Posts Tagged ‘Maria Maria’

Maria Maria leisure lunch

It could have been a quick-lunch, but we lingered and enjoyed the wonderful food without haste. Service was impeccable. It will be difficult to decide next time whether to go around again with today’s delights or to venture ordering some of the many other temptations that the menu describes.

We had forgotten that the day after Thanksgiving is often a restaurant holiday. Lunch was late today and our faithful downtown spot that serves food continuously all afternoon long was closed. So it was by chance that we noticed a delivery being made at 415 Colorado and learned that Maria Maria was open. We were told that this spot currently serves continuously throughout the afternoons seven days a wek (call 687-6800 to confirm for yourself).

The three salsas that arrived with the warm chips were superlative: one green, one smokey, and one a fresh tomato version. The guacamole is outstanding also, but is extremely generous in portion and should be shared among at least four people, I think. I did not sample the chicken and mole tortilla casserole. I can only testify that the duck tacos were too delicious to be properly described and that a fellow diner wanted more, more, more, but in my opinion I had already displayed beneficence beyond the call of duty. This, also, is a generous plate. I loved my carnitas dish. The fat was rendered out, leaving only browned and tender morsels, which came to the table in a small cast-iron skillet with mildly pickled onions and cucumbers, some green sauce, some black beans, and the finest of handmade corn tortillas. Diners at another table raved about the lime pie. I’d like to try the sorbets another time. I was not the designated driver, so I tried the house margarita straight up. It’s not cheap, but it’s excellent in every way.

Maria Maria occupies an extremely handsome and pleasant space. The lighting has been designed very well. There is background music, but it does not interfere with conversation. The bar means business. Behind it is a large-screen television with the sound muted. I love it that the knives, forks, and spoons are sturdy and large; there’s nothing flimsy or dainty about them. Roberto Santibanez is the person credited with developing the menu. Long-time Austinites will remember his tenure with Fonda San Miguel. There is nothing pedestrian or commonplace about any of the food that we saw or tasted ourselves. These flavors are decided, yet subtle. Maria Maria is a most welcome addition to downtown venues, and the menu is like no other.

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