La Mestiza at Market Square opened a second location on Tuesday where Subway used to be just off the Capitol Square. It was impressive how the place transformed from a sub shop into a cozy Mexican restaurant in the oldest commercial building in Madison.
The owner, Antonio, told me they are doing a soft opening for about two weeks before they really get their name out there. I kept that in mind as I was formulating this review.
Happy hour downtown, especially on the Square, is a tradition, so it was good to see La Mestiza have one from 3-7 p.m. Mon-Fri. However, there is currently no drink special as it continues to work out the kinks (appetizers are half-price as of now).
I ordered the enchiladas de pollo con mole (chicken mole) and the chilaquiles con carne asada (corn tortillas topped with tomatillo sauce and skirt steak). Both were good, though I especially liked the latter and would order it again. I had the lunch portions of both, which were less expensive than their dinner counterparts but also smaller in portion.
I must note that both items came out in what seemed like five minutes. I was sitting right by the kitchen and could see them cook it, so I knew it wasn’t just being heated up or something. That was impressive, and it should help the restaurant do a brisk lunch service.
Fresh fried tortilla chips were served before the meal, and the salsa came from its own fridge. I thought how cool it would be to have a fridge solely dedicated to salsa!
On the bar side, I’m happy that the bartender was squeezing fresh limes to make the margaritas (I can’t stand pre-made mixes). The one I sampled was good; the sangria I had, on the other hand, seemed too “light,” for lack of better term.
I’m looking forward to return visits, and if anything to say hi to the general manager (Antawan), who seriously is one of the nicest and friendliest people I’ve met.
Other notes: brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. … late-night meals are served until 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays … there are a limited number of vegetarian dishes in addition to the entrees that don’t have meat … the bar has a decent selection of quality tequilas.