Wednesday, November 14, 2007

La Playa Maya

"I've had better frozen mexican food" - the review of a coworker of mine.

Two things. First, who eats frozen mexican food? Imagine the complexity of making a staple mexican dish like a taco. I have a recipe for fish tacos that literally takes 15 minutes to make. That includes combining everything together, heating the tortillas, making some guacamole and putting on my serape.

Second, don't ever trust coworkers.

I almost didn't go to La Playa Maya after this review but my buddy convinced me otherwise. I spent so long trying to convince him we should go somewhere else, that we nearly missed one of the key reasons to go to La Playa Maya... Happy Hour.

Yes folks, Happy Hour here is amazing. At the location near/in the Stockyards, Happy Hour runs until 7, and margaritas that normally cost 5 or 6 bucks, are only $2. Thats saving a lot of moolah. Plus, you get to be the guy holding the margarita instead of the beer.

So, you guessed it (if you read my Piranha review you, no doubt, knew) I was the guy holding the margarita. And it was good. I don't drink a lot of margaritas, so I'm no connoisseur, but this was good. It wasn't overly tequila-ey nor was it overly sweet. And it was $2.

So the drinks started off well, as did the chips and salsa. Why does everybody ask if the chips and salsa are good at a mexican restaurant? It's because thats ninety percent of your meal. The answer to "Why are American so fat?" is answered at any one of the country's 85 billion mexican restaurants (I checked wikipedia, that number is accurate...).

They were good, in case you were wondering. I like the lighter chips if I'm at a regular tex-mex place. In Mexico I like the thick corn chips because your server usually provides guacamole or some other treat. I'm not a fan of the thick chips up in this area. They always tend to be soggy, or greasy, or something not right. I do have the blog, so I would know. The salsa was also good. It was just spicy enough so you don't think you're eating watered down marinara.

For the dinner, I ordered the chili relleno with beef fajita meat. As far as taste and textures and all the stuff foodies care about, it was great. Personally, I would have preferred smaller pieces of fajita meat or ground beef, but only because it would have been easier to eat. The sauce on top (ranchero) was awesome. I think I said that about 40 times that night. I am usually unaware of the sauce on my mexican dishes (or aware for the wrong reasons) and this time I was fully aware but it was because it had such great flavor.

I actually mixed my rice with the sauce. I don't normally do that because I don't like to see other people do that. It makes them look like they're eating at a sty. I'm not one of those people who keep their food separate, but I like to keep it looking nice. When you combine everything, its like you've given up trying to identify flavors and textures. You didn't order a taco/beans/rice/tamale shake so why make one on your own? Yes, I am anal retentive, why do you ask?

This is going on too long. Apologies. Other people had good food. Flautas were given an A+ by a self-professed Flauta expert. She has a degree in Flautology. That says a lot. She is also the main reason I like happy hour priced margaritas. My buddy had the chili relleno as well. He agreed that I was obnoxious in my rave reviews.

So, to sum all of this up. Coworkers = wrong. I have decided that people who eat frozen mexican food will no longer impact my view of anything food related.

La Playa Maya on Urbanspoon


Steve said...

I like Playa ok, but the N. Main hole in the wall that has become our primary Mexican Food destination is right across the street. El Asadero should be on your list. It has its eccentricities...the hot sauce is blazing hot...but the food is great. The green enchiladas are the best (and were recently mentioned in Texas monthly). Service is uneven and language challenged, but the payoff is giant. It doesn't look like much and there's very little parking. Also try the milanesa de res (this is like mexican chicken fried steak) and the chicken soup is fabulous, especially if you're recovering from too many margs the night before.

FortWorthHoleInTheWall said...

I have been dying to go there. I'll make it a priority trip now.

When we passed El Asadero, the two people I was with both said, "oh I bet he'll want to go there instead"

They were right.