Chips and salsa. photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

Review: Maya Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar

Rowlett, about 22 miles northeast of Dallas, has maybe 60 restaurants, tops, and that includes the Jack in the Box and the two Sonics. So Maya Mexican Kitchen makes a welcome addition, with its big-city lineup of refreshing mojitos and authentic Mexican food. Chef Kent Lemmons worked at the Mansion on Turtle Creek as well as at Trece, a background he makes the most of for his menu at Maya. Diablo Caesar salad, for example, had Mansion roots, with its spicy-hot dressing, sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cotija cheese. At $5, it was a steal. Carne asada started with an 8-ounce sirloin pounded thin until tender, slopped with sautéed peppers and red onion, and topped with pepper jack and Monterey jack cheese, keeping it moist and juicy, all for $14. Entrees included a vegetarian enchilada filled with soft potatoes and caramelized onions—good stuff. Gorditas, three masa pockets filled with spicy ground beef and charred tomato salsa, were a winner, comforting and piquant. Salsa offered four choices such as grilled corn salsa and pineapple-mango. The chips had an appealing sturdiness, but they were too bulky to dip into the too-small ramekins of salsa, placed just so in their wrought-iron candelabra. Service was young and green, but what do you expect? It’s not as if there are a lot of fine-dining places you can train in out there.

Get contact information for Maya Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar.

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