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Restaurants & Bars 10

Maria's Mexican Cafe

ChowDiva | May 21, 2007 11:54 AM

After the 5th Ave. street fair yesterday, we stopped off at Maria's on Union and 4th. for dinner. I liked the space inside, though would have preferred to sit on the little patio in the back, but there were no seats available. We waited for at least 10 minutes for the waiter to come over, fill our water glasses and ask us if we wanted anything to drink. This would be our introduction to a meal through which we waited...and waited...and waited some more for the rest of the evening.
My boyfriend wanted to try one of the tequila flights. The menu offered a really good variety of tequilas and we thought we'd dabble by ordering the flights. The waiter informed us that they didn't have the tequila flights. We were puzzled; I asked if they had the tequila why we couldn't have the sampler? The waiter's English was limited, so we went ahead and ordered 2 house margaritas instead of trying to discuss with him our confusion. The menu was different and had some interesting options compared to the other local Mexican joints. However, the food proved to be disappointing and the service simply atrocious.
We waited another 15-20 minutes for our drinks to come along with our order of fresh guacamole. The margaritas were ok, strong but not great. The guacamole wasn't spicy at all and had little flavor but we were hungry so it was somewhat satisfying. As we were finishing the guacamole and our first round of drinks, our entrees were brought out. I had the sirloin and shrimp cooked on a hot lava rock and my boyfriend ordered 3 tacos to sample. A black pumice pot came out with pieces of tough, way over-cooked steak and two shrimp dangling off the side. I asked for refried beans, but they gave me some nasty black beans. The tortillas were burnt, cold and like cardboard. I also ordered a side of their corn on the cob with chile, cheese and mayo that also came out cold. My boyfriend's tacos were bad; the meat dry and flavorless. Oddly, one of the tacos tasted like a gyro.
All and all, the meal was just BAD. The waiter took our second drink orders when he brought out the food, but we didn't get the drinks until after we were done eating and our table was cleared. We then sipped on our drinks and waited for another 15 minutes for the waiter to bring the check. People all around us were complaining and the waiter simply dismissed the poor service as a result of simply "being too busy". Ok, there were a few tables but the place was by no means packed. At least offer dessert or after-dinner drinks on the house if your guests have to wait around for like 20 minutes to be offered a fresh drink. I really wanted to like this place, since there are so few decent Mexican places in the area. I love eating Mexican outside in the summer and throwing back a few good margaritas. But this place disappoints. I'm still searching...

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