Macayo’s Celebrates 72 Years of Delicious Success
By Molly Cerreta Smith
As most restaurateurs in the valley already know, the dining business here meets stiff competition. So it’s always heart-warming to hear the stories of local “mom and pop” restaurants that have stood the test of time and are thriving to boot. With that, we raise our (freshly-made) margarita glasses to Macayo’s in their 72nd year!
During a recent dinner at Macayo’s Mexican Table in Mesa, we were invited to make our own guacamole with a variety of ingredients that the original Macayo’s recipe includes to combine at our own whimsy, and tasted some of the restaurants most popular dishes. Following the DIY guacamole, we enjoyed the Macayo’s Famous Cheese Crisp topped with spicy shredded Chicken Tinga, cilantro, onion and queso fresco. The chicken had the perfect amount of heat and the cheese crisp remained crispy, despite its ooey-gooey toppings.
Next, we were treated to Fried Avocado Wedges. Trying to remain polite while secretly wanting to devour this entire dish was a true challenge. Not to brag, but I’m pretty proud of the restraint I displayed. My tablemates can thank me later. I could easily (and happily!) down my own plate of these as a meal… and may consider this as a future option.
Macayo’s Mexican Corn is essentially deconstructed elotes, but creamier and topped with queso fresco and Pepe’s Picante Salsa. This is a perfect dip for chips if you’ve finished your guacamole from earlier and have some lonely chips left behind.
Next,we tried the grilled chicken rolled tacos drizzled with the famous baja sauce that has put Macayo’s on the map. We may or may not have had a discussion about the addictive properties of this sauce.
To cap off the night, we sampled the homemade Mud Pie. This menu item is special to Macayo’s CEO/President Sharisse Johnson, the daughter of original owners Woody and Victoria Johnson, as she recalls making this decadent dessert with her dad when she was a young girl. This sweet story may have added to the heart-melting flavor of this dessert... Or it might have been the chocolate cookie crust, creamy filling and thick layer of fudge on top – it’s tough to say. Either way, it was delectable.
In their 72nd year of business, Macayo’s is celebrating in several ways that benefit local diners and aspiring mixologists. The Patron Cocktail Workshop is being held on September 29 featuring a Patron brand ambassador that will be instructing “students” on how to make classic tequila cocktails paired with a four-course meal including Fried Avocado, Mercado Chopped Salad, Green Chile Meatloaf and Baja Poblano Mashed Potatoes and a Margarita Cheesecake.
And until Monday, October 29, some of Woody’s as well as diners favorite dishes over the past seven decades have returned to the menu including Fried Zucchini, Tostada del Mundo, “Woody’s Favorite” combo, Chicken Maximilian, Enchiladas Suizas and homemade Mud Pie. Guests can learn more and register for the class at www.macayo.com.