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Mestizo Restaurant Spices Up Park Place

[media-credit id=147 align=”alignleft” width=”193″][/media-credit]Just like the title of his highly praised book “Simple Food, Big Flavor,” celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez offers simple Mexican food with some really big flavor at his brand new restaurant, Mestizo.

Sanchez, whose mother was also a successful restaurateur, has starred in shows such as “Iron Chef America,” “Chefs vs. City” and “Chopped.” After opening two very successful Mexican restaurant in New York City, Sanchez has opened what will be another success at 5270 W. 116th Street in the Park Place shopping center in Leawood.

When I asked if I could meet and interview the celebrity chef, the waiter said that I was going to have to wait in line with thousands of other people after he finished filming his latest show. After hearing the waiter praise Sanchez like he was some kind of culinary god, I was expecting some fine dining.

I quickly realized that Mestizo is not a typical Mexican restaurant; the food isn’t the cheap Tex-Mex stuff made with “meat” that was squirted out of a hose. Instead, Mestizo offers fresh food that tastes as delicious as it looks.

The restaurant has a modern Hispanic design that has a blend of warm colors decorating its walls–it gave me a cozy feeling when I sat down. The restaurant’s wide windows give you a great view of the Park Place public skating rink. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to sit with all the choices of seating. Mestizo offers their customers seats either at a booth, table or upstairs in their second level that has a second bar along with several plasma TVs. Sitting indoors, it was nice to see Mestizo’s open kitchen where the chefs makes each dish from scratch.

Looking at the menu, it is impossible to find the typical burritos and enchiladas found at most other Mexican restaurants around KC. Instead, there are dishes ranging from steak tacos to sauteed shrimp to ceviche soups all created by Sanchez.

[media-credit id=147 align=”alignright” width=”266″][/media-credit]I decided to take the waiter’s recommendation by ordering the Mexican classic, chilaquiles: a traditional Mexican casserole that has baked chicken breasts on tortillas with salsa cheese and cream poured over it.

Mestizo prepares their chilaquiles by first marinat- ing the chicken breast with an agave chipotle glaze and leaving it in a refrigerator for a day to get the glaze’s sweet and spicy flavor to set into the chicken. They then bake the chicken breast onto a bed of corn tortillas before covering it in a thick cream made up of mango, lemon zest, lemon juice to add a hint of lemon to the dish. The chef then melts some Monterey jack cheese blended with Oaxaca cheese on top of the cas- serole before sprinkling some basil to top off a very delicious dish. Every bite I took out of the chilaquiles hit me with a bold blend of sweet and sour with a little kick of spicy.

When I saw the waiter walk by with an order of churros for another table, I knew what I was ordering for dessert. After taking one bite, it was easy to tell that the churros are made fresh from handrolled dough by the soft and chewy texture. They are served with ice cream and a rich chocolate sauce to dip the pastries in. The churros are a great way to finish off a lunch or dinner and will definitely satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

The only negative I found at Mestizo is the price of most of their platters. Their entrees range from $12 to $27. They might be more expensive than most other Mexican restaurants, but the quality of the dishes and the fact that it’s a professional chef makes up for it.

Mestizo offers the best cuisine from the eastern Mexican coast that have a unique touch that isn’t like any other Mexican in Kansas City. If you are looking for a delectable Mexican meal that they have never had before, then Mestizo is the perfect choice.

[media-credit id=147 align=”aligncenter” width=”289″][/media-credit]
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Alex Goldman

Alex Goldman is the Online editor with Mitch Kaskie, staff writer and Sports page Editor on the Harbinger. He likes sports. Read Full »

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