Ever since a friend of mine introduced me to this place, I’ve been coming here whenever I’ve been craving Mexican food. A small hole-in-the-wall, Great Mex is one of those places where food is simple but delicious and absolutely down-to-earth without any pretension.
There are three locations in Orange County and I recently visited their newest location in Costa Mesa hidden in a generic looking mall, easily missed if you’re not looking for it.
There is a salsa bar with a bunch of really great salsas ranging from mild to those with some kick to it. I love the smoky darker salsa as well as the one with a kick to it. Usually, I mix the two together. The chips flow endlessly if you want them to — just ask!
The Carnitas Fries here puts some others (I’m not naming names) to shame, both in flavor and size. For $5.95, the ginormous portion is so huge there is no way one person can eat it all — well I guess if you’re absolutely famished, maybe. There is a lot of meat, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and cheese.
I normally am not a big fan of Chile Relleno ($2.50 a la carte $5.25/combo) because it is so heavily battered. Here, the coating is thin and all you get is a delicious pepper filled with cheese which oozes out when you cut into it. What could be better than that? This is the best chile relleno I’ve had in OC.
If you’re a taco fan, try the ones here. They run about $2 each and my favorite is the al pastor. Vegetarians can order the potato or mushroom taco (which they’ve recently added to the menu). However, my all time favorite is the shrimp taco! I get it every single time I come here.
I’ve been here once a week ever since my first time here and I’m completely hooked on the enchilada — well the enchilada sauce really. I’ve never liked enchilada before. I think I’ve finally figured it out, it’s the sauce! The roja sauce is simply amazing here. They definitely don’t put enough on the enchilada for me.
Breakfast is pretty tasty too. Chorizo omelette is jam packed with chorizo and jalapenos, served with potatoes and toast. The portion is so generous I was able to make two meals out of it.
If you’re looking for something light, check out the chicken salad. A grilled chicken breast sits atop a bed of baby greens tossed with a delicious salad dressing. I couldn’t stop eating this even though I was already stuffed.
Shrimp quesadilla has got to be one of the best items here. In fact, my son loves the al pastor quesadilla, but I love the shrimp.
Big chunks of shrimp are stuffed into this huge flour tortilla with melted cheese oozing with each bite. You can’t go wrong with this, or any of the items on the menu.
There are three locations you can go try some of this delicious fare at, so there is no excuse to not check this little gem out!
Tell me which location you would most likely visit and why and you might win a $10 gift certificate to Great Mex.
703 E Balboa Blvd
Newport Beach, CA 92661
2360 Newport Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
1525 E Mesa Verde Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626