Every prince knows that the most effective way to wake a sleeping beauty is not with a boring kiss, but with a single potent drop of fiery green chili. Awaken tired taste buds in royal fashion with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Mexican cuisine at Viva Mexican Grill and Tequileria in Wayland.
Chef Carlos Mendez opened his neighborhood restaurant in an effort to capture the fresh, home-cooked flavors he experienced growing up in Mexico. Fire up feasting fiestas with a tantalizing starter from the dinner menu, such as the ceviche de Acapulco ($8.95), which locks lime-marinated shrimp within a vault of veggies. The carnitas michoacanas ($14.95) plates slow-cooked spiced pork with warm corn tortillas, onions, cilantro, and the chef's special salsa. Red-meat cravings are answered with the grilled-to-order steak ranchero with salsa ($17.95 for skirt steak, $19.95 for rib eye), and culinary adventurers can sink their teeth into the fajitas de nopales ($15.95+), which pairs veggies, corn tortillas, and a choice of meat with chunks of fresh baby cactus. Finally, sweet nibbles of the Viva sopapilla ($4.25)—fried dough drizzled with honey, powdered sugar, and cinnamon—bring closure to the meal more satisfyingly than karate-chopping the table.
Viva Mexican Grill and Tequileria
Owner and head chef of Viva Mexican Grill and Tequileria, Carlos Mendez grew up in Mexico watching his mother and aunts as they concocted labor-intensive food without batting an eye. He would even venture off to the countryside to collect any wild mushrooms they might need. Now at his restaurant, he keeps his culinary traditions alive with his menu of Central Mexican cuisine. Fresh guacamole made table-side prepare palates for forthcoming entrees. Handmade masa pancakes topped with queso fresco join slow-cooked pork carnitas and tricolor plates of chilis en nogada with creamy walnut sauce. Thirteen types of margaritas and chilled coladas and daiquiris cool tongues coated in hot spices.
The festive decor of earthy deep blues, red clay tiles and adobe-colored walls also pays tribute to his homeland, as does a mariachi band. These musicians rove between tables, serenading diners with romantic string and vocal harmonies and the occasional rap battle.