If my memory serves me well, one of the first things we tried when we moved to Las Vegas in the fall of 1998 – we were introduced to by our friends Scott and Jill Tuttle was Macayo’s restaurant. They said that it reminded them of El Matador back in Utah. Well, it did more than that for Cindy and I – it set us on a taste journey.
Now, there are several local Nevadan’s who would say that its a journey to the bland. This is not the blow your socks off Chile fire eating contest places (you can get hot there), its just doesn’t cater to that crowd – what it does do well, is carnitas. Well, according to our friend Wikipedia: means “little meats” that are braised or roasted (simmered) pork. It generally consists of using heavily marbled cuts of pork and seasoned heavily before slow braising until the protein falls apart.
Cooked well, this is a sweet meat and can be stuffed in all of your traditional taco’s, chimi’s, enchilada’s you have enjoyed in the past. However, this is the meat that I love. Now, Macayo’s also makes something that – I don’t know quite how to describe. Baja Sauce.
Baja Sauce is by no means low-fat. There are a few spoof websites out there that will tell you this is the recipe:
- 1 package cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup Macayo’s green enchilada sauce
Which, I think is a take off of one of the old time recipes that had graced the green enchilada sauces labels in its past ‘the home cook version’. I however, believe its a classic mother sauce – Béchamel that gets the royal treatment by being given cream cheese, and some of the diced jalapenos with salt and pepper. However, I am still trying to get it down exactly.
Until this time, the family and on our most recent vacations – took a journey back to 1998 and went to Macayo’s. True to form, we went back to the West Sahara location that we loved so much – and found it very hospitable both in the service and wait staff that helped us. We were presented with our obligatory chips and two salsa’s – 1. Hot and 2. Not so Hot. These were scarfed down quickly. They make really good salsa for us white folks!
Both Cindy and I ordered the Chimi with Carnitas Cindy had the Baja Chimi and I had the Grande Chimichanga de Macayo with Baja Sauce. Aleatha had the Sonoran Enchilada with Baja sauce and little man had the cheese Enchilada.
I highly recommend if you go there the following:
Carnitas Dinner, Steak Cortez, and the Steak Picado.
Macayo’s can be found in both Arizona and Nevada: Location List
4 in Las Vegas and 14 in Arizona
Do you have a favorite place to eat when your out of town? We would love to hear your review of the restaurant and suggestions for us to try the next time we review this establishment. Join the discussion below!