We all have those places we think of when we want to go catch up with friends, discuss life's setbacks or celebrate life's successes. It's usually a place that conjures up any mix of comfort, nostalgia, joy, or excitement. For me, for whatever reason, Mr. Mesero has become one of those places. Small and unsuspecting, it's like that modest house on the block that you catch sight of by chance, almost missing it. One of those houses that, while fairly simple on the outside, is so well decorated and put together on the inside that the minute you walk through the door you want to move right in and call it your own. After my first visit I was hooked. On any given Friday afternoon, if you can't find me, I'll be here... sipping a Meserita and enjoying fresh menu selections with friends while laughing, chatting, dreaming, or planning our next adventure.
On this particular visit, I corralled a group of friends for Friday drinks and dinner. Mr. Mesero doesn't have actual "happy hour" specials, but trust me, it's well worth the slightly higher bill. We were able to snag a table on the patio and were quickly greeted by the waiter I have had on my last 3 visits. He, with his smile and friendly, cheerful demeanor, is another reason I'm happy to become a regular. The company, the service and the atmosphere created another memorable experience complete with laughs, reflections and new adventures for the future. The weather was perfect, the drinks delicious, the service spectacular, and the food fantastic. A wonderful way to unwind, catch up with friends, and kick-start the weekend.
The menu offers a nice variety, from the typical menu items but with a twist (think Nachos with black beans, cheese, brisket, avocado slices, red jalapeños, and crema, or, Queso with spinach, cheese, artichokes, and roasted poblanos), to a variety of unique salads, to enchiladas and tacos, to a double meat double cheeseburger with fries, to a section devoted to steak. I love that they have options for certain sides too. For example, you get to be choosy about your rice (green, red, white, and more) or your beans (refried black, refried pinto, pinto beans from the stovetop... take your pick!). The menu is not only fresh and unique, but also accommodating to different tastes and preferences, which makes it a GREAT pick for those of us trying to eat a little lighter and healthier when eating out.
Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with anything on their menu. However, I'll tell you some of my favorites that I ordered... I love the shrimp ceviche and so ordered it for the whole table. With big pieces of shrimp, hearty slices of avocado and tomato, and hints of cilantro and lime throughout, it is a dish I wanted everyone to try in hopes they would love it as much as I do (and they did - Big Hit!). TIP--- this is also great as a main dish. Enjoy the salsas with some chips or a side of corn tortillas and then enjoy this light and healthy but fully satisfying appetizer as your entree. You'll probably even have some to take home!
Another favorite is the TRES under the COMBINACIONES, which includes two tomatillo enchiladas with red rice and black refried beans (although you can, of course, substitute a different rice or different beans). YUM. Great for splitting, full of flavor and incredibly fresh, I started to remember why this is one of the only places I order enchiladas. The tomatillo sauce does not overwhelm the dish, but acts as a perfect compliment. It is light, fresh and full of flavor like it was made to order (maybe it was? Next time I will ask!). Even the crema drizzled on top is just the right touch to add a subtle depth and yet pronounced richness to the dish. The chicken in the corn tortillas is tender and juicy. Together, these ingredients intermingle to create a deliciously satisfying meal that leaves you brainstorming your return visit.
If you're looking to lighten up your Mexican meal, you could certainly do it here and not trade one ounce of flavor or satisfaction. You definitely don't want to miss out on Mr. Mesero.
Vitamin E... avocado ... an antioxidant that helps promote a healthy immune system.
Vitamin A... tomatoes ... promotes good vision and strong & healthy skin, teeth and tissues in the body.
Vitamin K... avocados ... an important factor in helping our blood clot. Be careful about consuming too much if you are taking any type of blood thinners as it will inhibit the impact of the medication.
Vitamin C... avocados, tomatoes, tomatillos, and onion ... antioxidant that promotes healthy joints, skin, hair and a healthy immune system by helping the body build collagen and protecting against infection and cell damage.
Vitamin B12... chicken & shrimp ... helps the body make energy, keeping metabolism and energy levels up (vegan and vegetarian athletes and those whose small intestines cannot absorb B12 run the risk of B12 deficiency anemia and may benefit from supplementation, in which case an MD should be consulted).
Folate... avocados & black beans ... important for the assembly of DNA and other genetic material as well as cell division.
Lutein... avocado ... a carotenoid that may help slow the progression of macular degeneration.
Lycopene... tomatoes ... a carotenoid (precurser to vitamin A) can help prevent hardening of arteries and certain cancers. Also helps prevent wrinkles of the skin by strengthening the elasticity of skin tissue.
Protein... chicken, beans, shrimp ... aids in the growth, maintenance and repair of cells (including cells damaged due to sickness or injury from surgery or sports / exercise).
Iron... chicken, beans, shrimp ... important for red blood cells to be able to transport oxygen to all of our tissues (such as skin & muscles)
Phosphorus... beans & shrimp... helps build bones & teeth, helps the body use and store energy, and helps regulate kidney and nerve function, muscle contractions and heartbeat. Those with certain medical conditions such as kidney disease should talk to their doctor or a registered dietitian about their recommended daily intake.
Zinc... chicken & shrimp... aids in wound healing and repairing torn muscles.
Side Note: Intro to Alliums
At dinner the other night I was asked if onions had anything good for you in them. As I piped up, happy to share a fun nutrition fact, I realized, "here is another common question that I should share with readers". And this is the perfect post because alliums make an appearance in my meal above. So...
Components of the allium family include: onions, garlic, leeks, chives & scallions.
They are not only necessary flavor components to almost any dish, but they also give your meal a nutritional boost. Foods in the allium family have been found to lower the risk of certain cancers such as stomach and gastrointestinal (including oral, laryngeal, esophageal & colorectal).
So don't be shy when it comes to these small but mighty ingredients. Start cooking by sautéing onions as your base, toss in a little garlic half-way through, and top the dish with a a sprinkle of chives or scallions. Your dish will be full of flavor AND pack a punch!
My Conclusion (Based on ranking of 1 to 5... 1 = will not return; 5 = will return tomorrow)
Taste = 5; Nutrition = 4; Service = 5
Overall Ranking = 4.7