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Dec 5, 2008 05:50 PM

Maria's Mexican Bistro...

Whatever happened to Marias's on 4th ave and Union? They expanded and now there is a new name on the awning. I loved the tacos and Eduardo the owner had great tequilas.

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  1. Reopened under new ownership as Mercado Social.

    Some info ...

    Mercado Social
    669 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11215

    1 Reply
    1. re: squid kun

      Actually, it's the same owner, or at least that's what they claim.

    2. That space is now called Mercado Social. It's still a Mexiacan place, and still has the same owner I believe, but the menu is smaller and more focused. I've eaten there twice, and it was definitely a step up from what Maria's had become.

      BTW, a drink called El Diablito is great: blood orange, tequila, etc. with chili pepper one the rim of the glass.

      1 Reply
      1. Don't be fooled by this place. One of the worst meals I've ever eaten...they brought me the wrong dish ( I ordered vegetarian and they brought chicken) The waiter and manager ( an older woman) didn't seem to care about the error or understand how someone might be affected by this error. It is the only time where I ever thought about walking away without paying a bill. There is no reason to support mediocre places when so many spots are going to be hurting.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PiedmontDave

          Such a shame, the place used to be great. Oh well, either they sold out, or lost it under the expansion

          1. re: slopeguy

            They put the Maria's sign back up on 4th Ave entrance -- it's Mercado Social on Union and Maria's on 4th Ave (with a board outside advertising the old maria's menu)

            I didn't love the original Maria's (other than good fresh guac, but overall too pricey and too Americanified cheese-drowned mediocre product. It is perfectly cozy neighborhood spot with big cocktails, and plays really well for non-chowhound eaters.)

            I'd be curious about food changes under whatever managerial changes are going on there.

            1. re: pitu

              It isn't even worth trying to figure this out....I'd rather eat at the Hess station across the street. I challenge anyone to find anything redeeming about this place.
              Consider one of the 25 spots within a 10 minute walk before giving these people any of your cash.

              1. re: PiedmontDave

                The service is terrible, but their poblano stuffed with chicken dish and many of their cocktails are redeeming factors.

          2. re: PiedmontDave

            Pretty harsh, P.D.! I know Maria's went WAY downhill over the years, but I'm wondering if you ever tried the (brief) Mercado Social incarnation. I actually thought it was slightly better in some ways than Barrio, which IMO has gone downhill too....

            If not, well, enjoy those Doritos from Hess. ;)

            1. re: parkslopemama

              harsh, but funny
              the old Maria's awning is back on Union too btw
              LA Tacqueria on 7th Ave and Berkeley holds the crown for north slope walking distance USA styled Mexican.

              (Chavela's in Crown Heights and any number of places in Sunset Park hold the bike-there for mas authenico crown)

              1. re: pitu

                I also think that P.D. is being a bit harsh; we ate there a few times, and while I never thought it was spectacular, it was never horrible, the service, imo, was fine, as was the food.

                Which are your favorite places in Sunset Park Pitu?

                1. re: gfood

                  Sunset Park is always a wander around for me so I'm not good with names and worse with locations - but I still make sure to get tamales at Rico's Tamales on Fifth Ave at 45 (or is it 46?) especially if they have Oaxacquenos. Pure corn custardy spicey goodness.
                  In the summer, they're in a cooler out front. It's the carry over from the red shack that used to be around the corner.

          3. With the coming of warmer weather Maria's is providing strolling musicians to serenade diners sitting on Union St. Whether this is a good thing is your call.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bob Martinez

              Interesting reading all the harsh reviews - I thought this was a chowhound favorite and I never quite understood why.

              1. re: dark knight

                never was this a chowhound favorite.
                *plenty* of people like to go there for fruity margaritas and lots of melted cheese (at least the guac is good and fresh) but never never a fave for those who care about good Mexican food.

                1. re: pitu

                  No - you're wrong. There were threads early in it's existence raving about the food not just melted cheese and guac. Whether they really cared about good Mexican food, I'll leave to you to divine. Maybe "Chowhound favorite" is exaggerating given the small sample size.