4308 Macon Rd
Warren and I decided to take the monkeys out for dinner Monday. I consulted my list of places to go and easily convinced Warren that we should try Maya's. I had read the Commercial Appeal's review several months prior, and had wanted to try it. I never knew where it was though, until we finally found Jerry's. (It's right around the corner.)
We arrived right at 6pm, and were one of two tables in the restaurant. The waitress came right over and handed us menus, chips, and salsa, and took our drink orders. The restaurant was not at all like I imagined. It was very crisp and clean and almost had a living room feel to it, despite the spartan furnishings. The kids liked the murals on the walls. The plastic plaid tablecloths made me laugh a little. Everything was perfectly color coordinated!
Warren and the boys went to wash hands while I tackled the menu. Thankfully it was not one of those with the same numbered specials you see everywhere. It was more of the taco, tostada, gordita, huarache variety. However, my eyes immediately zoned in on the bacon-wrapped shrimp.
"I know what I'm getting," I said when Warren returned.
"But that's not even Mexican," he argued.
"Of course it is," I said, not really caring if it was or wasn't.
The waitress was handing out waters as I was interrogating Satchel. "Do you want your usual tacos?" I asked.
"Cheese dip," he said. "I want cheese dip!"
I ordered cheese dip and guacamole and asked for a few extra minutes to decide. Warren was waffling between the chile verde and the chile colorado. Satchel seemed uninterested in tacos, so I talked him into beef taquitos even though it was an adult entree. "It comes with rice and beans," I said. "Okay," he happily agreed. Jiro requested a quesadilla, which I was against on the grounds of it being boring and the fact that he hardly ever actually eats the quesadillas he orders, however, I was hungry and ready to get our order in. Warren noted that there were fish tacos (a la carte) on the menu, so we added one to our already large order when the waitress arrived with the dips.
The waitress sat the cheese dip in front of Jiro. "Hey!" Satchel protested. I switched seats with Jiro and put the cheese dip in the middle of them. Next I moved the guacamole in the middle of Warren and I. Soon everyone was "Mmmmmmmming."
Even though it looked like the standard white cheese dip, it was better. Creamier. Cheesier. Something! The guacamole was fresh and delicious. And the salsa was very fresh and flavorful too. I would have preferred it a bit spicier, but overall it was excellent. Warren noted that it was warm and not cold, which was a sign of its freshness. The chips too were warm and fresh. (The waitress was quick to notice when we were getting low and brought us more.)
Thankfully our food arrived before we could completely gorge ourselves on chips. Everything looked great--and eerily similar. I guess the large serving of rice & beans on everyone's platter explains that. (Actually when I noted how many beans there were, Warren responded, "They are very flat, so it looks like more than it is." Just sayin.)
Jiro requested a spoon for his rice, Satchel stuck his finger in his serving of sour cream, and we were off! I was very impressed with how neatly they wrapped the bacon around my shrimp. My only other experience with this concept is the bacon-wrapped stuffed shrimp at Cafe Ole. This dish wasn't quite as indulgent, but it was good. It came with tortillas and I liked eating the shrimp in taco form. I was just sad that we had already eaten all of the cheese dip. I would have liked to pour it on top!
Jiro took a couple of bites of his quesadilla, but said he didn't really like it. (For some reason there was meat in it.) I asked Satchel if he would share his taquitos and he did. (Jiro ended up eating two out of the three, but Satchel didn't care. He happily stuffed himself on rice & beans (and sour cream). I made a mental note to get Jiro taquitos next time. I had a taste of Warren's chile verde and it seemed very nice. Warren was happy with it, so we were 4 for 4. (Okay, technically 3 for 4 since Jiro snubbed the quesadilla.) The fish taco never showed up, but we were okay with that since we were getting quite full and it was obvious that we were going to have a lot of leftovers.
The monkeys were surprisingly well-behaved. They were hungry and we had a constant stream of food, so all was good. The only thing that raised Warren's hackles was Jiro taking off his shoe, thrusting his foot at me, and pleading for me to remove a splinter that had suddenly started to hurt mid-meal.
The monkeys did start roaming around a bit as we waited for the check. I looked over my shoulder and realized our waitress was sitting behind the cash register, so I went over to her to pay. As she rang everything up, I had a sudden panic attack. I just that second remembered that the CA review noted that it was cash only. I never have cash! Desperate I scanned the windows for a VISA/MC sign, and lo and behold there was one. Score!
Our total bill was $42.49, which was a bit high, but considering the cheese dip, guacamole, Satchel's non-kids meal, and my seafood dish, it wasn't too bad. While at the register I noticed a tray of "Mexican Candy." Essentially it was figs, sliced pineapple, and papaya covered in sugar. It looked really pretty and tasty. "Next time we'll save room for that," I said.
And off we went into the sunset.