Plaza Azteca: Mexican Food Taken to a Whole New Level
Plaza Azteca owner, Jaime Guerrero and his wife, Maricela have been serving amazing food in Niles for almost 2 years now. If you're tired of the same old Mexican food, you've got to go to Plaza Azteca. When your food is brought to the table you'll think it's too pretty to eat but don't let that stop you. You're about to eat Mexican food like you've never tasted before.
I waited in the bar while the Guerrero's decided on what to prepare. I was soon escorted to my table, and was welcomed in a wonderful way. A table of drinks set up in a party atmosphere. The biggest margarita, correction, Margarona sat before me, surrounded by bottles of beer and Jarritos soft drinks. What's a Margarona? Well it looks really fun and Jaime tells me people go crazy over them. It's a giant salt-rimmed margarita that has an upside down bottle of Corona flowing into it. Margarita plus Corona makes a Margarona! So if you order something spicy, be sure to order a cold drink to cool your palate.
It wasn't long before plate after plate of beautiful food was brought out. The portions are big so come hungry. The first dish: Chicken Salad. A beautiful plate of fresh mixed greens topped with grilled chicken, cheese, sliced tomato, cucumber and radishes. Garnished with twists of sliced oranges and sprigs of cilantro, this dish has every color of the rainbow. The salad is so fresh. Very light and refreshing with a hint of citrus. Every bite gets a taste of everything, it's delicious.
Next up, a Vegetarian Quesadilla. Fresh spinach, mushrooms and cheese are stuffed between two giant tortillas, grilled to a golden crisp and cut into four larges wedges. Again, beautifully plated with a side of fresh pico that is wonderful, sliced orange, cucumber and radishes and a squirt of sour cream. It's served with a side of delicious honey chipotle dipping sauce that I fell in love with. The sauce is a sweet heat and the perfect accompaniment to this light quesadilla. The filling has saut�ed spinach and earthy mushrooms. This one is Maricela's favorite dish, "I eat it every day."
Spinach & Chicken Enchiladas. This just may be the prettiest dish I've ever been served in a Mexican restaurant. Vibrant colors, wonderful aroma and after one bite I learned this is much more than just a pretty dish. It almost looks like a layered lasagna because of the way the chef puts this dish together. Corn tortillas are stuffed with grilled chicken and saut�ed spinach then covered in a green, roasted poblano sauce. Jaime tells me there are over 20 sauces and this one is absolutely delicious. Add a little queso fresco, drizzles of sour cream and thin slices of roasted red and green poblano peppers to add more color. Surrounded by sliced radishes, oranges and sprigs of cilantro with a side of rice, you won't find this dish anywhere else and it turned out to be my favorite of the day. The sauce, again, is so different and flavorful. It, along with the poblano peppers, make this dish special. Love this one.
Chicken Fajitas are always a popular dish with customers. The grilled chicken, peppers, onions and broccoli have lots of flavor. They come out sizzling hot and as the aroma hits you it wakes up all your senses. Served with a side of beans, rice, pico, cheese, sour cream and tortillas, fajita fans will not be disappointed. Jaime himself is a big fajita fan saying it's his favorite dish along with the enchiladas. I can see why.
One thing on the menu that I found interesting caught my eye. The Table Side Guacamole. Maricela tells me that 80% of customers order guacamole then asks if they could prepare some for me. Of course you can. I love guacamole so I was thrilled to see the cart being coming to my table. The chef came prepared with all the ingredients including a large molcajete and tejolte(a Mexican type of a mortar and pestle). He added to the bowl a spoon of copped onions, jalapenos and cilantro and crushed them with the tejolte. A little salt came next and more crushing. Two fresh avocados are halved and scooped into the bowl along with some chopped fresh tomatoes and the juice of one whole lime. No more smashing. Two large spoons are used to work in the remaining ingredients keeping it somewhat chunky. The entire bowl is brought to the table with a bowl of warm chips and salsa prom dresses 2013. It doesn't get any fresher than this. You get to pick the heat and if you're not a fan of onions, like it more mild, or packed with heat, no problem, the guac is made just for you, just the way you like it. It's a big bowl, plenty for the whole table. Great with the chips and great to accompany any dish on the menu.
I couldn't get over how beautiful the dishes were and so different from "typical Mexican fare". Maricela hit it perfectly when she said it's "first class". That's exactly what it is. The wonderful flavors you crave but presented in an elegant way. The portions are large and the food is delicious and fresh. The menu has pictures of many of the dishes that will tempt you and I can tell you the pictures are what you will get. These are not stock photos, they're the real thing. I get the feeling that no matter what you order, the dish will be elegant, fresh, beautiful and delicious. First Class all the way. Plaza Azteca takes Mexican food to a whole new level.