Mesa 21 – 1414 N Orange Ave Orlando.
Great food is Great food, regardless of its origin, nationality or market segment, so let us say from the get go that Mesa 21 has some outstanding food! In fact, some of the best food we have experienced this year in any restaurant.
Mesa 21 is a somewhat recent addition to the vibrant and expanding Ivanhoe Village restaurant scene and with a beautiful restaurant where no attention to detail has been overlooked and some stunning views from the patio, especially at sunset over Lake Ivanhoe, it has rapidly become one of Orlando’s top restaurant openings this year.
Sandra Rios and her family are the owner operators of Mesa 21, in addition to their other restaurant in Clermont, a fast-casual version of Mesa 21 and the foundation of the fully-fledged concept you now see at the Ivanhoe Village location. Mesa 21 offers a “Real” and Traditional Mexican food experience, in fact the menu was conceived in Mexico using authentic ingredients, then bought back to the USA and those products sourced locally or imported where not available (not an easy task) but one which the Rios family pride themselves in achieving to maintain authenticity. Mesa 21 “Mission Statement” describes their passion to redefine the meaning of “Real” Mexican dining on American soil and from our perspective they put that mission into every bite of their delicious food. There are still Taco’s, Guacamole and Burritos on the menu but executed with a special Mesa 21 twist and for sure, some of the freshest Tortillas around, made fresh all day long by their resident “Taquero” in a theater style prep kitchen at the side of the main dining area (great fun to watch). The menu is exciting and pulls together complimenting elements of traditional Mexican cuisine that until now could rarely be experienced in the USA.
Eager to get “Real Mexican” we chose from the menu:
Jicama “Dynamite” Shrimp Taco – Sliced jicama, shrimp tempura, sliced marinated red cabbage, chipotle mayo & Guajillo dressing. This Taco almost looks to pretty to eat (We said Almost!) One bite and a thousand flavors hit your tongue.
Mesa 21 Guacamole – Fresh Guacamole served with tortilla chips and Chicharron chips. Chunky well-seasoned and spiced and given a great Mesa 21 twist by adding Chicharron Chips (Pork rinds) as well as the traditional Tortilla Chips. Really addictive!
Roasted Blooming Cauliflower – Fresh roasted cauliflower drizzled with chipotle mayo & garnished with Cotija cheese. We loved this dish, great to share and a real “Show stopper”.
Mexican Ribs Prime pork ribs – Finished in home-made Mesa 21 BBQ sauce. Served with sweet corn & Mexican mashed potatoes. An American favorite with a Mexican twist. Tender, delicately spiced ribs with just the right amount of BBQ tang. The Mexican mashed potatoes were outstanding.
Chile Relleno – Poblano pepper stuffed with Mexican cheese blend. Covered in a “zesty” tomato sauce, queso fresco, Served with rice & beans. We have had this dish probably a thousand times in every conceivable style of restaurant, but this Mesa 21 version comes out tops. You can taste every element of this dish, not the “Mush” of flavors so often experienced.
Mexican Sampler – Taste of traditional Mexican Antojitos. Mesa 21 Quesadilla Fritta – Taquitos & Sopes. A good way to see how Mesa 21 do traditional dishes, we loved the Sopes!
What you should know about Mesa 21:
- Mesa 21 is taking part in the 2017 Main Streets Restaurant Week which runs from August 4th to August 12th. A Prix Fixe menu will be created shortly and of course we will let you know as soon as it is available. Could be a great time to try Mesa 21?
- Mesa 21 use only “Quality” ingredients, from the food provenance to the Spirits, Beers, Tequila and Mescal behind the bar.
- Valet parking is only $2 and a real steal to be able to park in Ivanhoe Village for such a small amount of cash.
- Sunday Brunch
- Happy Hours
- A you would expect Mesa 21 have a Taco Tuesday but this one has all you can eat offers!
See Mesa 21 web site to confirm details – www.mesa21.com
This is obviously not our first “Rodeo” or should we say “Fiesta” for reviewing restaurants that offer Authentic Traditional Mexican food, but Mesa 21 is one of a VERY few that live up to that statement. The furniture, design, service, menu compilation, food provenance, quality wine, spirits, beer, Tequila & Mescal, all tell a great story, but one that is acted out every day by the team at Mesa 21.
We have more stories to tell and information to give you about our visit especially about the amazing Mesa 21 cocktails and desserts so watch out for more details in the next few days.
Can’t wait? Please go visit Mesa 21 now. Never have we been more sure about a restaurant and that you will return Again & Again & Again…and Again………