Heads up, Arlington: Blue Mesa Grill, the 25-year-running, Southwestern-Tex-Mex chain noted for its Sunday brunch, sweet potato chips and shake-your-own margaritas, opened a branch in Lincoln Square, in an old Talbot's. The store reflects a new evolution of the concept, says co-owner Liz Baron.
"We tailored the restaurant to the particular location in Arlington," she says. "The design is one-of-a-kind. It has the usual Blue Mesa trademarks, such as stucco walls, working fireplace, and oversized metal door handles and railings."
But this branch incorporates some of the raw, elemental design elements from their new concept, TNT/Tacos and Tequila, including a rebar cage over the bar for a tequila display, and folk art of Cristobal Schmal, which has an almost comic book style.
They've beefed up the food menu and the tequila program. "We're planning more tequila events, including tequila labs, where we teach mixology using fresh fruit, herbs and artisan mixers to make the newest in tequila cocktails," she says. "It's not just a margarita anymore."
Newer menu options include "street tacos" served on house-made corn and flour tortillas, plus a "spa menu" with the assistance of Medical City Dallas that includes chicken and spinach enchiladas and a veggie relleno stuffed with sweet potato, black beans and goat cheese.
There are six Blue Mesa Grills; a licensed Blue Mesa Taco & Tequila Bar at DFW Airport; and the new concept, TNT/Tacos and Tequila. Baron and her husband, Jim, are the founders.