Sitting on the edge of the US-Mexico border, Texas has always enjoyed the best of both beautiful culinary traditions. There's a longstanding battle here to be named the king of Tex-Mex here.
Grapevine might be a fair distance from the border, but we're pretty keen on our Mexican food. In fact, we'd (humbly) say that Grapevine Mexican food is some of the best this side of the border.
We've got everything you'd expect from a number of Mexican restaurants, as well as a few local secrets that will surprise and delight you. As well as plenty of interesting local attractions that you can explore to work up an appetite first.
Come see for yourself. Here are some of the best Mexican dishes you should enjoy during your trip to Grapevine, Texas.
Yeah, everyone's had guacamole. But too many of us have only ever had it from a plastic pot we picked up in the local Walmart before a football game.
Those of us lucky enough to enjoy it fresh know that it's a completely different world. Production of avocados is booming to meet current demand, driven by a number of dishes which rely on the fruit.
But no matter what fancy dishes chefs dream up to star these green wonders, we'll still insist that fresh guacamole is the best way to use them.
It's so easy to make yourself. But you'll taste the difference when it's made with love in Grapevine, Texas by dedicated chefs. They only use the freshest, juiciest tomatoes, tangy ripe limes, and refreshing cilantro, along with that famous smashed green flesh.
Best paired with fresh tomato salsa and a healthy helping of freshly made crunchy tortilla chips.
Be sure to grab this as your appetizer when you head to the restaurant. It's the perfect way to kick off the evening.
Mole (say 'moh-lay') is a lesser-known Mexican sauce in the US. Somehow, it has never reached the mainstream popularity of guacamole or salsa, though if you've never had it before you're seriously missing out.
Mole is a time-consuming sauce to make, which is perhaps why it's a little less famous. Making it at home is worth it, but a bit of a hassle. So rather than laboring to make it yourself, come try it out in Grapevine instead.
Mole is a beautiful sauce that tastes better when you take your time. Key ingredients include various types of chili, tomatoes and tomatillos, chicken broth, pure dark chocolate and a number of aromatic herbs and spices. For the best results, it's cooked for several hours to help the flavor mature and develop.
When you walk into a Mexican restaurant in Grapevine, you'll probably smell its tantalizing scent immediately. It's best enjoyed with a main chicken dish, as this 'neutral'-tasting meat is exceptionally good at absorbing the sauce's deep flavors - plus it pairs up with the broth used as the sauce's base.
We're sure you'll agree, the result is simply amazing. Mole opens up a whole new dimension of Mexican cooking. After you try it for the first time, you'll never feel the same about Mexican food again.
From speedy street food to a restaurant delicacy - the traditional humble taco can suit a range of settings.
It all depends on the style of taco, and what it's filled with. Will you choose soft or crunchy shells? Tacos for a light lunch or a fully-packed taco for dinner?
Tacos commonly stuffed with pork or chicken, along with a range of spicy sauces and relishes. But you can also find seafood options, including Baja-style fish tacos and loads of shrimp options.
We suggest you try carnitas as a taco filling while you're in Grapevine, TX. Carnitas is a Mexican style of slow-cooked pulled pork. It's spicy and crispy on the outside, deliciously tender once you're past the crunchy crust.
If meat is not There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan fillings available, including nopales-filled tacos. Nopales are a type of cactus often used in Mexican cooking. They're an extremely healthy choice, so they're also great for someone on a diet who doesn't want to miss out on the authentic Mexican experience.
Fajitas For All
Fajitas are as versatile as tacos in terms of fillings. Stuff 'em and roll 'em into shape, and then simply enjoy.
The construction is part of the enjoyment - the anticipation is half of the enjoyment - but sometimes you just don't want to wait for that first bite of soft tortilla.
So head to a restaurant instead for your fajita fix. Here in Grapevine, you'll find classic char-grilled steak fajitas, zesty Yucatan-style chicken and plenty of shrimp options.
All served up with peppers, brown onion, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream to your taste. We're seriously asking you now - write in and tell us if you've got a better idea than that for dinner.
Traditional enchiladas are perhaps the heartiest food you'll find in Mexico. Over the border, the story is much the same. Big, satisfying cheesy mouthfuls, with plenty of fresh spices to give it an equally big flavor.
Rather than wrapping up fajitas and chowing down, we wait a moment. We cook up a classic Mexican red chili pepper sauce, or Enchiladas con chile rojo.
Of course, there's also the verde version, which features another equally traditional Mexican sauce - salsa verde. This is often made with tomatillos and a good handful of cilantro, lime juice and chile peppers.
Either way, the result is pure perfection. The tortilla wraps soak up the sauce, and a dusting of cheese helps temper the spice. Some chefs like to really stoke the fires when making their enchilada chile sauces, so it helps!
Of course, another way to help 'sensitive' diners cope with the spice levels is to simply enjoy a few colorful margaritas along with dinner. Try out cool, refreshing watermelon or mango margaritas the next time you're in town.
