In Dallas we have a surplus of Tex-Mex restaurants and everyone has their favorite one. So when I was taken to Meso Maya by my office, I expected the standard Tex-Mex cuisine. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t a Tex-Mex place at all, its a Mayan-Mex place! Meso Maya lives by three pillars when it comes to their food:
- Heart – They stay true to the foods that inspired their Mayan and Mexican ancestors. That means “fresh, earthy, and bold flavors”.
- Soul – They use natural ingredients from their native land
- Fusion – They use talented chefs to make made-from-scratch moles, adobos, salsas, and hand-ground tortillas.
Yes, that’s right: HAND-GROUND TORTILLAS. When my co-workers told me, the first thing I thought of was that tortilla press machine-thing you see at Chuy’s or El Fenix. But no. At Meso Maya they grind up the corn fresh by hand and make corn tortillas to order. If thats not a good enough reason to give this place a try, then I don’t know what is.
They also have a house specialty dish called Budin Azteca. Its basically like Mexican lasagna, made with layers and layers of their fresh corn tortillas. You can order it with chicken, shrimp, beef, or vegetarian. It’s super good and super filling.
When I went I ordered their spinach and mushroom enchiladas and I swear I never had fresher mushrooms in my life. They were delicious. Definitely worth going back for (and I did!). Meso Maya is located on the northwest corner of Preston and Forest (right behind Snappy Salad). It’s kind of pricey (along the lines of Mi Cocina) but their lunch menu is pretty affordable. While I was exploring their website, I came across an interesting blurb about their head chef, Chef Nico. So I’ll leave you with this:
Our kitchen is led by Nico Sanchez. A Mexico native, he moved to Dallas in 1996 to pursue his goal of becoming a chef.
Before he had dreams of becoming a culinary artist, Sanchez lived in Guanajuato, Mexico with his two sisters and brother. When he was seven years old his father passed away, which left him with a heavy responsibility to his family. Leaving his family to chase his vision was not an easy choice, but he knew he had to persevere in order to accomplish his goals. He also knew that it would take time and much effort to achieve his culinary dreams.
Throughout Sanchez’s career he has done everything from working as a carrier traveling Mexico to becoming a chef at one of the many Consilient restaurants, Cuba Libre. Throughout his restaurant career he has had great mentors including Brent Hammer, executive chef at Hibiscus; David McMillan, executive chef at the Screen Door in Dallas; along with Nick Badovinus, chef and restaurateur of Neighborhood Services.
Sanchez not only has a passion for teaching and life, he also has been involved with the charity Fundacion ERA. This foundation is a non-profit organization that collects shoes in the summer and coats in the winter for needy children throughout Mexico.
His future plans include mentoring young professionals in the restaurant industry as he continues to create and explore new recipes. Sharing his culinary talents with the greater Dallas area and beyond are his ongoing passions.