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A Healthy Twist on Mexican Food at Taco Mesa

We dined as a guest of the venue

I could eat Mexican food every night of the week. Unfortunately, most Mexican restaurants in Orange County do not offer a good selection of healthier menu options, until now. Taco Mesa is redefining Mexican food by opening a tortilla factory at Taco Mesa – Tortillería Orgánica & Café in Orange which makes GMO-free tortillas for all six of their restaurant locations in Orange County.

When I learned about the innovative tortilla factory that founder and chef of Taco Mesa and Taco Rosa, Ivan Calderon, had created, I couldn’t wait to come in for dinner. My daughter and I went to the Orange location for dinner one night last week, and the restaurant was packed. The entire restaurant was filled with families enjoying healthy and authentic Mexican classic cuisine in the chic restaurant.

After entering the restaurant, we went up to the counter to order our food, and I was incredibly impressed with the selection of healthier menu options. The restaurant has gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. The food created at Taco Mesa Tortillería Orgánica & Café is made with produce sourced locally from Adam Navidi’s Aquaponic Future Foods Farms in Brea and Black Sheep Farms in Riverside. Plus, the seafood is sustainably caught guided by Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch!

Since queso fundido is a favorite of my daughter and me, we had to start our dinner with this delectable dish. Queso fundido is only good when it is made with Oaxacan cheese, and most restaurants in Orange County don’t use the authentic cheese to make the dish, which leaves most diners underwhelmed. I was so happy to learn that the queso fundido at Taco Mesa Tortilleria Orgánica & Café is made with Oaxacan cheese, and it tastes just like it does in Mexico. You need to eat the dish the minute it arrives at your table because Oaxacan cheese firms up quickly. Put some of it into a freshly made GMO-Free tortilla, and you’ll be in heaven – guaranteed.

We also started our meal by sampling some of the appetizers on the menu. The Guacamole is always pure perfection at Taco Mesa or Taco Rosa, and a great starter for families with younger kids or picky eaters. My favorite of the sampler was the stuffed jalapeños. The jalapeños pack the perfect amount of heat and are stuffed with pico de gallo, queso and topped with crema fresca. Then there was the Tlayuditas that were light, fresh and delicious. The appetizer featured pinto beans, mole pipian, panela cheese, purslane, watermelon radish and heirloom tomatoes.

Since I am trying to do a low carb diet, I made a more simple choice with my main dish and ordered the carne asada. The dish had incredibly tender meat with grilled scallions and avocado. I splurged on my diet a little by enjoying it with a warm corn tortilla.

My daughter is a taco connoisseur, and she sampled a variety of their different tacos. The steak taco was very traditional and tasty. It is hard to find good Al Pastor that isn’t coming right off a trombone on a street cart in Mexico, but the the al pastor at Taco Mesa Tortilleria Orgánica & Café was pure perfection. Her favorite of all the tacos was the calamari taco. It was unique, delicious, and something that she has been craving ever since.

We paired our main dishes with Esquites which I highly recommend. The dish features roasted corn kernels, lime juice, queso fresco, epazote, serrano pepper, and garlic butter.

I was incredibly impressed with everything we ate at Taco Mesa Tortilleria Orgánica & Café. The freshness of the ingredients boasted with every bite that we took. It is our new favorite to stop in for a bite when in Orange. The restaurant is just a short drive from the Irvine Park Railroad, and a great spot to go for lunch after a day in the park. I can’t wait to come back for more and to sink my taste buds into their Machaca for breakfast.

Taco Mesa Tortilleria Orgánica & Café is located at 3533 East Chapman Avenue, Orange, CA 92869 and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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