Blog

Celebrating 10 Years

As seen in September 2009 InRegister

 

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Taste of BR

True food people love nothing more than to talk about food, dining and restaurants. The discussions are not only lengthy, they can get fiery, too. Spend time talking to Jim Urdiales, owner of Mestizo and the current president of the Baton Rouge Restaurant Association, and you'll see what I mean. After a marathon phone call of almost two hours, we forced ourselves to hang up the phone, knowing we'd only scratched the surface on the subject of the state of Baton Rouge's restaurant industry. Here's the nut of what he had to say:

What is the current state of Baton Rouge's restaurant industry?

We're busier than ever.  Baton Rouge is evolving, maturing and the diners are starting to look for something different.

Are there still a lot of national chains moving into the market, and if so, why?

Baton Rouge has a lot of hubs that are developing and growing.   It's segmenting more and more.  We see areas like Towne Center, the area near campus, Siegen [Lane], College Drive and Corporate [Boulevard] really booming with some independent restaurants [think Mansur's on the Boulevard] and more chains, because frankly, the chains can afford the rent.
I'm moving my own restaurant to a space across from TJ Ribs, in that Acadian hub, because the exposure and business potential is better for me.  What's happened over the last year has been an increase in the number of new independent restaurants.

In the coming year, we'll see more chains arrive, moving into these well-trafficked hubs because they can afford the rents and can accommodate the growing need for restaurants.

Are you concerned that the influx of more chains may contribute to the "dumbing-down" of Baton Rouge dining?

No, not really.  I  know what you mean, though, and there are some chains that expose people to watered down versions of a cuisine.   That's both good and bad - it exposes diners to something they may not have ever tried, but not necessarily in an authentic way.  But at the same time, at least that diner is trying something new, so that's a good thing.  My hope is that when that diner does go to a place serving the real deal, they'll be able to see and taste the difference.  It's interesting to note that chains that are showing interest or actually coming here aren't the usual suspects.

Like what?

For instance, there's a Brazillian steak restaurant coming, as well as Pei Wei Asian Diner, the more modestly priced sister restaurant of PF Chang's China Bistro.  Pei Wei offers a wide variety of Asian cuisines, beyond Chinese.   What we see in Baton Rouge is the desire for new tastes, new cuisines.  While at the same time, we'll never let go of the old guard restaurants - they are too good, too important to our culinary landscape.  It's just that the timing is right for new tastes.

The tapas restaurant that couldn't and didn't make it a couple of years ago would probably make it today.  We're ready for that.  One thing though, don't make it anything too New Orlean-sy.  Baton Rouge has its own identity and palate.  Yes, we love New Orleans, and we'll take the drive to go to a special place for a special occasion.  But we're ready to move beyond being the ugly stepsister.  We're carving out our own niche.  In fact, I suspect that in the near future Baton Rouge will pass up New Orleans in more restaurants per capita.

Hmmm, we'll see.  In the meantime, I'm eating up Baton Rouge, how about you?

Me too, me too.  It's a very exciting time.  I'm always hungry for more.(225)

Drinks

$5.00 Happy Hour

10oz. House Margarita
House Wines by the Glass
Two Imported Beers
Tequila Sunrise
Mangotini
Pomegranate Martini
Ritatini
$2.00 Domestic Beers
$6.00 Patron Silver Shots

Menu

As a third generation restauranteur, I am proud to continue my family's legacy of serving the most unique Mexican cuisine in Baton Rouge. The word "Mestizo" is Spanish for "of mixed blood" and represents my Mexican and Cajun-French heritage. I personally want to thank you for your patronage.

With Blessings,
Jim Urdiales

Download Full Menu | Download Kids Menu

Lunch Specials
Antojitos
Accompaniments
Soups and Salads
Quesadillas
Nachos
Desserts
Entrees
Ninos
Specials
Tapas
Tacos
Mestizos Margaritas

Catering

MESTIZO TO GO PANS

Chicken & Black Bean Casserole $65

Veggie Casserole (Spinach, Squash, Zucchini & Portobello) $65

Grilled Shrimp Spinach Salad $75

Pan of Chicken Breast over Sauteed Onions (50 Servings) $85

Pan of Grilled Steak over Sauteed Onions (50 Servings) $125

18 Shrimp + Crab Enchiladas $70

18 Chicken Enchiladas $55

18 Pork Enchiladas with Tomatilla Sauce $65

18 Mini Beef & Bean Burritos $55

Pan of Duck Empanadas (50) $85

Chicken Quesadillas (16 Slices) $45

The Events

About Us

Jim Urdiales, owner of Mestizo Restaurant since 1999, is proud and excited to introduce his new location.

Featuring modern, Mexican cuisine in a festive atmosphere, Mestizo Restaurant is great for lunch, dinner, weekdays and weekends.  "Mestizo is a great date place and has a spectacular bar!"

Upcoming Events