Family fiesta at Mizado Cocina

In quite a few articles and blogs, I’ve whined about the apparent lack of good Mexican restaurants in the GNO. With the recent proliferation of new cantinas, it seems that someone was listening. A few months ago, John’s family came down from Ponchatoula to visit and we all decided to eat at Mizado Cocina and (thankfully) everyone loved it.

If you haven’t been to Mizado yet (what’s the holdup?), it’s located in what was formerly a Semolina’s on Pontchartrain Boulevard right on the edge between New Orleans and Metairie. Although we found it a tad awkward to get to, it was well worth the effort.

John, Ashley (his sister), Glenda (his Mom), Ava (his 5-year-old niece) and I decided to sit outside on the patio and split a bunch of dishes “family style.” We started with an ooey gooey, Queso Fundido made with cotija, mozzarella and manchego cheeses which was a big hit, especially with Ava. In fact, she liked it so much, we should have ordered one just for her. It was a good thing we also got the Guacamole Tradicional, a fresh, bright green dip that seemed to be mostly an enticing, whole avocado roughly chopped and mixed with lime.

For our entrees we ordered three different kinds of tacos that we all shared round.  There were “Carnitas” made with Michoacan-style Duroc, all-natural pork braised with orange, cinnamon, and garlic; “Camaron” or Gulf shrimp in toasted garlic lime, ancho adobo, sweet pepper and onion; and “Carne” which was slow-cooked, beer-braised, grass-fed beef. The tacos were served DIY-style with warm tortillas, salsas and sauces. I thought all three were fabulous, but we also had our favorites and the tacos disappeared more quickly than I imagined.

For Ava we ordered a side of Mizado’s version of the classic macaroni & cheese dubbed “Mac & Chorizo” concocted with their own, house made Duroc (type of pig) chorizo, elbow macaroni, queso and Salvadorean crema. Everyone absolutely loved it and we all gobbled it up, all of us except Ava. She was still very focused on the queso and found the chorizo in the mac & cheese to be a bit too spicy. Live and learn!

Though stuffed, we were curious about the dessert, so we tried an order of their bread pudding which was an interesting, Caribbean-style version with big chunks of pineapple and topped by a chewy meringue. It was a hit! The best part was that not only did we get to spend quality time with John’s family, they got to try (and really enjoy) flavors that were a bit out of their comfort zone. I love introducing folks to new cuisines! Perhaps that’s why I’m sure I have the best job ever.

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