So, I’m late to the game — Meso Maya has been around for a while now. I’ve driven past and even called to ask a few questions about the menu. And, honestly, based on its early reviews and the lackluster love received over the years, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to try it. That was until it inched its way across the loop and into my neck of the woods. Meso Maya had planted its huarache where I could no longer ignore the smells of handmade corn tortillas and mesquite grilled meats.
Let’s just say, maybe it’s a good thing I waited.
Clearly, things have changed since 2011. I don’t know what happened in those starter years, but it’s safe to say Chef Nico’s menu has somewhat evolved from the “mealy meat” dishes of the past. Nothing but tender and perfectly grilled Chuletas de Puerco, plus succulent, seared Pollo con Mole for us. The chicharrones caught my attention when they arrived swimming in chile verde sauce and topped with pickled onions — definitely not what I was expecting. And, I’m glad — crispy edges, beautifully charred and lovingly placed in a warm corn tortilla. (I placed it there lovingly, by the way — the tortillas come on the side) As you eat, you do the happy dance with your feet under the table while watching the tortillera craft her specialty in the window, tortillas de maíz. It was a beautiful thing.
Chalk it up to having a well-seasoned staff for their fifth location — I don’t care. It was damn good.
More recently, Meso Maya made it on the map for best margaritas, and I won’t argue there at all. When our server Noe mentioned the Avocado Margarita, my partner in crime had to kick me in the shin. I may or may not have made the “Debbie Downer” face. But, Noe convinced me I needed to give it a chance. And, thank God for Noe.
Smooth like avocado budd-uh, I tell ya. Such a refreshing change from the sometimes killer tang everyone seems to love but me. I enjoy non-acid reflux margaritas, myself. Thank you very much. But, to each their own. This one was the perfect combination of salt, lime and tequila, plus that “something” you know is there but isn’t. Sort of like nutmeg in bechamel sauce. You didn’t know you liked it until you tried it, and now you can’t imagine it without it.
Wrapping it all up was the Pastel de Moras with Cafe de Olla, traditional Mexican coffee made with cinnamon and piloncillo (brown sugar). Word. If the margarita, the chicharrones or the pipian roja sauce with the chuleta hadn’t already won me over, this would have taken it home all by itself.
I was perplexed. It’s just blueberry-studded cake, right? WRONG. It is the pastel de dios, I tell you. And, I’m a chocolate lover.
I couldn’t figure out the texture. Non-crumble, rich and buttery — it was more like a slightly underbaked brownie consistency. And, I have a certification in pastry, people. My brain was confused and delighted all at the same time. It’s a basic skillet cake that ate like almost a custard cake. I don’t know what to tell you other than, go.
Go to Meso Maya. Go. Ask for Noe. Talk to Erick, the manager. Tell him you need Chuletas de Puerco, his favorite. Just don’t let another dinner pass without trying it out for yourself.
And, don’t go in with any preconceived notions of what “Mexican Cuisine” means because, let’s be honest — we live in Texas. Was Meso Maya serving up “authentic” Mexican cuisine? Probably not. Did they use elements of traditional Mexican cuisine and deliver some damn fine food? Yes. Was it Tex-Mex by any means? Certainly not. But, they do have to bend the rules a bit to meet the basic needs of guests, especially in this area. So, go knowing you’ll get chips and salsa.
But, also go knowing you’ll enjoy dishes that will remind you of Mexico at Meso Maya — far more than when you’re eating Nachos Locos somewhere else down the street. (not that there’s anything wrong with that) Manzanas y naranjas.
Meso Maya – West Plano
4800 W. Park Blvd., Plano, TX 75093
Sun | 11am – 9pm
Mon-Sat | 11am – 10pm
Mon-Fri | 3pm – 6pm
Sat-Sun | 11am – 3pm
LET’S KEEP IT REAL: First and foremost, I do everything for the love of food. Most of what I write about is because I love it! If I don’t love it, I tell you about that, too. From time to time, I may receive monetary or product compensation for mentioning products, offering recommendations, providing endorsements, or including links to products or services when I blog. While that may be the case for some posts, it is not the case for all. When it’s sponsored, you’ll see #sponsored when I post. When I’m just sharing the love, I won’t use that particular tag or hashtag. What you need to know is that I only give shout outs when I actually use the product or love it so much it deserves a shout out, sponsored or not.