were the only ones there.  I had the Tres Panuchos plate that had one each of conchinita pibil, chicken and Pavo en Relleno Negro  and Cindy had hand made tamales.  We finished off with a dessert dish of Papaya con Queso which was really very good if a little different.  A hacienda visit is definitely worthwhile if you have a car.  Hacienda Ochil has a website at www.haciendaochil.com but I think it is currently only in Spanish.

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Train Engine at Hacienda Ochil
Train Engine at Hacienda Ochil
Entrance at Hacienda Ochil
Entrance at Hacienda Ochil
Restaurant at Hacienda Ochil
Restaurant at Hacienda Ochil
Old Gate at Hacienda Ochil
Old Gate at Hacienda Ochil
Henequene at Hacienda Ochil
Henequene at Hacienda Ochil
Giant Oven at Hacienda Ochil
Giant Oven at Hacienda Ochil
Papaya con Queso at Hacienda Ochil
Papaya con Queso at Hacienda Ochil
Chicken Tamales at Hacienda Ochil
Chicken Tamales at Hacienda Ochil
Panuchos at Hacienda Ochil
Panuchos at Hacienda Ochil
Tequila Bar at Hacienda Ochil
Tequila Bar at Hacienda Ochil
Lemonade at Hacienda Ochil
Lemonade at Hacienda Ochil
Cindy at Hacienda Ochil
Cindy at Hacienda Ochil
Cross at Hacienda Ochil
Cross at Hacienda Ochil
Chimney at Hacienda Ochil
Chimney at Hacienda Ochil
Merida
photo by: Cho