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Mez on Page Road in Durham

  • w
  • Westy Apr 9, 2008 11:16 AM

I just tried it for lunch. The sign says "Contemporary Mexican."

I had the Chipotle chicken in a type of wrap, cumin fries and got a side order of "Yucatan Slaw."

The wrapwas excellent. The sauce had a nice (slightly) smoky flavor. Good bite to it - not overwhelming. Chicken was cooked perfectly.

The cumin fries were okay. nice idea, might have been a little crispier, but overall not bad.

The slaw was crispy, and thankfully was not the mined to mush variety. However, it had a weird...medicinal flavor to it.

I'll definitely be back.

Westy

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  1. Menu seems a bit expensive for lunch and a bit erratic. $8 for guac better be made tableside. Linguine? And an overabundance of piquillo peppers.

    Haute Mexican can very very easily go wrong.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BryanZ

      I've eaten theer twice for lunch and found it ok but wayyyyyyy over priced for what i got.

    2. Been there for lunch twice. It's a very "happening" place at lunch time, only open a few weeks and reservations would be recommended. Food was competent both times but I haven't yet found anything spectacular. First time was a chicken wrap which was pretty good. The cumin fries that came with it were quite soggy.

      Second time I tried the empanadas. Nothing to writing home about. Very greasy from being fried but good flavor.

      All said, it's nice to have another real restaurant in the park so I'm going to keep going and see if I can find a dish that stands out.

      - L

      1. I agree with Bryan Z's comment about it being a bit pricey but I thought the lunch I had there recently was quite good. I had the ensalada verde which had good fresh ingredients and a delicious walnut vinaigrette. I also had a small plate of shrimp flautas which were beautifully presented over avocado and with a tasty dipping sauce. I would go there again, especially for a business lunch.

        1. We had dinner at Mez a couple of weeks ago. It was average, and we won't be going back.

          2 Replies
          1. re: karrlink

            Absolutely agree. I Have never had such generic 'safe' food in a semi private owned restaurant. I recall the News and Observer featuring a story on them. The topic was menu development and the focus was on all the tasting panels they had in developing the recipes, menus, etc. I think they over analyzed and took the flavor out of the food. I think for what it is, it is overpriced and specifically designed for out of town rtp workers that have to find a place for dinner with co workers where all can find something to eat. Too bad, as I live close by and was excited about going there.

            1. re: karrlink

              We went to Mez for dinner too and it was just average. Here's what we had:

              crab cakes - lukewarm, sauce was oily and flavorless, but to their credit they had fresh corn kernels in them and weren't bready
              chicken and spinach enchiladas - nothing special especially at $12 per plate
              pesto chicken - $16, also boring

              overall it's not a bad place for lunch (the pumpkin seed tilapia they offer at lunch is good) but you're better off picking someplace else for dinner.

            2. I agree with winedine. The menu is a little pedestrian. However, I like that there are so many different options for people that really enjoy food and for finicky eaters alike. There's something for everyone. The fact that they serve linguine doesn't bother me. I had a picky friend order it the time I went. It was really good and had a Mexican twist-cilantro pesto. She was happy and so I was happy. The server told us the restaurant has made an attempt to go green and uses fresh local farm ingredients. The atmosphere is very nice with high vaulted ceilings and it has a great patio. The place is still new and so they are probably still working out recipe kinks. I think in time we will all consider it a great addition to the triangle. I'd go back for sure.

              1 Reply
              1. re: durhamres

                I have heard that it's own by the same folks as 411 West etc. So that would explain the pasta dishes. If I'm looking for upscale Mexican, it still sounds like you're better off at Tonali.

              2. I will say they mike a fine margarita at Mez. I went there with a colleague and had the traditional while my colleague had the blood orange version. Both were served on the rocks and were excellent.

                1. Moreton Neal, co-creator of La Rez in Chapel Hill and former wife of the late Bill Neal, Crook's Corner creator, had this to say:

                  http://www.metronc.com/article/?id=1657

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: durhamres

                    I've been 3 times, and I'm gonna side with Moreton on this one. No it's not gritty tex-mex from a truck, but it's comfortable, pleasant, and relaxed and I enjoyed the food and drinks a lot. It will remain on my rotation for lunch when I'm in the RTP area, and the occasional evening meal, though since I live so very close to Fiesta Grill I'll probably end up there more often.

                    1. re: durhamres

                      Everything Moreton Neal writes is totally glowing though, I can't find a single thing negative that she's written about any restaurant.

                      The one meal I had at Mez was mediocre and the service was bad (bad like we waited a half an hour for the server to return with our check at lunch and bad like another server told us that we couldn't have a side of dressing because the salads "were gourmet and came already dressed"). Returned for after dinner drinks and the first 2 things I ordered were out. I figured I'd try it again after they'd been open a few months but haven't felt motivated to do so yet.

                      1. re: emmeya

                        We finally tried it tonight. Overall, the meal was good. My wife had the verde salad and I had the mixed greens salad (with toasted pumpkin seeds). Both were pretty good though the portions were a bit small. My wife also had a watermelon gazpacho that was quite tasty.

                        For our entrees, my wife had a special ancho ravioli stuffed with shredded beef that was tasty but the portion was too small. I had the fish tacos and was pleasantly surprised (much better flavor and much larger portion than at Tonali which is often praised here).

                        My wife finished with the flan for dessert but was disappointed in that dish.

                        The architecture, design, and setting were nice. The service still leaves a bit to be desired, however, as the pacing of the food was off and our server seemed to be having a bad night.

                        Still, I will definitely add Mez to our restaurant rotation. Is it fantastic? No. But, it is a nice change and provides an overall good experience.