This article is part of my weeklong food blog series, "How to Eat Free Food in Dallas Every Day of the Week".
Friday is not a one of the better free food nights of the week. As far as I could tell, the options are limited to the restaurants that offer the same free food deal Monday–Friday: Blue Mesa Grill, and reportedly, Campisi's.
Blue Mesa Grill
I think every location of Blue Mesa Grill has been offering this deal since the beginning of time, A.K.A. when I arrived in Dallas four years ago. The deal is every weekday from 4-6PM (note the early end time), their bar features a self-serve chips & salsa station and a grill station with mini-quesadillas cooked-to-order.
The chips and salsa station offers the same items that you usually get for free when you sit for dinner, but during happy hour it's available as unlimited self-serve. This is worth noting because Blue Mesa features house-made tortilla chips AND sweet potato chips with a fire-roasted tomato salsa AND regular salsa. Do the math, 2 chips and 2 salsas equals multiple delicious combination options!
The quesadilla station varies their meat option every day. On this day it was brisket meat. There is also always a huge pile of cheese and jalapeños that can be added to your quesadilla. The brisket meat was moist and flavorful, the cheese was perfectly melted, and the fresh flour tortilla was nicely crisp. The only problem was the brisket meat created a gross amount of greasy-orange drippage when I picked up the quesadilla.
Well, honestly that wasn't the only problem. It took three requests over the course of an hour for them to make us any free quesadillas. This has never been my previous experiences there, but this is how it went down this time:
My friends and I were there early, arriving between 4:00 and 4:15PM, with only two other tables of 2-4 people there before us. I know from long-ago experience that you must physically go to the quesadilla station to get any free quesadillas. I did this around 4:30, to which the cook replied (as I took the above photo of him placing the cheese) that he had just taken a big order for the group of 10 (who had just arrived), and when he was done making their batch he'd be coming around to take my group's order. I was impressed that he was coming around to take orders. I got my friends some chips and salsa, went back to my seat, and waited. And waited.
About 30 minutes later the whole bar area was now full and the quesadilla station had a line of five people waiting. Instead of cutting the line, I approached the hostess to explain my quesadilla situation, which she said she would take care of, as I watched her go to speak with the quesadilla maker…
Fifteen minutes later we still had no quesadillas. This time I cut the line and went straight to the quesadilla maker, explaining that I had asked him for quesadillas a long time ago, and although my group had to leave soon we would really like some quesadillas first. Then he told me, "Sorry, I told you before that it's first-come-first-serve". With a look of shock and annoyance, I said, "No, you told me before that you were going to come and take our order." At which point he took my order on the spot.
When he personally delivered the quesadilla platter to us a few minutes later, he explained that when the hostess told him earlier about a group needing quesadillas "at the bar" (as I had told her was where we were sitting), he delivered a platter to the people "over there", as he pointed to a group sitting in a living room area in the back corner. I don't know how he misconstrued that as "the bar". Excuses, excuses.
Lesson learned: stand in front of the quesadilla station until you are actually handed quesadillas.
I found out about Campisi's free food deal from a Twitter follower this week. I had my free food schedule set in advance, so I haven't tried it yet. The details are supposedly 4-7PM every Monday–Friday, they offer a free pizza buffet with the purchase of a drink. It sounds worthy of an investigation!