Culinary class act: Mesa James Street Mexican restaurant offers large portions of nachos, tamales and burritos perfect for sharing

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By: Hafsa Sakhi

What is it? 

I’m always looking for new places to eat, and Daniel, our Arts & Culture Editor, recently suggested Mesa, a Mexican restaurant tucked near the end of James Street North.

Upon entering, I was awed by the beauty of the interior. Jewel toned light fixtures hung near the entrance, and a traditional mosaic pattern decorated both the walls and ceiling.

A large cactus decorated with fairy lights sat next to our table, and Latin pop played in the background.

The menu offered popular dishes like quesadillas, burritos and nachos plus some Mexican gems like tamales, chimichangas and cactus salad.

The menu is sure to cater to those who are new to Mexican cuisine or those who already have their favourites. It also features a range of options for vegetarian diners.

How to get there:

Take the 1, 5 or 51 and stop at Main at MacNab. Head east on Main Street West toward MacNab Street South.

Turn left onto James Street North, and walk straight until you see your destination, which will be a block past James and Robert Street.

Price range:

Appetizers range from $10-$14, but the sizes are larger than your typical starter size. The entrees are around the same price, between $11-$16.

Choose from desserts like tiramisu, flan and cheesecake all for $5. Alcoholic drinks average at around $8, soft drinks at $2.25 and hot beverages at $2.75.

Must-order item:

Since the sizes are large, I recommend going with a friend or group. I went with my small family of girls, and comfortably ate by splitting several plates.

The menu is sure to cater to those who are new to Mexican cuisine or those who already have their favourites.

We ordered a large burrito, quesadilla plate and nachos, and still had enough to take home.

The nachos were my favourite, with deliciously spiced steak meat, hot cheese and topped with fresh salad and tangy sour cream. The nachos added that crunch, and the dish was served with salsa and pico de gallo.

Why it’s great:

You get your money’s worth at Mesa. The appetizers look like entrees, and the beautiful decor is comfortable and inviting.

The restaurant caters to a variety of dietary restrictions, with gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and halal options. You also get to choose the filling  from several meat and veggie options with your dish, and in this way, you pick and choose your favourite tastes.

With the warm ambience and the fun Spanish pop playing in the background, my family and I decided we must come back.

Before we left, I asked our waiter the meaning of Mesa. He smiled and explained it meant “table”. So grab a mesa and enjoy the taste and experience of Mexico.

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