Discover Little Rock’s Culinary Gem
Mar y Tierra, situated on West 3rd Street in Little Rock, recently made its grand debut in May. AY About You had the privilege of indulging in a selection of the restaurant’s delectable dishes.
Anticipation Turns to Satisfaction
For those unfamiliar with Mar y Tierra, the restaurant’s arrival has been a long-awaited event since 2020. After much speculation and eager anticipation, the Little Rock community can finally discover a new go-to spot for catching up with coworkers, enjoying a night out with friends, or savoring a delectable family dinner on a Friday evening.
A Gastronomic Journey
To fully embrace the essence of Mar y Tierra, we embarked on a gastronomic adventure and indulged in an array of tantalizing dishes, including the Ranchero Seafood, Mar y Tierra Special, Taquitos Mexicanos, Ribeye a la Mexicana, and an intriguing shrimp cocktail that piqued our curiosity.
An Exquisite Introduction
Our culinary journey began with an appetizing trio of chips, salsa, and queso. While not a professional culinary critic, I must confess that the salsa had a unique flavor profile unlike any other recipe I’ve ever encountered. It seemed to possess a delicate herb-infused quality, with a touch less citrusy notes. As for the queso, it was a melting pot of exquisite cheesiness. The chips, served hot and crispy, made for a delightful accompaniment. Although intended as a main course, I relished the shrimp cocktail as a starter. This particular rendition of the classic dish was a delightful twist, boasting house special sauce, fresh onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and creamy avocado. It turned out to be an absolute winner when paired with the crunchy chips.
While the appetizers were impressive, the entrees truly stole the show. The Ranchero Seafood, a seafood lover’s dream, showcased a tempting medley of grilled shrimp, scallops, and crab meat, nestled on a bed of rice, sautéed onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and a luscious cheese sauce. This combination of flavors was simply irresistible. The seafood, undoubtedly fresh, harmoniously blended together, creating an unforgettable experience. Mar y Tierra offers several other ranchero dishes featuring different proteins, but my personal recommendation would be to try the seafood option if you’re seeking a departure from the more typical chicken, rice, and cheese fare.
Transitioning to our next dish, the Mar y Tierra Special, we encountered a delightful twist on the beloved classic chicken, rice, and cheese sauce. This sumptuous dish incorporated marinated strips of delectable steak, succulent shrimp, sautéed spinach, and pico de gallo, all served alongside a side of rice, beans, and your choice of either corn or flour tortillas. While the amalgamation of these three proteins perfectly aligned with the restaurant’s namesake, I was pleasantly surprised by the addition of the sautéed spinach. This verdant touch elevated the dish to new heights, unveiling an explosion of flavors.
A Mouthwatering Meat Feast
Our culinary escapade landed us on solid ground with the Ribeye a la Mexicana, which proved to be a red meat enthusiast’s paradise. Tender chunks of ribeye were cooked to perfection with a medley of onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and a hint of jalapeno, creating a symphony of grilled flavors reminiscent of the summer season. Served alongside rice, beans, and a choice of corn or flour tortillas, this hearty dish is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.
In the realm of taquitos, I’ve long relied on the convenience of El Monterey at Walmart. However, Mar y Tierra has undoubtedly taken the crown with their Taquitos Mexicanos. Sink your teeth into these corn tortilla delights, generously filled with tender chicken, and garnished with fresh lettuce, creamy sour cream, irresistibly smooth guacamole, and zesty pico de gallo. Once you’ve experienced this tantalizing creation, you’ll never give a second thought to those lackluster microwave taquitos. This dish is an absolute winner, especially for those with discerning palates.
A Feast for the Senses
Beyond the sheer delight of the cuisine, Mar y Tierra’s aesthetic charm radiates throughout the restaurant. With chic white pleather chairs, walls reminiscent of the ocean’s vibrant hues, and a captivating downtown-facing patio, the ambiance effortlessly enhances the overall dining experience. As you step inside, be sure to greet the mesmerizing octopus mural adorning the ceiling before settling down to savor a truly remarkable meal.
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