Black Bean Torta – Red Mesa

Oct 25

Black Bean Torta – Red Mesa

Red Mesa is one of my favorite restaurants in St. Petersburg. I have spent countless birthdays, happy hours, ladies’ lunches, and one memorable Cinco de Mayo at 4912 4th Street North. The food is Mexican, the spices Southwestern, the influences via the Gulf of Mexico, and the sangria sublime. I have been lucky enough lately to have a few lunch dates at Red Mesa; one with my now retired school bestie Lori (never underestimate the daily joys of a fantastic co-worker) and one with my mother and my husband (never underestimate the fun of watching your spouse and your creator interact.) An appetizer you can always count on is the guacamole. Fresh avocado, onion, jalapeño and cilantro. So tasty. If the guacamole is not for you (and I don’t know you if you don’t love the guac), another amazing option if the Shrimp Fundido.  Shrimp, sundried tomato, feta and jack cheese fondue, served with warm flour tortillas. So salty, so gooey, so savory, so mine.

Fun to say, wonderful to eat.

My favorite soup is the Tortilla. Chicken broth, shredded chicken, carrot-onion sofrito, fresh avocado, queso fresco and tortilla strips. Ole! Lori sampled the Vegetarian Enchiladas, filled with fresh zucchini, corn, mushrooms, onions, spinach and jack cheese topped with ancho tomatillo sauce, queso fresco, cilantro-onion and crema. Mi marido sampled the Blackened Chicken Taco Salad. A crisp tortilla bowl filled with romaine lettuce, black bean corn salsa, fresh avocado, queso fresco, and blackened chicken breast in chipotle caesar dressing. He added on the optional and highly recommended fried goat cheese.  So ridiculously delicious!

Fried goat cheese, please.

Mi madre ordered the Chile Relleno. The chihuahua cheese relleno is topped with ancho tomatillo sauce, queso fresco and crema. It was actually a burrito and it was incredible. Everything I have ever had on the menu at Red Mesa has been so flavorful and perfect…….except for my torta. Womp womp. The sandwich gal was denied, Mexican style. I am 95% convinced that a good torta just does not exist, or I am ordering the wrong ones. The quest continues, any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The vegetarian black bean with slices of fresh avocado and tomatoes topped with pickled onions, carrots and jalapenos on freshly baked telera bread  was decidedly meh. The french fries with chipotle ketchup made up for it, a little bit. I love this place. If you are looking for a fun, classy atmosphere and fusion food executed at the highest level, Red Mesa is the place for you.


When my folks were here, I gave the Short Ribs Torta a try. The flavors were there, but the meat was one solid chunk that kept slapping me in the face every time I tried to take a bite. I ended up going fork and knife and handing some of it to my Father.

Braised boneless short ribs with caramelized onions, jack cheese, arugula and tamarind aioli



Red Mesa Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Red Mesa on Foodio54


  1. I just went to Red Mesa for the first time last week, and cannot WAIT to go back! Great review.

  2. Red Mesa is a favorite of mine too. I haven’t had the shrimp fundido, but I did love the chorizo fundido. I love the duck enchiladas too. After reading this post, I know that I absolutely MUST try the fried goat cheese very soon.

    As for the torta problem, have you had the conchita pibil torta at Taco Bus yet? I love it! Casita Taqueria does torta too, but I thought Taco Bus did a much better job.

  3. Sandwich Gal /

    Thanks, Nichole! You would definitely enjoy a Happy Hour there.

  4. Sandwich Gal /

    Thanks, Jenn! I did try the torta at Casita Taqueria. I have not tried the Taco Bus!! I am excited, I trust your opinion. I absolutely love the duck enchiladas as well. I will try the chorizo fundido next time!

  5. I love Red Mesa, but their quesadillas are “meh” too. Surprising for a Mexican restaurant with such good burritos. I like the Tortas at Taco Bus…but Taco Bus doesn’t impress me. Have you tried them at Senor Taco? I bet theirs would be amazing!

  6. I’ve never been to Red Mesa but I hear all the St Pete ladies I work with talking about it. All of the picture look delicious. Need to make a point to go there!

  7. Sandwich Gal /

    I will also put Senor Taco on my list, thanks Crystal. You definitely need to try it out, Lane!!

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