Costa Messa Restaurant, which opened in 2002, is known as one of the finest Mexican restaurants in Texas. It features classic Mexican cuisine, as well as Tex-Mex, prepared with authentic recipes and ingredients. Costa Messa Restaurant is a unique dining experience that should not be missed when visiting McAllen.
Cooks were tight-lipped about revealing exactly what goes into Costa Messa's salsas. But their red "chimichurri" salsa apparently includes a hot red pepper, garlic, and maybe some sour cream. And their tomatillo salsa has some incredibly hot green peppers mixed with tomatillos (green tomatoes). Their pico de gallo (beak of the rooster) is loaded with tomato, onion, cilatro, and jalapeño- accented with a touch of garlic. The best thing about these awesome sauces is that they're complimentary, served with fried corn tortilla chips and baked flour tortillas. Baked flour? Yes. Costa Messa serves baked flour tortillas as an appetizer. An unusual touch, but unusual touches are what this restaurant is all about.
Costa Messa has many other choices available. From the beef menu you could try the churrasco, a 9-ounce cut of Argentinian beef tenderloin or mollejas doraditas (crispy sweetbreads). Seafood choices include a whole red snapper, fixed either grilled, fried, garlic or ranchero. Frog legs, and the surf and turf, with fajitas, rice and beans. Desserts are worth a splurge here. Another new item for me was chocolate tres leches cake. It was luscious as only a tres leches cake can be, with the added attraction of chocolate. It is frosted with chocolate whipped cream. The vanilla version is also available, as is cajeta cheesecake and mango cheesecake.
With its white tablecloths and display cases of pricey jewelry, this must be the most upscale Mexican restaurant in town. But at five to a plate (with rice and beans on the side), its taquitos are a bargain. Pork is marinated in a secret red sauce for about thirty minutes, then slow-roasted until tender and all but spurting with juice. The robust flavor goes best with the small but thick corn tortillas, but larger flour tortillas, also handmade, are offered as well (they come three to an order). While there's nothing wrong with the salsas, the meat is so moist and tasty that it's better without them.