1492 Union Ave. – Memphis, TN 38104
After living in Arizona for 30 years and dozens of trips down to Mexico while living there, it has become apparent that “Mexican Food” takes on influences where ever you go throughout the USA. I mention that because to me it is only authentic when you are in Mexico or near the border, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. El Mezcal is family owned and operated, but has 8 or more locations, I prefer the Union Ave. location. They definitely have their own brand of “Mexican Food” and some is definitely unique to Memphis, TN., and perhaps USA.
They have pretty good salsa that is almost pureed but has cilantro and other proper ingredients and the fresh made chips are crispy and thin.
My favorite is the Pescado y Camarones al Ajillo – Grilled fish and shrimp in garlic butter sauce.Topped with sautéed mushrooms and guajillo peppers. The Guajillo pepper is usually used in making different sauce and tamales, in fact I have used them in tamale making myself. It gives this dish a nice balanced flavor that allows the garlic to come through.
Chile Colorado – This has a good spicy red sauce and chopped steak and is consistently a satisfying dish.
Empanadas El Mezcal – These aren’t exactly “Central American” style, larger, but pretty tasty. They are pretty good on their own, which is good because the ‘green sauce’ is not a consistent item in my experience. The green sauce can be really spicy and not like the tomatillo or cilantro/pepper sauces I have had in Costa Rican or Panamanian restaurants, but the Empanadas are usually pretty good and can be filled several different ways, I prefer the shredded beef or spinach.