When Chef Nico Sanchez helped develop Meso Maya, he knew it was a risk. But he also knew it was the right thing to do. For so long “Mexican food” in Dallas was nothing more than a cheap, fatty dish that you grabbed from a fluorescent-lit dive with minimal service. That’s what Sanchez saw, but he knew Mexican food could be so much more.
Sanchez wanted to create a place where authentic Mexican food was served fresh, paired with craft cocktails, and with service and ambience to rival any restaurant in town.
“We wanted to do Mexican food without offending anybody by saying they weren’t authentic,” Sanchez says.
A list of things you’ll never see at Meso Maya: yellow cheese, nachos, sopapillas, chile con queso, chile con carne, canned-tomato salsa, crispy tacos and flour tortillas.
TRY THIS: The avocado margarita is the perfect balance of sweetness, tangy and creamy. It’s made with pineapple, avocado, lime and tequila.
At the beginning, it was tough for the chef to convince people that what they were eating was real Mexican food. To this day, customers request flour tortillas. Sanchez says the taste of a handmade corn tortilla is remarkably different than store-bought. It’s a two-day process to cook, grind and form the tortillas. Even the most skeptical customers don’t miss flour once they get a taste.
The proof is in the reservations; guests need to secure a table for dinner two weeks in advance during peak hours. Sanchez is proud to have expanded the city’s view of what Mexican food can be.
DID YOU KNOW? The menu is 98 percent gluten-free.
11909 Preston Road
Hours: Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
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