Mercadito, meaning little market, is not a market at all in Las Vegas but a new dining venue that is creating a large “Ole” to the Mexican cuisine scene. This new restaurant offering at the Red Rock hotel in Las Vegas is quickly becoming one of the locals and visitors favorite dining options. The pricing is perfect for families on a budget or for those wanting maximum food quality for their well-earned green backs.
Blending traditional Mexican cuisine with seasonal ingredient, along with the creative flair of Chef Patrico Sandoval, Mercadito is worth a visit trip to this region without leaving the USA. Upon being seated by our friendly hostess we were whisked into a corner both of this spacious, causal eatery. There is nothing pretentious about this eatery'. Open seating gives it a communal and lively feel.
We were directed by our helpful and knowledgeable server to start with the “trios”, meaning the three samples of salsas and guacamoles that tease the taste buds. On the menu the options for trying one to three guacamoles are yours for the taking. We opted for the three and tried the traditional tamatillo pico de gallo, jalapeno, garlic, key-lime, and cilantro along with the mango, jicama, chipotle, pico de gallo, and the Tocino, bacon, corn, habanero, crispy hominy, pico de gallo.
After sampling all the verdant creamy goodness before us, the Tradicional was a favorite as it lent to the most authentic to a guacamole. The mango was a bit too creamy and reminded us of a creamed condiment. The Tocino was spiked with crispy bits of texture to the smoothness of the guacamole. The beauty of the menu is that it lends to trying and sharing and experimenting with flavors and bites. We cerviches of shrimp, mahi, mahi, and the “Mixto” is the best way to experience all three, combining mahi, mahi, octopus, shrimp, tamatillo pico de gallo, passion fruit-Serrano broth.
And the Tacos, yes the Tacos, are plentiful you will need more than one trip to savor their flavors. A nice option for the gluten-free crowd, is to substitute the torillas for the bibb lettuce cups. You can pick up to four different tacos on your order and we sampled the entire menu. Our favorites being the Carne, with the perfectly cooked marinated skirt steak, watercress-jicama slaw with Serrano-roasted garlic aioli, and crispy shallots. Another standout amongst the wide assortment, epada of blackened swordfish, spicy aioli, cabbage-jalapeno slaw. The list is worth investing time to revisit and experiment with flavors and textures.
There are also large plate offerings of Carne Asada, Enchiladas, and Chile Relleno. There is a selection that will keep the door of Mercadito wide open for you. Don’t forget to indulge in one of the many interesting cocktails that are unique to this venue. Many of these cocktails are served draft with infused tequilas that provide a delicious fresh cocktail. Try the draft Margarita of el jimador blanco tequila, grand marnier, fresh lime juice, organic agave nectar, and you can add smoke, heat and fruit for a creative twist.
A good bet on a blistering hot day in Vegas are the frozen cocktails. Consider the Auntie Ox, green-tea infused sobieski vodka, fresh lemon juice, passion fruit, agave nectar, guajillo. Our favorite was the Pepino el Pyu, olmeca altos blanco tequila, lemon, cucumber, hoja sata, and cumin salt. A full beverage menu is filled with great tequilas, mescals, and wines. After great cocktails and Mexican fare don’t forget to leave room for the desserts.