Greenfield restaurant to be featured on America’s Best Restaurants

Videographer Jon Van Dyke of America’s Best Restaurants films entrees at Mesa Verde in Greenfield on Tuesday.

Videographer Jon Van Dyke of America’s Best Restaurants films entrees at Mesa Verde in Greenfield on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

America’s Best Restaurants was filming at Mesa Verde in Greenfield on Tuesday.

America’s Best Restaurants was filming at Mesa Verde in Greenfield on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Mesa Verde owner Amy McMahan is interviewed by Theo Williams of America’s Best Restaurants in the Greenfield restaurant on Tuesday.

Mesa Verde owner Amy McMahan is interviewed by Theo Williams of America’s Best Restaurants in the Greenfield restaurant on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Mesa Verde owner Amy McMahan is interviewed by Theo Williams of America’s Best Restaurants as videographer Jon Van Dyke records the scene in the Greenfield restaurant on Tuesday.

Mesa Verde owner Amy McMahan is interviewed by Theo Williams of America’s Best Restaurants as videographer Jon Van Dyke records the scene in the Greenfield restaurant on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 06-18-2024 5:15 PM

GREENFIELD — Mesa Verde opened its doors a couple of hours early Tuesday morning to accommodate a two-man crew from a national media and marketing company focusing on promoting local, independently owned restaurants.

The eatery at 10 Fiske Ave. got a visit from America’s Best Restaurants and owner Amy McMahan whipped up some dishes for an episode expected to be released in September. McMahan said someone from the company reached out to her about a month ago to schedule a visit.

“It was really exciting. So much of what you do goes unnoticed. You’re never in control of what does get noticed,” she said.

Host Theo Williams and videographer Jon Van Dyke showed up in their van at around 9:30 a.m. and quickly set up shop to do their jobs. McMahan was filmed cooking three dishes for Williams, who later interviewed her. McMahan chose the cilantro, avocado and lime bowl with blackened chicken, the space cowboy burrito (barbecued shredded beef brisket, bacon, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, pico de gallo, and black beans and rice), and the blackened catfish tacos.

“You’re trying to make me live in Massachusetts, ain’t you, Amy?” Williams told McMahan while looking at the food.

McMahan mentioned the catfish tacos are her favorite item on the menu.

“I love the crispiness of the fish and, you know, that it’s blackened and it just has really good textures,” she told the Greenfield Recorder. “I don’t know, there’s something about a fish taco. Everywhere you go, if you order a fish taco … they always excite me.”

Williams told the Recorder he quickly fell in love with Mesa Verde after seeing the unique artwork and board games for customers to play.

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“Today we’re here to highlight Mesa Verde and show off one of the reasons they are one of America’s best restaurants,” he said. “Clearly they care about their community and that is one of the things that we always look for when recognizing whether someone is one of America’s best restaurants, is how they interact with the community. And clearly this place goes above and beyond in that regard. I’m looking at those dishes and I can tell the food is great here as well. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.

“And the prices are phenomenal,” he added. “This is 2024 — those are 2019 prices.”

McMahan holds a Haitian pop-up kitchen to acknowledge the immigrants in the community and to help support their needs as they establish themselves in Greenfield. She mentioned American food is the product of immigrants coming to these shores and bringing what they know.

“The American palate is very much affected by the Italians who came, the Irish who came and the Mexicans who came and the Chinese who came,” she said. “And so I think there’s a huge hole in American cuisine around food that is reflective of the contributions of people who have come here from Africa, people who have come here from the Caribbean.

“I’ve shifted it to Saturdays, instead of Sundays, and it brings me great joy to serve a Haitian plate to someone who has no idea what to expect, and watch their mind get blown because Haitian cuisine is unlike any other cuisine,” McMahan added.

She noted some staples of Haitian cooking are coconut rice and mac and cheese.

The Mesa Verde episode will air on the America’s Best Restaurants YouTube and Facebook pages, likely in September. Williams said his previous stop before Greenfield was Norte Azul Cantina in Stephentown, New York.

More information on America’s Best Restaurants is available at americasbestrestaurants.com. Its offices are in Florence, Kentucky, and Las Vegas, Nevada. More information on Mesa Verde is available at mesaverdegreenfield.com.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.