> New York Hudson Valley Eats & Treats!: Maya Cafe in Fishkill, NY Restaurant Review

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Maya Cafe in Fishkill, NY Restaurant Review

I'm sure most of you who live in the Putnam / Dutchess county areas have been to Maya Cafe - it's been there for years and indeed is a staple of the area. Well, we were trying to think of somewhere yummy to go the other night, and it occurred to us that we hadn't been to Maya Cafe in quite some time. So, off we went! Come read about our delicious meal, view the pics, and work up a nice appetite for some delicious Mexican food!

The sign outside of Maya cafe and Cantina
The sign by the road welcomes you inside!


Maya Cafe is located very close to I-84, and it's right off of Route 9 across from the old Dutchess Mall and Home Depot. The property itself is unassuming but reasonably kept, and there's plenty of parking for all, which is a good thing because it's often rather busy - the restaurant area is usually hopping and there's always people at the bar - excuse me - cantina :) It’s the kind of place you could eat nothing but the chips and salsa and come away happy. It’s that good. But if you stopped there, you’d miss out on all the other tastes and experiences available to you.

The outside of Maya Cafe and Cantina
This is the outside of Maya Cafe.  Come on in!

The restaurant seats about a hundred people including the bar area, and is filled with bits of art and culture representing not just Mexico, but all over Spanish America. There are sombreros, serapes, murals and handicrafts everywhere you turn, yet it manages to not be overwhelming. It all comes together in a flow of ambiance.


Maya Cafe is full of awesome decorations inside!
The decorations inside Maya Cafe are always festive!

On this particular evening we were seated quite quickly, and in a quieter part of the restaurant, which was nice. Of course, there was Mexican music playing from a speaker right above our heads, but it was still softer than had we been in the middle of the room. The volume level at Maya Cafe, while not very loud, is considerable. Not intrusive, but far from quiet. Our waiter promptly took our drink orders and brought us over some tasty salsa and chips.

Salsa and chips
Who doesn't like a nice side of Salsa and Chips?  NOBODY! :)

The lady ordered a Raspberry Margarita ($7.50) and I just had some water for myself - I had some bourbon waiting for me at home and wasn't quite yet in the mood for an adult beverage. I tried some of her drink and it was tasty to be sure - not quite up my alley with the raspberry, but definitely delicious :)

Raspberry Margarita at Maya Cafe!
Raspberry Margarita!  Drink up!



The lady had a snippet to write about the Margarita:

"The drink menu offers traditional cocktails with a variety of options. There are several tequilas to choose from and margaritas can be made in different fruit flavors. You can even add strawberries to your mojito. I tried the frozen raspberry margarita. This wasn’t a thick-frozen style drink, and I think I preferred it that way; the alcohol and flavoring didn’t settle out of the slush. It was balanced, not too alcoholic and not weak, either. The gentleman lamented the lack of orange flavor, but not being a fan of the traditional margarita I have to say I liked it without it."

Tasty Raspberry Margarita
This Raspberry Margarita was so good, we needed two shots :)

So indeed - the drink was tasty. I'm a purest, I like my margaritas classical - but hey, it never hurts to live a little :)

Stone molcajete at Cafe Maya in Fishkill, NY
What a cute molcajete!
A stone molcajete
This molcajete is shaped
like a little pig! :)
For an appetizer, we ordered the Guacamole en Molcajete. If you haven't ever had it, it's fresh guacamole prepared at your table in an authentic molcajete. A Molcajete is a traditional Mexican stone tool which basically is like a large mortar and pestle. It's used for grinding herbs and mixing things.

Ingredients for guacamole and the molcajete
The ingredients for guacamole!  Here it comes!

The waiter making us fresh guacamole in the Molcajete
The waiter is making us fresh guacamole!

The waiter arrived at our table and scooped each half of an avocado into the molcajete. He then proceeded to mix in the a small bowl of what appeared to be spices, tomatoes and onions. He squeezed a healthy lime into the whole pile and seasoned with salt and pepper. He then proceeded to mash and stir until we had fresh guacamole at our table. It was tasty, to be sure - and the show was quite fun to watch.

The final product - a molcajete full of tasty guacamole!
Fresh Guacamole served in the molcajete.  Delicious!

For Entrees, the lady ordered the Enchiladas de Mole Poblano ($14.95) and I ordered the Carne Asada ($18.95). I only tried a little bit of the lady's dish - the mole sauce was very tasty and the enchiladas were as well. I'll post what she wrote about it - this is from the proverbial horse's mouth:

"Enchiladas de Mole Poblano – this is my go-to dish when I eat at Maya. It consists of three soft corn tortillas filled with shredded chicken and covered in a lovely dark mole’ sauce, then smattered with cheese. This is pure comfort food. Factor in the side of rice and beans, then the guac and crema,and I can usually only make it through two of the tortillas, tops. Luckily, it reheats well for lunch the next day as long as you don’t mind forsaking the enchilada format and going for something a little closer to chicken mole’ hash."

Enchiladas de Mole Poblano
Enchiladas de Mole Poblano - dig in!

The lady actually took one the enchiladas home and had it for lunch the next day. Score!

For my own dish, I got the Carne Asada. This came out as advertised, and I have to tell you - they did it pretty damn good. This was basically pretty simple - a marinated, grilled piece of skirt steak, served with rice, beans, and some guacamole on the side.

Carne Asada
This pic doesn't do the steak justice - this Carne Asada was awesome!

This was delicious. I ordered it medium and indeed, the meat was cooked nicely medium. Juicy, soft, delicious, it was very well done. If you didn't already know, the skirt steak is one of my favorite cuts of beef, and when done right, it's delicious. Well, they did it right. Now, the portion wasn't huge, but it was satisfactory - and what matters is that the meat was done perfectly, some nice char on the outside and pink on the inside. Good marinade too. The rice and beans were standard, tasty enough, and the guacamole was tasty. Even though we'd had the Guacamole en Molcajete for the appetizer, I'm always down for more guacamole - or anything with avocado for that matter.

Beautiful wall art at Maya Cafe!
More lovely wall hangings!

We were stuffed by the end of the meal so we declined getting dessert. But all around the meal was delicious - I would recommend Maya Cafe to anyone, and it's one of the lady's favorite restaurants, period. You should stop by sometime if you're looking for a nice family-style restaurant with good food, good atmosphere, and authentic Mexican style.

The entrance to the Maya Cafe Cantina
Come enter the cantina!  Hey, who's head is that in the corner there?!

Maya Cafe & Cantina is located at 448 Route 9 in Fishkill, NY 12524

You call call them at (945) 896-4042


Maya Cafe decor
Looking at these pictures makes me want to go back to Maya Cafe for some more Carne Asada.  Soon!

I hope you enjoyed reading our review of Maya Cafe as much as we enjoyed eating there! Buen Provecho!

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