My friend Margs and I hadn’t hung out properly in a while, so she decided to go grab some Mexican food. We had originally planned to go to Bar Luchador, but she had been hearing good things about Maya in Northeast. The deciding factor would have been drinks, but since Maya has a liquor license, there wasn’t any reason to put up a fuss.
The inside of Maya is split into two sections: in the front is a less-expensive cafeteria-style line (with a salsa bar) with plenty of seating, and in the back is a more polished full-service restaurant and bar. I wasn’t sure what Margs has in mind when she chose this place, but I headed to the bar area and got a table. And promptly ordered two margaritas. …which were LARGE.
The menu has some standard fare items on it and some delicious sounding appetizers, but I kept going back to this really fancy sounding dish called Mixiotes de Res. Margs had her heart set on a bunch of various meat tostadas.
We managed to go through two baskets of chips while waiting – not because we had to wait long, but because we were starving and the salsa was delicious. But when the food arrived, I realized I should have scaled back my chips-and-salsa wolfing. It arrived on two large plates. One plate had rice, a nice cucumber and radish salad, and a crock of black beans, and the other plate had a generous portion of guacamole and a large paper pouch of meat.
The server told me not to eat the leaves that were in the meat – apparently just for flavor, so I picked out 3 or 4 bay-leaf-type greens and began to build my tacos on one of the six shells they provided. The meat was fantastic. It fell apart with a fork and had a deep smoky flavor. The guac was fresh and the other ingredients complemented the meat very nicely. Also, they brought out some green salsa which was too spicy for Margs, but I thought was fantastic. I didn’t think I could put back six of these, but I totally did. I’d highly recommend getting this entrée when you go here. It’s one of the more pricy items, but you’re going to get a ton of food. It’s probably not frowned upon to share with someone, either.
Margs really liked all three of her tostadas. She regretted saving the carnitas tostada for last, since she liked that one the most, but she was really pleased with both the flavor and the amount of toppings on her tostada. They looked delicious and I even used serious will power by not finishing whatever she left on the plate. You’re welcome.
I look forward to going back to this restaurant. I used to say that Minnesota doesn’t have good Mexican food, but a few places like this are changing my mind. You just have to find the right places. This is one of those places.