Mixteco Grill on Montrose in Lakeview is not the kind of restaurant you decide to dine at on the spur of the moment, which is about the only negative I’d pin on the place. I’ve tried unsuccessfully a handful of times to eat there and every time I was shut out or told the wait would be over an hour. Tonight, a middle-of-the-week night, we were able to get a table for three (with a reservation) which we probably didn’t need, but by the time we left at eight, the place was packed.
Having finally eaten there myself, I now know why. Mixteco was dynamite. Everything we ordered, from the appetizer to the dessert, was fantastic. We started with an order of uchepos gratinados (corn tamales covered in a delicious creamy poblano sauce) that was quite tasty. We also ordered the test of any good Mexican restaurant, guacamole, which in this case was topped with chopped radish (a nice touch) and tasted extremely fresh.
I ordered the wood-grilled carne asada, which was topped with a spicy cascabel-tomatillo salsa that had just the right amount of heat. The rib-eye was smokey and tender. I also sampled the enchiladas in mole negro, a sauce perfectly described on the menu as “complex.” The flavor was multi-layered and surprising. (Was it the spice? The chocolate?) Whatever it was, it was all good. Everything arrived at the table beautifully presented on the plate.
This was the kind of meal where you’re stuffed but you keep eating because it’s that good. We decided to go for broke and split a dessert because so far everything was great and who knew when we’d get back in here again. An order of the chocolate mousse, never my first choice, was highly recommended by our server and so far he hadn’t steered us wrong. The mousse, served on a layer of light cake, was garnished with strawberry and pineapple and topped with a goat milk caramel sauce that was the perfect compliment of flavors. Outstanding.
Discovering Mixteco Grill eases the pain of losing one of my favorite restaurants–Rique’s, a restaurant featuring regional Mexican cuisine that mysteriously disappeared a few months ago. Entrees at Mixteco are $15-20 bucks, a bit too steep to make it a regular event, but absolutely worth the price. Better yet, it’s BYOB. The wait staff was extremely friendly and attentive, and the space, while a tad cramped, is comfortable and brightly decorated. Parking on a weeknight was no problem. On a weekend, I can imagine a different scene.
Will I be back? Absolutely. There are at least eight other items on the menu I’m dying to try.