A well-made burrito has the power to nourish the body, excite the taste buds, and breach battleship hulls when fired out of a cannon. Defeat hunger with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Mexican fare at Mekenita Mexican Grille in Lutz.
Formerly known by the fluttery moniker Mariposa, Mekenita Mexican Grille’s menu stuffs tacos, burritos, and more with fresh Pacific and Oaxacan flavors. A trio of citrus-grilled pacific wahoo tacos catches waves upon tortilla surfboards ($9), and the parmesan-crusted Mekenita grande burrito relaxes on the beach with grilled steak and chicken, beans and rice, chipotle salsa ($9), and a bestseller from Oprah's book club. Oaxacan mole negro smothers the smoked pork enchiladas ($12), and chef Rand Packer can prepare a vegetarian version of most menu items by swapping out meaty morsels with fire-roasted plant parts.
With colorful light fixtures and polished wood décor, the warm atmosphere at Mekenita is complemented by cool glasses of fresh-made agua de fruta ($2.50), in flavors such as strawberry, mango passion, and agua mixta, a combination of papaya, pineapple, cantaloupe, and ginger.
Mekenita Mexican Grille
Rand Packer grew up in Southern California, but his love of food and surfing frequently drew him to Oaxaca, Mexico, where he explored the region’s culinary landscape by stopping at street vendors and tucked-away restaurants. The uniqueness of Oaxacan ingredients, combined with a decade of experience cooking in Hawaii under famed chef Roy Yamaguchi, eventually inspired him to open Mekenita Mexican Grille. There, Rand surprises diners with unexpected creations that fuse Mexican and Hawaiian influences, such as pineapple-plantain nachos with passion-fruit sour cream or wood-smoked pork burritos with pineapple-papaya salsa. Patrons can also customize their meals by taking a lap around the fresh-salsa bar or monogramming their plates.