6241 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Carmichael, CA 95608
Mushrooms. Walnuts. Pomegranate seeds. Mashed po-
tatoes. Can this really be Mexican food? Welcome to Mesa Mercado, which opened in 2016 in Carmichael’s Milagro Centre. Owner Ernesto Delgado’s market-to-table concept restaurant celebrates Mexico’s historic cuisine with dishes that showcase authentic fare seldom seen north of the border, such as the chile en nogada, a roasted poblano chile stuffed with raisin-studded ground beef and pork, blanketed with walnut crema and sprinkled with bright red pomegranate seeds, which serves as a colorful homage to the Mexican flag; a chicken mole negro redolent of sultry, roasty nuttiness, bright acidity and mild heat; and a pozole rojo, a pork and hominy soup with red chiles. Toast Mexico with the house margarita, finished with chile on the rim, or the Pepino Picante, a margarita with muddled cucumber and mezcal. A sign above the open kitchen reads: “A religious food experience.” Amen.