Mesa, in memoriam


By Rose Kantorczyk, Staff Reporter

Friends, family, fellow burrito lovers, we are gathered here today to mourn a life that ended too soon. Some have called the abrupt closure of Mesa Fresh Mexican Grill on Sunday, February 28 a tragedy, a travesty or perhaps a sign of the apocalypse. I personally prefer to think of it as murder. When the proprietors of Gateway Shopping Center chose not to renew our dear Mesa’s lease in favor of a national chain, they delivered the death blow to the best gosh darn casual Mexican eatery the Main Line has ever seen.

Though Mesa’s life was abruptly cut short, it left a legacy that will endure for eons to come. It was a hallowed hall of love and guacamole, a place for friends and family to gather (or not gather, if they got takeout). My earliest memories of Mesa are of Sunday night dinners with my family on nights when we were too lazy to cook. I have their Mesa orders memorized like their birthdays—an enchilada trio for my mom, a kid’s steak quesadilla for my sister. As I got older, Mesa became a place to go with friends for a meal we could actually afford in a place where no one cared if we talked too loud. We would push tables together in the back corner and stay for way too long, attempting to sing along to the Latin music on the speakers and deplete our large stockpile of tortilla chips. These are the memories I will hold in my heart and look back upon fondly when the grief becomes too overwhelming.

Towards the end, Mesa knew that a departure to the next life was inevitable, and those who knew and loved it were able to have a few days to say their goodbyes. I choked back tears as I bit into my El Norte Burrito, knowing that I was doing so for perhaps the last time.
Mesa, if you can hear me, know that we are thinking of you. You will be in our hearts and taste buds forever. We miss you. We love you. Rest in peace. I’m comforted knowing that there will be an afterlife for you, that you will rise from the dead and reopen in a new location. I promise I will drive to wherever Zombie Mesa ends up and give it a try.

Rose Kantorczyk can be reached at [email protected]