While Las Vegas is home to wide array of fine dining restaurants, authentic Mexican cuisine is usually reserved for neighboring California or New Mexico. However, there are always surprises to be found in Sin City and our latest discovery is the Mercadito restaurant at the Red Rock Resort & Casino, which is becoming one of the best bets in town for delivering authentic and creative dishes.
When it comes to Mexican food, most will usually opt for the fast-casual of Chipotle or perhaps look for a sit-down place to enjoy chips, salsa and a strong margarita. Mercadito, which is located in nearby Summerlin just off The Strip, brings the best of both worlds together. The restaurant boasts an upscale atmosphere that still allows you to feel comfortable at the same time. It’s also a great place to meet some friends for brunch, lunch, drinks or dinner.
For starters, let’s talk about the four different types of homemade guacamole that are featured on the menu. You can opt for traditional or mango, but Mercadito’s signature is the Al Pastor, which infuses thick, double-cut bacon, grilled pineapple, cured onions, ancho-guajillo chiles, cilantro and chicharron to create a true flavor explosion that is out of this world. Another Mercadito specialty is its fresh ceviches. These are great to share and our favorites are the Mixto which pairs mahi mahi, octopus, shrimp, tomatillo pico de gallo with a passion fruit serrano broth or the Langosta which comes with succulent poached lobster. For taco lovers, you have eleven different variations to choose from here. We recommend coming with some friends and sharing some (not so small) plates, so you can try more of these exquisite dishes. During dinner time, you get four homemade corn tortillas for less than $15, which is an absolute steal considering the quality. Two of the most decadent options are the lobster tacos or the Espada, which feature hearty portions of blacked swordfish. Steak lovers will salivate over the Carne tacos, as epazote and oregano marinated skirt steak chunks are mixed with a fave bean potato hash, crispy potatoes and a zesty salsa verde. While all the dishes are quite filling, you will want to save some room for dessert to try Mercadito’s famous spiced chocolate cake with caramel bananas, sweet cream and orange sable crumbs. It’s every bit as good as it sounds.
If you’re looking to just have drinks, you’ve found your new favorite Happy Hour spot, as there are seemingly endless top-shelf tequilas and creative cocktails to choose from. One of the most popular is the Smokey Pablo, which infuses Cazadores Resposado with mango, spicy smoked jalapeño and a sweet blueberry float to top it all off. Mercadito’s Happy Hour takes place every day from 3-6p.m. and features some great deals to savor like specialty priced signature drinks, plus their famous guacamole, nachos and tacos too. This is a great spot because it’s high-end but not stuffy, so you’ll really be able to relax inside or you can enjoy your drinks on the outdoor patio.
The next time you’re craving some authentic Mexican cuisine in Sin City, make way for Mecadito at Red Rock Resort and prepare to have your mind (and tastebuds) blown away.
Mercadito at Red Rock Resort & Casino
11011 West Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Photo courtesy of Mercadito