The Restaurant Trifecta
By Ashley Bennett
n a declining economy there is a simple recipe for success that restaurants need to follow if they want to survive: good food, service and prices. If you explore websites like Yelp or UrbanSpoon you’ll come across comments left by countless people who are displeased with these necessities (although I agree that a percentage are of those who comment are out of their minds). So, what makes Mazz Bar and Grill so damn good? It’s the combination of good food, great service and decent prices that ensure Mazz will be around for a while.
The first sign that Mazz has triumphed over its competition is its location, having overtaken the lot which once housed a Citrus City Bar and Grill that couldn’t handle the low economy’s reign over prices with an expensive menu. The team at Mazz realized that the food must be reasonably priced. I mean, it’s no Fleming’s or whatever insanely expensive restaurant comes to mind—but that’s the point.
Mazz offers a host of different foods from which to choose. You can have your choice of sandwiches, pasta, a Mexican food menu and a few specials that offer up choice steaks, sea bass and salmon. Each category features at least one dish graced by the restaurant name, so I couldn’t help but feel that the Mazz Nachos are special—they totally are. Each of the six well decorated chips were topped with generous amounts of carnitas (also available in chicken or steak), pico de gallo, chives, cheese and an added pepper for flair. You know nachos are good when no matter how hard you try you can never keep all of the toppings on your chip. Together the ingredients made one smashing nacho of colorful and crunchy proportions. Although you’ll discover that the main menu prices are nice and easy on that careful wallet of yours, the appetizers (nachos priced at $8.50) are only a few dollars shy of a main meal. For a dollar and half more you can grab yourself something from the sandwich menu.
I would disprove my point however if I didn’t mention that the Grilled Chicken Florentine, which I decided to choose was less than $15. Much to my surprise, the price not only includes the tender chicken, pan seared to cooked perfection and topped with a special white sauce that turned ordinary chicken into a moist and tasty meal, but the dish automatically comes with a generous amount of seasonal vegetables and your choice of either rice or rosemary mashed potatoes too. Not to mention the bed of spinach that comes with my specific choice, the savings never tasted more satisfying.
Then on the other side of the menu are a few dishes with Spanish flair. Pork made a second introduction at my table when the top-notch Carnitas proved its worth. Ample helpings of rice, guacamole and pico de gallo were all presented to compliment some juicy, mouth watering shredded pork to complete the meal. I mixed a colorful concoction of these ingredients and discovered the fresh, moist taste of addicting flavor. Did I mention it’s only $11.49, and you’ll get more ingredients that you’ll ever need? Never fear, handfuls of helpings are at your stomach’s disposal.
Some treats are simply so good that they’re out of this world, hence the all-time perfect adjective to describe desserts: “heavenly.” If I died and could choose only one thing to eat for the rest of my immortal life, Mazz’s Chocolate Cake would be it. Why? Well because the cakes are made fresh at Mazz and not every restaurant can boast that ability. I’m glad my high expectations were well met with this delightful dessert of chocolate cake, cream, frosting, chips and sauce; chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate makes for a satisfying treat and an essential end to any chocolate lover’s meal.
I picture Mazz Bar and Grill as an improved competitor of The Cheescake Factory. The food is priced cheaper, the people are nicer and they have a few fresh desserts that will reel in sweet-tooth fans. As a new addition to the Riverside Plaza, I bet that you’ll appreciate the prices and service over other restaurants because Mazz is certainly doing something right.
Mazz Bar and Grill, 3555 Riverside Dr., Ste. 100, Riverside, (951) 680-9969; www.mazzbarandgrill.net.
Mon-Thurs, 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-11pm; Sun, 10am-10pm. AE, D, MC, V.