Mesquite is filled with excellent options both before and after your time exploring the outdoors. If you’re missing your grandma’s country cooking, Donna’s Kitchen is for you. This homey place serves breakfast classics include chicken fried steak with a choice of grits or biscuits and cream gravy on the side. This is Texas after all, so there are Tex-Mex breakfast options on the menu, too, like the crowd-pleasing breakfast quesadillas. Mini-jukeboxes on the tables and vintage décor give the restaurant a nostalgic bent and cozy feel. Scrambles is a classic neighborhood diner, and the breakfast menu overflows with omelets and buttermilk pancakes (yes, you do want to add the strawberries). Specials include a classic breakfast sandwich on thick Texas toast and the California Style Breakfast with crispy hash browns, grilled onions, sausage, and green peppers.
Mesquite has more than 150 dining options on the menu, from Greek eateries to Caribbean, and from downhome joints to Zagat-rated restaurants. For real Texas flavor, head to Café Del Rio, where the sizzling flavors match the colorful atmosphere. Here classic enchiladas come smothered with your choice of piping hot queso, hearty Tex-Mex style chili, or smooth sour cream sauce. The restaurant has Gulf Coast roots, so you may be tempted by the Shrimp Brochette, a Jumbo shrimp stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and a sliver of spicy jalapeño, wrapped in bacon, and fried to crispy perfection. If you’re back in town in time, belly up to the horseshoe-shaped bar for happy hour from 4 pm to 7 pm Monday through Friday.
For chile and spice of a different variety, head to The Curry Leaf, the home of authentic Indian cuisine. Wednesday through Friday, opt for the masala dosa, a crispy, savory Indian pancake stuffed with spice-laden potatoes. Sunday buffets offer samplings of authentic dishes from Northern to Southern India.
Saltgrass Steakhouse wraps Texas history and tried-and-true flavors into every bite. The restaurant borrows its name from the legendary Salt Grass Trail, along which cowboys drove cattle to the Texas Gulf Coast to graze on coastal salt grass. These cattle were thought to create the best beef in the Lone Star State. Saltgrass Steakhouse lives up to that laudable history serving Certified Angus Beef steaks, often topped with garlic butter and its own signature blend Saltgrass-7 Steak Spice. Not up for a steak? No worries. The menu also includes barbecue baby back ribs, burgers, and homemade beer bread served with warm honey butter.
Porch Swing, one of the newest places in town, serves classic Southern flavors in modern surrounds. At this restaurant, you have to come in with a game plan because you’re going to want to leave room for pie—like the banana cream or pecan, with ever-so-flaky crust. This restaurant doesn’t cut any corners. It slow smokes meats and pairs them with house-made rolls slathered with sweet or spicy honey. You may go for the food, but on Friday and Saturday nights you’ll stay for the live music grooving to everything from roots rock to bluegrass.
Written by Ashley M. Biggers for Matcha in partnership with Mesquite CVB.