Atmosphere: Located on Nicollet Mall at 11th Avenue, Masa is a bright restaurant with large windows overlooking the Mall. The white table clothes and wine glasses and lack of traditional Mexican artwork might make you wonder if you’re truly at a Mexican restaurant! Rest assured you are, and it is different than any other Mexican restaurant in the Cities.
Menu: Lunch menu includes Gucamole, Sauteed Mushroom Quesadilla, Green salad, Jalapeno Relleno stuffed with cheese, Beet & Cactus salad, Pork Torta (sandwich), Steak Torta, Chicken Torta, Tacos (al carbon, pescado, al pastor, tinga, carnitas), Shrimp Tamal, Chicken Enchilkadas, Beef Enchilada, Tortilla Soup, Huevos Rancheros, Grilled Mahi-Mahi, Grilled Chicken Breast.
The dinner menu carries all of the items on the lunch menu, plus the following entrees: Pollo con Mole, Pollo en Racado de Chilomole, Pollo con Naranja, Puerco Veracruzana, Callos de Hacha Marinados, Costillas de Carne de Res en Barbocoa, Bistek co Chipotle Ancho Marinado, and Chicken or Crab Enchiladas.
Price guide: Appetizers $7-$9 Lunch Menu $9-17 Dinner Menu $9-27
What I ordered: To start with, we tried the guacamole appetizer. The guacamole was fresh and the chips were home-made, thick and crunchy. It was good, but a little expensive at $8-9.
I had planned to try the taco platter so that I could try each of the different meats, but the server successfully talked me into ordering the Puerco Veracruzana (Roasted pork shoulder marinated with lime, garlic and chile ancho, cooked in a banana leaf and served with broiled pineapple in adobo and black bean puree on the side. I thought the pork was magnificent, so tender and juicy and had really great flavor. As delicious as it was, I was disappointed that over half of my pork shoulder was fatty, making the proportion much smaller. I was givena basket of fresh corn tortillas on the side to make my own tacos. The amount of beans I was given was also disappointing, but the pineapple made up for it in flavor! I had never had pineapple served spicy or hot like this other than on pizza, but I loved the combination of sweet and juicy with the spice.
My companion ordered the Tamal Costeno con Camaron (Shrimp tamale steamed in a banana leaf, red molito sauce, crema; served with cilantro-lime rice and refried beans.
Service: Our server was very attentive and really pushed the sale.
Overall Impression: Pretty fancy for a Mexican restaurant. The food was good, definitely different than what you’d fine at other Mexican places. Food was priced high for what you got.