Anyone tried Maria Maria in Walnut Creek yet?
I just read an article in Diablo Magazine that gushed about the potential this replacement for the terrible Cantina has. I had assumed that the place was simply slapping some lip stick on the old pig, but the article hypothesized that this place might give Dona Tomas a run for its money.
To start off with, I'd have preferred to give them less than one star rating, but that was not an option. We were dissatisfied for many reasons.
We had reserved our Cinco de Mayo celebration early with the live music as one reason we chose this place. We arrived on time, but were plopped at a tiny table in a doorway smashed up against a smeared glass door. It was tiny, lop-sided, and it tilted back & forth, being that it was placed on 2 uneven floors. We could not see the music area. It was obviously set up as an extra table, because the restaurant was overbooked and very crowded. Assuming we were chumps, the host actually proclaimed, "This table is excellent for you". I told him the table was NOT excellent for us and asked for a better table.
The first thing I was temped to ask our waiter was, "Don't you wish you had the night off?" Because that is what his mannerisms portrayed. He acted like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh!
We are very educated diners, who enjoy spicy foods and often create and cook spicy menus at home! For our appetizer, we shared the Crispy Chicken Flautas described on the menu as "Crispy corn tortillas filled with shredded chicken topped with crema and cotija cheese served with fresh tomatillo & roasted tomatillo salsa". We had to request the crema. It was surprisingly and even dangerously overspiced and it ruined our taste buds and dinners.
The music started over an hour late, so we got to listen to only one song when suddenly the staff decided they wanted our table. Without asking, they removed our plates, our water and the remaining chips which we were obviously still eating (I had a chip in my hand), leaving us our bill (including a charge for the crema) and an insufficient parking validation!
Our impression is that they are an uncaring place, serving poor over-rated, overspiced, and overpriced food and drinks. They seem to be out for the buck and rough-and-ready to serve any chump who is enticed to enter under the guidance of Santana's name.
re: clean plate club member
Well, you are in luck. Chowhound doesn't give out stars.
Cinco de Mayo might not be the best test of a restaurant. It seems like the reports I've read about various places where people ate at Mexican joints on that day were not good.
That being said, I can't recall any enthusiastic review of this place since it opened. It seems to be average at best ... and it is not usually at its best.
What is an example of a restaurant that serves a dish spiced to your liking? What is a Mexican restaurant you like in that area?
Maria Maria Restaurant
1470 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
No, but thanks for the heads up. My mom lives in WC and we're always looking for decent food there. :-) Went to the Cantina years ago and, yes, nothing to write home about. Loved your comment about the old pig. :-)
I see from glancing at Google hits that the restaurant is owned by Carlos Santana and the name comes from his song... First Bing Crosby, now Carlos Santana. :-)
Will definitely post if we try it.