Ambience, ribs star in GV
Maria’s has always been our favorite stop for Mexican food. We have seen many changes over the years as Maria has perfected her recipes and expanded her restaurant.
Many years ago Maria’s was a small, quaint restaurant. Eventually an outdoor patio was added to allow for additional seating, and as time passed, the outdoor patio was expanded, adorned with a fountain and covered by a trellis.
Years later, the facade of the restaurant was transformed into the current Santa Fe motif. Last year, Maria expanded the restaurant (where the patio used to be) and completely remodeled the interior.
We entered Maria’s for the first time since the remodel and were stunned by the beautiful Southwestern decor, with colorful faux-painted walls and peeled logs. Ole – we felt like we were in Santa Fe.
The new dining area opens up to a second-floor mezzanine, accessed by a wrought-iron staircase. If you are looking for great ambiance, Maria’s is truly a masterpiece of design.
After being seated, we were immediately served chips and fresh salsa. which is continually replenished. Maria’s has a full bar with a wonderful selection of margaritas, including peach, mango, strawberry, raspberry, strawberry-banana and melon. The margaritas are served in large, colorful, hand-crafted glasses that are true works of art.
The menu features a wide selection of appetizers, entrees and kids’ favorites, all very reasonably priced. We ordered crab enchiladas that are so good we guarantee that after one bite, you’ll be hooked for life. The fish tacos and beef fajitas are delicious. Lucky for us, Maria’s baby back ribs with her secret sauce (made with chilies) was one of the specials. How good are Maria’s ribs? Let’s put it this way; we sampled ribs from eight award-winning entrants at the Reno rib cook-off and judged a neighborhood cook-off with 21 entrants and, frankly, Maria’s beats them all, hands down.
Save room for dessert and order the flan, which is light and creamy. The fried ice cream is absolutely fabulous, and the caramel fudge pecan cake is a chocolate lover’s dream.
The service at Maria’s is excellent. The busboys buzz around the restaurant at flight speed, especially Fernando, who can only be seen with the aid of high-speed photography. Even Maria herself pitches in, cleaning up spills or running the cash register. She truly cares about her customers and that’s what makes Maria’s so special. We can’t wait to come back for more!
Steve and Fran Lantz of Grass Valley love to eat out. Contact them c/o The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945.
Maria Ramos, proprietor
226 E. Main Street, Grass Valley
Open for lunch and dinner Mon.-Thurs.: 11a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sat.-Sun.: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (breakfast served Sat. and Sun. only)
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