Eat This Now

Hidden Gem: The Original Blue Adobe Grill Near Downtown Mesa

Original Blue Adobe Grill
You want the complimentary chips and salsa. You want the margarita. You want the almost-clustered Western decor. Now you want the address.

The Original Blue Adobe Grill, set on Country Club Drive on the edge of downtown Mesa, is the quintessential Southwestern eatery. It's the ideal place for lunch after hitting the antique shops on Main Street.  A perfect spot for an afterwork round of margaritas.  A go-to for family dinners. And that's all because of its old-school restaurant atmosphere and some seriously tasty menu items.

Outside, Blue Adobe's recognizable A-frame and blue, white, and brick exterior is wholly part of the charm. The stained-glass windows and little cafe chairs at the entrance are welcoming, more like you're visiting your favorite aunt in Santa Fe for dinner than stepping inside a restaurant.

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The hot pink, frozen, prickly pear-flavored Killer Margarita.
Lauren Cusimano
Once inside, though, it's all full-family restaurant. Enchanting wall decor — both in New Mexico representation and good, clean hokiness — and handwritten drink specials and announcements in the small waiting area's many chalkboards confirm this place to be as charming as you might have expected.

The dining room is deep, packed with tables and chairs, booths, a colorful full bar, and yes, more wall decor hung over the exposed brick. Once seated, tri-colored tortilla chips are placed in front of you, along with a glop of roasted, smokey salsa.

Drinks are your next choice, and we do recommend those margaritas. Several options are presented — the Skinny Cadillac, Ferrari, Old School Float — but we suggest the frozen Killer Margarita. Choices in flavor are mango, strawberry, pomegranate, and prickly pear. And while all seem irresistible, the prickly pear is the only hot pink one. So, an easy choice, though a little sweet. However, drinks are strong, which is good news for those of us who just wanted a single marg with the meal.

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The Original Blue Adobe Grill Chimichelada: A mini chimichanga served with a side enchilada and topped with a surprising and delicious amaretto mushroom cream sauce.
Alannah Lawrence
One of several impressive New Mexican restaurants in the Valley, Blue Adobe Grille offers a couple of authentic dishes. We've already highlighted the lobster tamales, Southwest chicken pasta, ancho chile-rubbed salmon and ribs, and the steak options — which are grilled over a pecan wood fire (New Mexico is one of the top pecan-producing states in the country). Blue Adobe also combines unusual flavors, including the amaretto mushroom cream sauce.

Options range from light, like the lettuce wraps with carne adovada (heads up, low carbers — this one's for you) to heavy and delicious, like the Blue Seafood Enchiladas, Chimichelada, or chicken chimichanga with red and green sauce — a.k.a. Christmas-style.

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An example of some of the fun wall decor.
Lauren Cusimano
It's easy to miss Blue Adobe — which is not to be confused with the Scottsdale and Gilbert eateries under a similar name. It blends in with the restaurants along Country Club Drive, with the other restaurant recommendations for downtown Mesa.

But if you want that classic Southwestern restaurant experience, better hook into the Original Blue Adobe Grill.

Original Blue Adobe Grille.
144 North Country Club Drive, Mesa; 480-962-1000.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sunday
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.