Mezon Tapas Bar & Restaurant has been a favorite of ours for many years, pretty much since they opened across the street from us, in the building that used to house a hot dog shop. The owners took a tiny little shack of a building and turned it into a true dining experience. According to their website, "located in the heart of the Mill Plain Road dining district in Danbury, CT, Mezon Tapas Bar & Restaurant tastefully combines old world Spanish elegance with the passion and energy of the tropics. Our menu features an inventive fusion of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean inspired dishes, featuring locally grown and seasonal ingredients. We offer an extensive wine list that features some of the best wines from South America and Spain, and our full bar serves up signature cocktails to top it all off."
Pre-Celiacs, we would visit Mezon for date nights and would get one of every tapas on the menu. Coxinhas, also known as Brazilian fried chicken croquettes, were the favorite by far! Alas, coxinhas are made with a wheat dough and NOT gluten-free. So we had yet to visit since my Celiacs diagnosis being that coxinhas were off the table, literally.
Mezon decided to close their doors when the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns passed through our area until they could open back up safely for takeout service. They did eventually open a few weeks back, but with a menu tailored to better fit the to-go model facing restaurants today. We decided to give them a try for Mother's Day, knowing they did, in the past, have gluten-free options and I should have been able to find something I could order safely. I was pleasantly surprised when the new menu had so little gluten-filled items that instead of denoting gluten-free items, they denoted items containing gluten, because there are so few. AMAZING! My poor poor coxinhas were still NOT gluten-free, but there were many other options available so how could I be upset.
I had a hard time deciding which classic meal to choose, all three looked amazing and ranged in price from $10-$12. They offer a marinated grilled steak with onion escabeche, pan seared shrimp with roasted tomato sofrito and slow roast chicken with herbed lime sauce. All entrees come with your choice of two sides which include rice and beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, tostones, sweet plantains, Mexican street corn and potato salad. Of course, you can add extra sides for extra cost, as well. The best part? All pick up orders over $50 came with FREE margaritas! For REAL. SOLD.
Because I was unsure if they had a dedicated gluten-free fryer or not, I stayed clear of any deep fried foods, such as, the tostones and corn chips. My Mother's Day meal ended up consisting of the slow roasted chicken, rice and beans, pico de gallo, guacamole and a classic margarita. Before I get into the food, let me just tell you how great the entire pick up situation was. The place was spotless with letter signs on the bar directing you to pick up your order by last name. Everything was ordered and paid for online, so there was no human contact at all. Go in the one way door, pick up the food and exit. Easy and safe, 100%.
Back to the food, the important part. The chicken was an entire half of the bird and so juicy. The skin was perfectly crisp and seasoned just right. I am normally just a breast person, but I devoured the entire chicken, every single piece was just that good. The herbed lime sauce should be bottled and sold, honestly, I would buy it by the case. I started just lightly dunking the chicken and then decided that was not going to cut it and dumped the entire container all over my plate. Huge chunks of garlic and herbs sitting in a tangy lime dressing, WOW. I alternated scooping up the rice and beans with the guac and pico, all filling and totally comforting. Washed it all down with a top shelf, salt-rimmed margarita. The perfect finish to the meal. 10/10 would go again, and in fact we have already! The food was excellent, pick up was safe and the value was unbelievable. We would have paid double the price for the quality and amount of food we received.
Yesterday, they opened up their patio for dine in patrons. From the reviews on Instagram, it looks like people are loving the vibes, feeling safe and happy to be back at their favorite spot. We are looking forward to more great gluten-free meals, next time I will try the shrimp and the street corn, keep an eye out on my stories to see how those turn out.
Oh! Also, I had so much rice, beans and pico left over that the next day I re-purposed them for my lunch with some pressure cooker chicken I had prepped earlier in the week. So I was able to eat two days meals with little to no effort on my part AND both were delicious. Check them out online on their website, online ordering and patio dining reservations are available right there.
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