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Mexican Restaurants Part 2: Mercado

I wrote about Fonda a couple weeks ago. This week, I’m going to tell you about Mercado. Mercado is another Mexican place in Nairobi. Located in Westlands, in the Kenrail Towers (next to the Nine West building), this is the better of the Mexican options. Don’t get me wrong, Fonda is good. Mercado just happens to be better.

Why is it better? Overall, Mercado is a step above. The atmosphere is nice. The service is very good. The menu is more robust. Most important, the food is excellent as are the margaritas.

How did Mercado come about? Basically, a pair of Kenyan brothers went to Mexico and learned how to make the cuisine. They returned home and decided to share the culinary experience.

Is this the best Mexican food I’ve ever had? Oh, hell no! But, it’s decent. It certainly goes beyond fulfilling a craving as far as quality and authenticity. This will be our go-to place when we feel like Mexican.

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Interior shot…not so sure how great the swinging benches are.

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I loved the cars on the wall

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Another interior shot – the restaurant is quite spacious and has a room for private parties

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FYI – make sure you order your margarita the way you want it as frozen is the default

If you want to check out Mercado for yourself:

  • +254 700 245 795
  •  info@mercado.co.ke
  • Terrace (T) Floor, South Wing, Kenrail Towers (next to Nine West), Ring road parklands, Westlands area.

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays from south of the Equator. I can no longer imagine Christmas without the warm Kenyan sun. We did up country game drives the past two Christmases. This year it’s all about the beach.

Oreo is at Yapperville having her own vacation.

Next year we hope to return to the Kenyan coast…and maybe with more than one dog!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday season however you choose to celebrate.

Oreo - TNR Rescue

TNR Trust Nairobi

I have been meaning to write a post about TNR Trust Nairobi for quite some time. I wanted to go to the location where they have some dogs who need homes to take some photos, but timing has yet to work out. Since, finding homes for animals isn’t their primary mission, and since it’s important to get word out about TNR, I’m writing this post without adorable pictures of pups. After reading a bit about all the good work this organization does, I’m sure you’ll forgive the lack of photos.

What is TNR Trust and what do they do?

TNR (which stands for Trap, Neuter, and Release) is a non-profit, Kenyan Registered Trust. They recently turned two, as they got their official documentation on December 2, 2015. At the time of this post, they do not have any paid staff and are volunteer only. They rely strictly on donors and grants.

What does TNR do?

TNR works with local communities to improve animal and pet welfare, stabilize and control dog/cat populations in Kenya, and provide education on animal welfare. They also work to promote adoption of rescued cats and dogs. (Oreo is a TNR rescue and hence the featured image for this post.)

Since December of 2015, TNR has vaccinated, spayed/neutered, returned or re-homed hundreds of animals. They have also designed a mobile clinic (which should be up and running in 2018) and created a children’s activity book to go with that clinic. In addition to all this, TNR is also working hard to eradicate rabies from Kenya. We went to a fundraiser for this effort a while back.

How I can learn more or help?

Check out TNR’s Facebook page, or their website for more information.

Interested in fostering a dog? This page on their site has information.

Are you an expat and thinking about getting a pet? Read this first.

Mexican Restaurants Part 1: Fonda

Recently, three new Mexican restaurants popped up in Nairobi. We went from zero to three in just a few months. It’s a bit loco and J. and I, missing latin food, are keen to check them all out.

J. went to one of the places in the Two Rivers Mall. I don’t remember the name. It’s fast food-ish…he described it as kind of like Chipotle back in the U.S. So there is that, if you’re in Two Rivers and crave a taco. I’m counting it as Mexican because it exists. However, I’m not really all that interested in fast food.

Another is Mercado in Westlands. We haven’t been there yet but want to check it out. So far, I’ve head good reviews.

The one we have gone to is Fonda NBO in the Rosslyn Riveria Mall. I’ve been twice. Once with friends who live near there (and who I met through this blog!) and once on my own for lunch.

It’s decent. I’d say it’s on par with Mexican food in New York. Here’s the thing, there is no good Mexican food in New York. Overall, it’s good food…but if you’ve been to Mexico or even the American Southwest, you know what I mean. Good Mexican food is good Mexican food. Anything else doesn’t qualify for the good rating.

But, it’s good food overall. I like it. It took care of my craving. The drinks and service are good. The atmosphere is nice. And…they listen to customers!

Their menu was a disaster and really hard to understand. It was an excellent lesson in why information design matters. They got complaints. They listened. They redid the menu design and it makes sense now.

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Much better menu design!

Anyway, it’s nice to have more culinary options in Nairobi and Mexican was definitely lacking. You can get your Mexican fix at Fonda.

There will be a second part to this post once I check out Mercado.

In the meantime, to check out Fonda for yourself:

Rosslyn Riviera Mall, top floor

Limuru Road

reservations@fondanbo.com

+254 720 145 741 / +254 735 053 829

New Serenity Spa Location

My favorite spa in Nairobi is Serenity Spa. They now have a Kitisuru location! I went there a couple weeks ago and I’m happy to say that the service is just as good and the atmosphere just as relaxing. I hate to cheat on my usual spa therapist at the Gigiri location, but…well, it’s just so much closer to me!

The new location is on Ngecha Road, but the map on the website isn’t accurate. Here is the correct location on a map:

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