Burritos are one of the best Mexican comfort foods around. But they can be a bit stodgy if you don't get them right. Or there's too much sauce which ends slopping down your hands.
We guess that's all part of the enjoyment, in a sense, but you should see the difference a little love and care makes. The restaurants in Grapevine, TX, have found the perfect balance between rice, meat, sauce, and salad.
The burritos stick together nicely, so you can enjoy bite after bite of fragrant rice, meat, and seasoning, without it spilling down your shirt. Well. We hope not, but can't guarantee messy eaters will make it out without a stain or two.
Again, that's just half the fun, right?
Classic Beans and Rice
Mexico, and Latin America as a whole, is famous for dishes starring beans and rice - and lots of spice. It's rarely the star of the show, true. But this combination commonly sits on the side of steaks, chicken and other dishes.
In fact, when ordering in a restaurant, you'll probably want it on the side so that you can still try out all the other fantastic food!
Mixing up the types of beans on offer creates a more varied dish. Common choices include kidney beans, pinto beans, or black beans. The dish might then be topped with chicken strips for a lazy dinner in Mexico.
Don't forget about refried beans either. Smashed and mashed, then well fried (not re-fried!), this dish can be enjoyed straight from the bowl with a spoon, or more commonly rolled up in a tortilla to form a bean burrito.
Squeeze a little lime on top, add a dash of hot sauce, and mix in some fresh cilantro for that classic South American flavor.
Let's tick off a few of the other sides you can enjoy with your Mexican meal.
Beans are great enjoyed warm with rice, sure, but they're also fantastic as part of a vibrant bean salad.
Often enjoyed with a light dressing of olive oil, and wine vinegar or lime juice. A few grinds of cracked black pepper never hurts either.
Grilled Street Corn
In any bustling Mexican city, you'll find street vendors grilling and handing out corn like it's going out of style. It's not, as the local citizens will agree.
Grilled corn with crumbly cheese and sour cream, plus a light shake of chili powder, equals one delicious snack.
Butternut Squash Soup
Gourds and squashes are popular in Mexico, and are often turned into soups. Butternut squash in particular is prized for its nutty red flesh.
Enjoy a soup as an appetizer or as a cool companion to spiced and grilled meats.
Mexico has 9,330 kilometers (around 5,800 miles) of coastline. Meaning that many Mexicans make the most of marine meals (try saying that with a mouthful of chili-seared salmon).
We've already mentioned fish and shrimp tacos. And we'd also like to mention our Tequila Lime Shrimp Quesadilla at this point - because it ties in classic Mexican flavors into a beautifully fresh seafood option. Best enjoyed while sipping a tequila or with an ice-cold Mexican beer on the side.
But Mexico is equally keen on seafood that doesn't come in some kind of tortilla wrapper. While you might be familiar with the fish or type of crab being cooked, you'll find the way it's cooked quite fresh.
Traditional clay pots are often used to present delicious seafood stews, bathed in rich tomato sauce. These often contain shrimp, fish, scallops and other shellfish, octopus and more.
More adventurous visitors might like to try abalone. Abalone is a type of marine snail, sometimes served breaded, sometimes in sauce - and sometimes as ceviche. It's extremely popular in Mexican regions with lots of coastline and warm waters, like Baja California.
We think Mexican desserts don't get enough airtime in America, so we're here to tell you all about them.
For starters, have you ever had a tres leches cake?
This seemingly unassuming little sponge cake has more to it than you might guess from a glance. Its secret? It's been drenched in milk.
Not just any old milk. Evaporated milk. Then condensed milk. Then heavy cream. That's a good soaking of milk, but the sponge's light and fluffy texture ensures the cake retains a light mouthfeel and avoids sogginess.
If there's one thing you need to make room for after your meal, it's tres leches.
OK, that's a small fib. We also think you should make room for Galleta de Maiz, a traditional Mexican corn cookie, best served with fresh fruit and cream (that's how we like it, anyway).
We're in more familiar territory now - you may well be familiar with churros, which have experienced a surge in popularity over recent years.
These Mexican treats are gorgeous when rolled in cinnamon sugar and served hot with melted chocolate to dip in. Enjoy after a meal or as a cheeky mid-afternoon snack.
Grapevine Mexican Food: Book Your Table Now
We're sure this list has built up your appetite, and we hope you've got at least a few ideas in mind of what to order during your visit.
Ready to check out Grapevine Mexican food? You're making the right choice.
Mesa Kitchen is located in the heart of Grapevine, offering traditional and delicious Mexican food with a touch of Tex-Mex flavors.
To book a table at Mesa Kitchen, call 817.329.1144 or use our website to make your reservation right now. Or if you're looking to hire a larger area for a private event, we can make that happen too.
We can't wait to share our love of Mexican food with you, and our Tex-Mex spins on classic recipes.