Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Masa Taqueria and Tequila Bar

I first tried Masa Restaurant in the South End during college. I remember at the time thinking it was lavish and indulgent on my ever-depleted college kid budget, and I was enamored with the experience. We went for brunch and I got huevos rancheros, a favorite dish of mine. I’d never had a chance to visit the Masa in Woburn though, despite it being on my daily commute to work for several months this past year. When they introduced their new restaurant concept, Masa Taqueria and Tequila Bar, I had a chance to give it a try and it reframed my idea of what the true Masa experience is.

This new concept is supposed to mimic a taqueria atmosphere — there are more small plates, with a distinct focus on tacos. The decor felt like modern Mexican to me, though there were a few distinct New England fall touches which I loved. It was very warm and inviting.

Masa Taqueria - Sweetly Serendipity

Before we dove into the menu, we ordered a few drinks. I had The Classic (zappopan reposado, combier, agave, lime) and my other half had a Habanero Watermelon Margarita (habanero infused reposado tequila, triple sec, watermelon puree). I was particularly impressed at how strong and balanced the Classic was — not overly sweet, and plenty boozy. I nursed that drink throughout the entire dinner! The habanero watermelon marg was watermelon-forward (duh?), but also quite tasty. And very pink.

Masa Taqueria - Sweetly Serendipity

Delicious cornbread with a sweet whipped butter, to start 

We ordered the guacamole, which was really good. I make a mean guac in my own kitchen, so I think I’m pretty a pretty harsh critic when I order it at restaurants, and I thought this batch was really great. It was made simple and chunky, and the avocados were perfectly ripe. The chips served with it were seriously giant, but nice and salty with just enough crunch. Those were also served alongside the Queso Fundido, made with Oaxaca, jack, and smoked gouda cheeses and spiced chorizo.

 

Our waitress was super sweet and kept bringing us little bites to try, including the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with spiced cream. It was silky smooth, slightly sweet, and had great flavor.

Masa Taqueria - Sweetly Serendipity

She also brought us this incredible Tuna Tostada, with Ahi tuna, soy ginger, pickled red onion, avocado, scallions, ancho aioli, chipotle, and lime. It might have been my favorite thing we tried all night, despite being a bit spicier than I normally prefer. It was incredible.

We also tried a simple Mango Jicama Slaw (with mango, jicama, and poblano – not pictured), which was really refreshing, and I thought served well as a palate cleanser. I used it in part to calm down my burning mouth a few times… I am such a wuss with spice!

Masa Taqueria - Sweetly Serendipity

Tres Chile Margarita, with jalapeno infused blanco tequila, anaheim and poblano chiles, orange, lemon, lime, and agave

We decided to order a combo plate so we could try a bunch of tacos. There are two combo sizes – small, which comes with 6 tacos, and large, which comes with 8 tacos. We were already dangerously close to reaching the “uncomfortably full” stage, so we went with a small. For tacos, we tried the Pulled pork with pineapple salsa, Portobello mushroom with cotija cheese, BBQ duck with charred corn salsa, Carne asada with pico de gallo, Charred shrimp with mango jicama slaw, and Crispy fish with remoulade. They were all tasty and very different, but I loved the BBQ duck and the portobello mushroom the best.

 

In addition to the tacos, our combo plate came with a tamale (we got chicken), some seriously awesome rice and beans, and a piece of street corn which was absolutely drenched in sauce and cheese. I loved the combo because it gave us a chance to try a lot of different things.

We battled through the tacos and finished every last one, and I thought I’d never eat again. And then dessert came.

 

We got to try three different desserts, and somehow I found some extra space in my belly to accommodate. First up were the Churros, which were so well executed. They were extremely light and airy, not greasy, and just a touch sweet. The chocolate dipping sauce was deep and rich — a perfect contrast to the delicate, doughy churros.

 

Next we tried the Chocolate Mousse, which was served with fresh whipped cream and little crispy chocolate balls on top. Totally yum! I make a Julia Childs mousse recipe every year for Christmas as an ode to my late Uncle Dan, and it’s the most magical and wonderful chocolate mousse recipe in the world. That said, my chocolate mousse standard is extremely high, but this mousse was definitely really good! It had just the right structure for a well-executed mousse — tiny little air pockets throughout, and it yielded so tenderly to a spoon with each bite.

Masa Taqueria - Sweetly Serendipity

Last up, we tried a Gelato duo, which included vanilla bean and dulce de leche. I was too full to have more than a few bites, but each was creamy and indulgent.

We had a really lovely evening at Masa Taqueria, and I can’t wait to go back. Now that I have a car and live north of the city, it’s dangerously easy to get to from home. It’s worth noting their menu is really approachable price-wise, and they’re very gluten-free-friendly — 70% of their menu is gluten free!

Thanks to the Masa team for having us in, it was a lovely, and delicious, evening.
Masa Southwest Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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