Since you’re in the Southwest, why not have a few dishes inspired by the region? At Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill in Caesars Palace, the flavors of ancho chile, cilantro, jalapeño, chipotle and habanero take center stage.

Celebrity chef Flay opened the original N.Y. Mesa Grill in 1991, and the Caesars Palace outpost in 2004, and it’s begin a sought-after destination ever since.

At Mesa Grill, although there have been numerous changes to the menus over the years, some of the most popular dishes remain. If you’re a fan of the restaurant or the chef, you’ve probably had the tiger shrimp and roasted corn tamale. This appetizer may be the most well-known, and with good reason—the presentation is beautiful, and the corn-cilantro sauce enticing. A more recent addition to the menu, the goat cheese “queso fundido” with rajas, gives you that classic chip-n-dip feel, but a whole lot better. Rajas are strips of poblano peppers, and the Serrano vinaigrette gives the dish a tiny bite. You may want to order a couple of margaritas to accompany them, and there are some pretty special ones here.

The cactus pear margarita features Corazon blanco tequila plus cactus pear syrup and fresh lime. It’s simple and simply good. A selection of wines and beer will make sure you are hydrated, even if the margarita does not appeal.

New Mexican spice-rubbed pork tenderloin comes accented by bourbon-ancho chile sauce, plus a sweet potato tamale and crushed pecan butter. Sounds decadent, doesn’t it? For a little different flavor, the cornmeal-crusted chile relleño comes stuffed with porcini mushrooms and cotija cheese. There are several other entrée options, including the 22-ounce bone-in ribeye glazed in a chipotle sauce.

Caesars Palace, 702.731.7731

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