Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ethnic Picnic - Mexican

I’m a big fan of ethnic food. I’ll try just about anything once, and I’ve loved almost all I’ve tried (examples: Indian, Vietnamese, and Croatian!). My favorite foods, with the exception of seafood and a good steak every now & then, are Mexican, Chinese and Italian. Probably in that order these days. And I’m choosy. Especially the Mexican. I know my Mexican cravings started in Cincinnati, which my husband will attest to, much to his dismay. (His idea of good Mexican is Chipotle and we could not disagree more. Mostly because Chipotle puts cilantro in EVERYTHING and I believe I mentioned my aversion to that leaf previously.) So when we moved to Omaha, I was on the hunt for good Mexican food. MY kind of good! I got many recommendations, some of which were okay and some not even close. Finally, FINALLY, I found La Mesa. I know some of you haven’t had the enormously fantastic experiences there that I have. And some of you don’t know that a corn tortilla is far superior to a flour one! Especially in a good chicken enchilada, which is all I will probably ever order at La Mesa. Because it’s that good! A chicken enchilada (or two, if I’m feeling particularly peckish) and a side of rice, with a Coke and a water thrown in, complete the perfect meal. All this comes with salsa & chips, of course. And there’s no limit on those, though you might have a trying time getting the server to actually refill them.

Probably my second favorite Mexican place in Omaha is Azteca. It’s a much different kind of Mexican than La Mesa. Very authentic and very tasty, unusual dishes are the fare. I’ve only ever ordered their house special “Arroz Con Pollo”, which is chicken, sliced onions, peppers and mushrooms in a slightly spicy / tangy, somewhat creamy red sauce, over rice and melted cheese. It’s so good that I don’t want to order anything else! It comes with tortillas you can spoon the chicken mixture into, but I don’t. Too bready! Ha! Azteca also gives you the typical complimentary salsa and chips but they add a surprise of complimentary bean dip (usually not a fan but theirs is delish!), a fresh cabbage salsa and a satisfying dessert at the end of cinnamon tortilla chips with whip cream and raspberry drizzle.


  1. One of the Mexican places in Lincoln makes a killer veggie fajita plate. Mmmm...sounds so good. On another note, I made fried plantains last night. They are Haitian but lots of Central American culures eat them. Might be something new to try with your Mexican cooking. The link's on my facebook page.

  2. I tried fried plantains at a Bahama Breeze restaurant once. They were okay, but not something I was super jazzed about. Maybe yours were better...

  3. I was not a big fan of the ones I had in Haiti. But because I want my kids to have some connections to Haiti, I put them on my menu. I've made them once before using a different recipe which I didn't really care for. But then someone recommended this one and they were much better. More to the point of yummy instead of just okay. But of course, yummy is subjective. My kids really liked the ones I made last night. A lot of people eat them with ketchup but I can't stand ketchup unless it's on a hamburger so that's not going to happen here. Someone yesterday suggested squirting them with lime juice which I think would be pretty good as the saltier they are the better and adding lime to that sounds like a great combo.