Checking In: Blue Mesa Grill in Addison

LizJim_2010

The last time I visited the Village on the Parkway in Addison location of Blue Mesa Grill, I was disappointed. Neither the food nor service were up to par. The curtains were tattered, and the overall atmosphere was tired and worn out. The flagship location opened 26 years ago and needed a face lift.

Last week, I dropped in to the new Blue Mesa Grill across the street from the now shuttered space. What a change. They gutted the building that once housed Ounce Steakhouse and created a snazzy interior with a spectacular patio.

We skipped the traditional tableside quac and ordered a spinach and artichoke queso served with chips and flatbread. Even on a cool evening, the queso was warm before it was gone. If you are a fan of black bean soup, you will love the Painted Desert: it’s a mix of hearty black beans and corn chile chowder. The kitchen gladly removed the chicken from the spinach enchiladas which pleased our vegetarian. Two corn tortillas stuffed with spinach and mushrooms served with grilled sweet potatoes and asparagus were delectable.

Husband and wife team Liz and Jim Baron opened their location first Blue Mesa Grill, a celebration of Southwestern cuisine, in 1988. They were one of the first Dallas restaurateurs to cultivate a relationship with local farmers. Their sweet potato chips, innovative brunch menu, tableside guacamole, and blue margaritas were unique at that time. The Barons have continued to upgrade their menu and their involvement with area farmers and producers.

The Barons have teamed up with guest chef Sharon Hage and created a “Third Coast” food festival menu which will run in all Blue Mesa locations during May and June. The menu will include seafood from the gulf and a combination of the southern cooking style found on the coast combined with Blue Mesa’s southwest flavor profile. A sneak peek reveals  gulf crab, oysters, redfish, crawfish, cornmeal crusted oyster tacos with jicama slaw, a crawfish mini-adobe pie, and a redfish (responsible Texas aquaculture farm raised) with east Texas green tomato pico.

The party gets started on May 14. And don’t forget to order seasonal (and remarkable) peach blueberry margarita.