Shows what I know. Of all of the Mico Rodriguez restaurants, Mesero Miguel, on Henderson Avenue, was my favorite. But apparently the restaurant is in trouble.
The sign has been taken down for a rebranding effort, and the doors will remain locked through the end of the week. Apparently the newest Rodriguez restaurant, Mesero, is doing so well on Lovers Lane that the owner wants to copy the concept at his Mesero Miguel location. In other words: Mesero may be Rodriguez's new Mi Cocina.
When I reviewed Mesero on Lovers Lane earlier this year, the place was packed. I didn't carry a stopwatch, but each night I visited the place, customers waited with margaritas in hand for what seemed like a significant amount of time. Apparently they're still waiting, because Rodriguez is convinced the model there is worth reproducing.
So in a few days, Mesero Miguel will reopen as Mesero, with what I'm guessing will be some modest menu and dining room changes. Mesero struck me as the less serious, more fun restaurant of the pair, which makes it a decent fit for Henderson Avenue.
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If you're pulling for the Mesero brand, you've got to hope that Mesero on Lovers is so successful because neighborhood diners have fallen in love with the dining room and the menu, and that a carbon copy of the restaurant will do just as well across the street from The Old Monk.
Of course, part of that success could be attributed to the fact that there's not a lot of Tex-Mex in the immediate vicinity of the Lovers Lane location. That's not the case around Henderson Avenue, where Chuy's and Rodriguez's own Mr. Mesero are all within walking distance. The new Mesero will have some stiff competition no matter how it's branded.
And don't forget that Alma, which was consistently celebrated for exemplary Mexican cooking, couldn't make the location that now holds
Mesero Miguel Mesero work at all.
Mesero is set to open this Friday at 5 p.m.