Mesquite Fresh Street Mex’s partners have had their eye on their just-opened Happy Valley location for five years.
It came to fruition at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 28 when it opened its doors at 1730 W. Happy Valley Road.
“We signed the lease about five years ago,” said Ahmad Alatrash, co-founder of Mesquite Fresh Street Mex, formerly known as Mr. Mesquite.
“It was a piece of land at the time. We signed into future development. Our partner (Will Abdallah) grew up in the area and he wanted a store out there. He knows everything and everyone in the community.”
At Mesquite Fresh Street Mex’s celebration of its eighth store, the first 200 guests scored a free taco a week for the next six months.
“It’s been crazy out there,” he said with a laugh. “Everybody’s loving it. The community is excited. You can tell.”
Mesquite Fresh Street Mex is on an aggressive growth path opening four new locations in the last year with more on the horizon, including Gilbert at Val Vista and Queen Creek roads.
The restaurant chain was founded by brothers Naser and Ahmad Alatrash after they visited Rocky Point, Mexico, and saw taco carts on the corners.
The 1,930-square-foot Happy Valley location boasts a spacious dining room with ample seating and a drive-thru. The signature custom-built mesquite grill featured at all Mesquite Fresh Street Mex locations uses real mesquite wood chips giving the fresh meat a smoky flavor.
The cuisine is focused on incorporating the highest-quality ingredients prepared fresh daily into every dish. The menu features authentic street tacos, burritos, protein bowls, quesadillas, frescas and family meal kits. Mesquite Fresh Street Mex has also become the go-to spot for Taco Tuesdays across the Valley with mesquite-grilled tacos starting at $2.19.
“We specialize in street tacos,” Alatrash said. “That’s how we built our concept. Our Old Town Scottsdale location is only a small kitchen, a walk-up, and it’s quick paced and we only serve street tacos.
“In our other locations, we serve burritos, quesadillas and bowls. The menu is short and simple so we can perfect what we’re serving. It’s good food and good quality. We don’t have freezers, so everything is fresh. We get shipments of food three to four times a week.”
Alatrash said the pandemic has thrown a wrench in the business. It has upped the price of the ingredients the cooks use in the entrees. However, Mesquite Fresh Street Mex had a minimal increase in pricing.
“It’s a disaster in the meat market or the ‘everything’ market,” Alatrash said. “On our end, we’re keeping our prices the same. We’re taking a hit. Steak is triple the cost of pre-pandemic. Our prices only went up slightly from then.
“It’s a stressful business. I’m not going to lie to you. It’s stressful but rewarding at the end of the day. I get to meet all these wonderful people and get into the communities we love. Our goal is to bring our brand to every city in Arizona.”
Mesquite Fresh Street Mex
1730 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix