Before we get to the food, can we talk about books for a minute today? Up until one week ago I really felt like the only person around who had not yet read Gone Girl (#FirstWorldProblems). The only books I have been reading for, well, basically the past YEAR have been the first five Game of Thrones books. (I Love Them So Much.) And since it took me so long to read the first five books (they’re roughly 1000 pages each though, in my defense), I was really starting to wonder if I was becoming an epically slow reader, or what. Not that I was reading them for hours on end on a daily basis, nor that I was bored or anything (to the contrary…), but at my leisurely pace it just took, well, a while. A year.
But then I finished the last currently published Game of Thrones book while I was in Costa Rica earlier this month (OhMyGoodness I LOVED the final Daenarys chapter in A Dance with Dragons!), and as sad as I was to have no more GoT to read for the time being, I’ll admit it was nice to move on to something else for a while after I returned home. (PS-Remember my Daenarys Halloween costume last year?) So I opted for Gone Girl because I wanted to see the movie. Then on Sunday I decided that I wanted to see the movie THAT FRIDAY. So I ravenously devoured that 422 book in five days on my iPhone Kindle app (where I do most of my reading [yup, including those 1000+ page GoT books], and ceased the “worry” I had that my brain was turning to mush and that was I had become the slowest reader ever. The end. (Cool story, brah, I know.)
So ANYWAYS, like I said, I wanted to see the movie on Friday night which meant we needed to go somewhere for dinner first because that is what you do on a movie date night with your huz. Or at least that is what I do on a movie date night with MY huz.
Maiz Mexican Cantina was the spot chosen (by me; thanks huz for being so amiable). I’d heard many good things and had been eager to try them out for months. Originally, Maiz set up shop on Washtenaw Ave, in the former Smokehouse Blues/Brahma Steakhouse location that seemed to be plagued.
However, Maiz was doing so well that they moved to a new spot that just happens to be one of my favorite locations in the area (mostly because it houses my favorite place to eat [Sidetrack!])– and that place is Depot Town, Ypsilanti! Depot Town is great you guys. I’m excited about The Thompson Block.
Located on E. Cross Street in Ypsilanti, Maiz Mexican Cantina’s mission, per their website, is, “to bring a fresh approach to traditional favorites and tex-mex specialities. Our chef prepares our food from scratch daily using some fantastic local purveyors and local ingredients.”
Sign me up!
First, complimentary chips and salsa after placing our order. The multicolor chips are hot from the fryer, thin, crispy, and salty, while the salsa is moderately thick and smooth, with a mild heat.
Happy Hour is a superb time to visit, when grande margaritas and appetizers are half-off (HALF-OFF!).
We snagged a couple Happy Hour deals with a round of margs and an order of freshly made guacamole. Great deal!
Maiz offers a nice variety of dishes on their menu, but not SO MANY THINGS that it becomes overwhelming. I have definitely been to other Mexican restaurants that offer seven page menus and for some reason that is usually a sign that the food won’t be the greatest. Maiz’s menu is a modest three pages – one page of apps, salads, and tacos; a second page showcasing entrees; and final page of drinks and desserts. Perfecto.
The huz ordered “El Gordo Bastardo – Our chimichanga taken to the extreme,” which included both chicken and spicy chorizo amongst its fillings. I didn’t take many notes, but I know he very much enjoyed it and housed the whole thing!
I ordered what is probably my favorite Mexican entrée – Chiles Rellenos. The dish consists of stuffed, roasted poblano peppers that have been battered, and fried. Often they are stuffed with cheese and other goodness. I elected the zucchini and potato hash as my chile filling, along with the muenster cheese that is included.
At Maiz, the menu also indicates that this dish is their “house specialty.” I can see why, as these were some of the best I’ve had. I very much enjoyed my dinner. Everything we tasted was fresh and tasty, and the presentation was enticing.
Since it only costs $2 for an extra chile, I totally went for it, and brought the second one home for lunch the next day!
Our visit occurred on a Friday evening during the end of Happy Hour, which takes place Mon-Sat 3-6pm. It was lively but we did not have to wait for a table. The atmosphere was fun and energetic, yet chill, and a place I would like to spend more time at in the future due to its warm vibe.
The space in Depot Town in which Maiz now resides was formerly occupied by Woodruff’s, and Maiz has maintained several of the former elements of the interior’s design (such as the original intricately patterned ceiling and exposed brick walls), as well as updated a few features (like the shiny dark red wood floors and the vibrant splash-of-color accent walls) to make the space their own, as well.
The bang-for-your-buck factor is very high here, in that the freshly made food tastes great, is served in generous portions, and is offered at affordable prices. We had no problems with service during our visit; we were seated immediately, and our server provided friendly, accurate service.
I think Maiz is a fantastic new addition to Depot Town and look forward to returning. Positive reviews are the most fun to write so I’m glad Maiz provided me with such a great experience to share with you all.