Eats Beat

Sopaipilla S’mores? Mesa Mexican in Grapevine hits the sweet spot

“Sopaipilla S’mores” at Mesa in Grapevine.
“Sopaipilla S’mores” at Mesa in Grapevine.

Mesa Mexican Cuisine in Grapevine outlasted its Veracruz-style parent in Dallas, and I’m not surprised.

Mesa Grapevine expanded its menu to add more Tex-Mex, and that helped draw new diners to the cavernous restaurant on Texan Trail.

We all love a great “Latin kitchen” restaurant. But Grapevine already has one of the best modern “Mex-Mex” restaurants. That’s nearby Mi Día From Scratch.

To be different, Mesa needed to add more Tex to the Mex.

That’s what Grapevine restaurateur Mike Easley did last year when he took over from the Reyes family.

Now, Mesa is a gateway Grapevine restaurant with a menu that draws from beyond the city.

The lunch menu alone has more than 50 choices, including items you don’t see often like spinach enchiladas poblanos or carnitas enchiladas rancheros.

A lunch of carne asada enchiladas verdes ($14) proved a surprise. The soft beef asada was well-matched to the creamy tomatillo sauce.

Mesa also offers a surprising dessert: “sopaipilla S’mores” with cinnamon and roasted marshmallow. Other desserts include a tres leches cake with Champurrado.

More Tex-ified items: brisket sandwiches, burritos or tacos, plus beef enchiladas in chili.

From the Mex side, Mesa still serves cochinita pibil, enchiladas in mole sauce (enmoladas), elote or a steak Tampiqueña with molcajete salsa.

Easley, also owner of the reliable Big Fish Seafood Grill in downtown Grapevine, said he shifted the focus to “Tex-Mex with Mexico flavors” and also expanded the hours to add midday service and a weekend lunch.

A lot of the Veracruz-style seafood was “wonderful,” he said, “but it wasn’t selling.”

Mesa is in the Grapevine Station shops at Texan Trail and Northwest Highway. It’s one of the first restaurants visitors see when they come downtown from Great Wolf Lodge or the Gaylord Texan.

Many guests are planning on a margarita or dinner at Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano or Mi Día From Scratch, or a more cozy traditional dinner at Los Amigos.

But if they’re not headed to one of the better-known restaurants, Mesa is a convenient choice.

“People in this city know me and we’ve tried to be very involved locally,” Easley said.

“We have a lot [of growth] going on out here, and there’s a place for Mesa.”

Mesa is open for lunch and dinner daily; 1000 Texan Trail, 817-329-1144,

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.