When people ask me if I want to go out for tacos, I always hesitate. Not because I don’t want tacos – because I’m having a moment of silence for the tacos at Mr. Mesero.
Dallas restauranteur Mico Rodriguez is locally known for his hugely successful family of Tex-Mex restaurants, and once again Rodriguez is dominating Dallas’ sit-down taco market with his current ventures: Mr. Mesero and, more recently, its sister restaurant, this time a slightly more upscale concept; Mesero, nestled on Henderson with newer locations on Inwood Village, and Prestonwood.
Across the board of Mesero and Mr. Mesero restaurants, the margaritas are perhaps the best I’ve had at a restaurant in Dallas. The house mix, $11, is fine, but the top-shelf herradura reposado for $13 isn’t a bad deal, either, as far as cocktails go.
You don’t come here and not get guacamole. I see a plate on every table as far as the eye can see inside the impressively spacious dining area, complete with multiple rooms and an outdoor patio.
The waiter passed everyone a single house-made corn tortilla chip, and dolloped a spoonful of jalapeño-spiced guacamole on top. It was picture-perfect but needed salt.
The restaurant seemed to be running a bit slow, not really a surprise considering the ocean of tables that made the original Mr. Mesero look cozy – home of efficient service but long wait times for tables. Here, there’s a hostess taking reservations and shuffling diners to tables that sprawl out to locations removed from the action of the kitchen, bar or patio, all the scenes we’ve grown to love about Mr. Mesero.
Finally the tacos arrived, delivered under the glow of the overhead spotlight in the faraway corner of the restaurant we were seated in. Inside the luminous yellow corn tortillas was the carnita meat, or slow roasted pork shoulder, with a rainbow vinaigrette slaw and rice on the side. The restaurant is known in particular for this taco and the lightly battered and fried fish taco, at least according to waiters at other locations.
The pork was cubed. I was a little skeptical that this new geometric construction, as opposed to the shredded texture I’d enjoyed before (pictured) might render the taco dry, but the carnitas were good, and the whole experience reminiscent of a true street taco. Each little square of delicious meat was almost as tender as pork belly, with a ribbon of fat layered upon the lean but tender meat chunks, further moistened with a spicy relish of some sort. Gun to my head, I’d probably still opt for the dripping-with-juice shredded carnitas meat, though.
Also on the menu are the classics like queso, enchiladas, one with a mole sauce highlighted; full entrees – steak, braised pork, grilled fish, etc.; and, true to Rodriguez’s original Mexican-American fusion concept, burgers, hotdogs and brisket.
No matter what’s on the menu, I’ll always order tacos. Among all the mixed offerings, the thing I like best about Mesero is simple Tex-Mex and margaritas. I just miss the old Mr. Mesero atmosphere to go with.
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5505 Belt Line Rd
Dallas, TX 75254