Recently, I planned a birthday gathering for my evil twin aka Dessert Zombie, but unfortunately both of us had to miss it due to Super Storm Sandy. A few of the original guests took him out on their own as time permitted, but I decided to take him to Mesa Grill (where we’d originally planned to go) for brunch anyway, as I knew he’d been wanting to check it out for a while.
What’s a birthday celebration without drinks? Unfortunately, neither of us liked our drinks THAT much – one had too much tequila, one was too bitter… I don’t recall the exact names of our drinks (and the cocktail menu is not online) but these were not made as well as they could have been, unfortunately.
Our bread basket was a mix of some really tasty bites – a very moist cranberry cake, a coffee cake that I housed, and a jalapeno biscuit that I thought was OK but Dessert Zombie seemed to enjoy.
We chose to start with two appetizers; first, the rough cut tuna nachos, with avocado crema and mango-habanero hot sauce. I enjoyed these – the bit on the left is a pile of raw tuna, like tuna tartare but cut in chunks instead. This was served with small rounds of blue and yellow corn chips, though I thought the chips could have been a bit better.
Our other appetizer was the crispy bacon and hash brown quesadillas, topped with a fried egg. I thought this was really unique – the insides were a very nicely fried potato that was almost chewy, so awesome – but it was way too heavy for me to personally eat more than one piece. No worries, Dessert Zombie was on hand to help with that! This was definitely his preferred appetizer, so I happily ate more of the appetizer I preferred – the nachos.
Wanting more of a hearty meal, Dessert Zombie went with the sixteen spice chicken skewers. Ironically, his plate arrived covered in more green than actual chicken – which he enjoyed but said some of it was a little dry. I tried a piece and agreed with the assessment; it seemed pretty dry, unfortunately.
I wanted something more breakfast-y and light, so I ordered the ranch style eggs tostada, which came with breakfast potatoes. My dish was huge and way too much for me, so I shared with Dessert Zombie… the potatoes were nicely seasoned and very tasty. The eggs were cooked perfectly fluffy and served over tortillas that soaked up all the sauces… overall, it was a pleasant enough dish, though not to my personal tastes. Looking at the menu, I’m not sure why I ordered that; it doesn’t really sound like something I’d like. Perhaps I was likening it in my head to huevos rancheros (which I used to order at brunch frequently)? I’m not sure.
The dessert menu didn’t speak to us, so we left and headed to Eataly for gelato for Dessert Zombie. I was pretty full so I declined any…
Overall, I would say Mesa Grill might be worth a visit for dinner, but I likely won’t return for brunch. Hopefully, the dinner is better executed – there’s certainly more dishes that look very appealing on that menu…
Happy (belated) birthday, Dessert Zombie! Hope it was all you could hope for and more.
All pictures above were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S III. I think it takes better pictures than my point&shoot… thoughts?