Thursday, February 16, 2012

Masa $1 Tapas

I ate at Masa last night with my sister. This was my second time here, but first time for food. The bar was pretty lively for a Wednesday night filled with all types of people from those in jeans to suits, couples, friends, families, ages 21 to 50.

We sat at the bar where they offer a Tapas Menu. Tapas are $1 each and half off between 5 and 7pm (Monday – Friday). We were psyched! The menu consists of 10 tapas, which changes seasonally. They also have a $10 combo platter which allows you to sample one of each of the 10 tapas. Even though not everything was gluten free, they offered to make one for us, changing a few things (i.e. using a corn tortilla chip with the steak tostada instead of the flour tortilla) and doubling up on a couple of the tapas.

P.S. On Thursday the ½ price deal goes all night!

** Disclaimer: the food is fried in the same oil as all the other food so there is a chance of cross contamination**

The combo platter is a great way to start off and gives you a taste of so many of the different Southwestern and Mexican flavors. There isn’t a lot of food on the platter, each tapa is bite size (or 2 or 3 bites), but the quality and taste is amazing! The tapas here are VERY different from traditional Spanish tapas you are probably used to ordering from Toro, Tapeo or Tasca (wow 3 t’s…) These are tiny and nothing like traditional Spanish tapas, totally different flavors, but equally as delicious. That being said, also keep in mind you are only paying 50 cents per tapa. 

We tried:
Grilled Chorizo with Cranberry Chutney – one of my favorites! I was expecting a spicy Spanish chorizo (because this is what I am used to) but was pleasantly surprised by it’s tasty; still full of spice, just not spicy. The cranberry chutney was too sweet for me, but sister really enjoyed the sweetness of the sauce and the savor of the Chorizo together.
Chili Almond Stuffed Date – this was my favorite; a delicious blend of flavors – salty bacon (didn’t taste it so much), nutty almonds, the sweet date and just a hint of chili spice. It was just so good, I wanted another one!
Mini Spanish Meatball – definitely ‘’mini’’ but full of spices.
Yucca Fries with a Garlic Aioli – not bad, just lacked real flavor and much tougher to chew than regular fries. The Garlic Aioli was tasty.
Steak Tostada with Chipotle Hummus and Cotija Cheese
Tuna Tartare Taco – good, not excellent, lacked that extra kick.
Guacamole Topped Tortilla Chip – pretty good, just the right amount of cilantro and I didn’t taste any onion, just the way I like it!

5 tapas each was not quite enough for us so we also ordered the Southwestern Caprese Salad. This was such a neat twist on the traditional caprese, it came with tomatoes, avocado, queso blanco (white cheese), jalapeño pepper, paprika oil and a balsamic glaze.

Masa also has a full restaurant menu with appetizers, main courses and desserts and lists every food allergen on over dish. It was great. I took a look and it clearly stated every dish with gluten, which part of the dish contained gluten and if it could be omitted or substituted with something else.

The bar area is quite large, and features over 100 tequilas and a specialty drinks list hand written on a chalkboard.  The atmosphere was great and very unique; dim lights, funky décor and a nice big wooden bar. There is also a restaurant section, which is a bit separated by a dividing wall and has a more sophisticated and romantic feel to it, with white table clothes, brighter lighting, and just very different from the bar area.

The two male bartenders were very knowledgeable about what was and wasn’t gluten free. The female bartender on the other hand had no idea, nor did she seem to care to find out. When she checked in on us and I asked her a question, instead of asking the chef or another server she just gave me a puzzled look and told one of the other bartenders to come over to us. Pleasant.

Our total bill came to $16. Drinks here range from $8 and up, with some of the tequilas being a little less expensive but costing as much as $100.

Location: 439 Tremont St. Boston

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