Disclaimer: I am sucker for good margaritas and Mexican food.

Ah, Maria, Maria, how I do love thee. Well, I think I have died and gone to heaven with our latest Talking Dish reviewed restaurant, Maria, Maria. Located in the Tempe Marketplace, the restaurant serves what I would call a variety of Cuban-infused Mexican dishes. It’s the second restaurant owned and operated by Carlos Santana, and he doesn’t disappoint with this venture.

Once you sit down, you will notice this restaurant has a different atmosphere than most in the Tempe area. It has a boutique, Old Town Scottsdale feel with Day of the Dead paintings and a chocolate brown interior minus the pretentious waiters and overpriced dishes.

All diners receive chips and a variety of salsas, but we also started with their House Guacamole. The Guac was fresh, spicy and yummy at all the right time. If you’re a fan of guacamole that has chucks of avocado then you will like this guac. It’s available in a seafood version which we hear is great too. We also started with the Maria, Maria Margaritas. These margaritas will blow your socks off. They don’t skimp on the tequila and are made with fresh lime cordial. The result is blissful. If you don’t like your margaritas with a kick, I would suggest asking them to go light on the tequila.

We’ve visited the restaurant on several occasions. Each time we have never been disappointed with our main courses. Notable dishes include the Beef and Chicken Enchiladas Suizas and the Beef Burrito Maria. Here’s where the Cuban-infusion comes in. The beef at Maria, Maria comes from slow-cooked, short ribs. It’s out of this world compared to traditional Carne Asada.

Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to try dessert due to the limitations of our stomachs after the guac and entrees. The traffic at the restaurant has definitely picked up since its opening. You may want to arrive early on Friday and Saturday evenings as the wait time can tick up quickly.

Overall Cost Estimate:

  • Appetizer’s: $6-$14
  • Entrees: $14-$21
  • Margaritas and Cocktails: $7-$15
  • Deserts: $7

Overall Thoughts:

  • Live music on the weekends
  • Great, but pricey food
  • Friendly, attentive service
  • Be prepared to search for a parking spot and possibly wait for a table during peak periods

Click here to get directions to Maria, Maria.