Sunday, October 5, 2008

Las Maracas

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Las Maracas
2704 Gallatin Pike

Update 12/09: This restaurant has moved and taken up two new locations, one down the street in East Nashville at 2704 Gallatin Pike and another in Madison at 1107 Gallatin Pike North. 868-0011. This review is of the old location. We have not been back since they have moved.

Our readers have been suggesting this place for a long time. We’ve been so busy scouting out the little mom and pop Mexican joints in Nashville that we have skipped over the Las Maracas on Gallatin Pike. Perhaps that’s because it looks like your typical Americanized Mexican joint from the outside. Well, boo to us. Las Maracas serves up Mexican food that is several notches above what you usually get in Nashville.

It’s a huge menu with all the usual Mexican American favorites. What sets Las Maracas apart is the care and flavor they put into those dishes. The zippy salsa has tons of cilantro, garlic and perhaps a little chipotle? The tortilla chips are hot and fresh. With the guacamole the avocado rules the day. It’s kind of tame but good.

The Chimichangas Suprema stand out on first taste. They’re really crispy on the outside with a surprisingly delicate cheese sauce on top. Inside all ingredients hold their own: the shrimp nicely grilled, beef and chicken flavorful and done just right. The chefs seem to choose good ingredients and put attention into the cooking. While some Mexican places in town cook meat to death, these guys take it easy on the grill and it really shows.

It was crazy busy on the Friday night that we visited with our good friends Jackie and Don. One order came out wrong and when we pointed it out, the correct dish was back in record time and perfectly cooked.

Veggie Eater: I had the spinach enchiladas and chili relleno plate. Beans and rice were perfect. The spinach enchilada was fabulous. What made it so wonderful was that the spinach actually appeared to be fresh spinach that had been lightly cooked down; it still actually had some texture to it and made a delightful stuffing for the enchilada. The relleno was fresh and very carefully fried; a hint of heat from the poblano pepper.

Jackie: Las Maracas is the bomb. On our first visit I ordered "Las Parilladas" which apparently translates into "At least a pound and a half of seared fajita meat", including pulled chicken, pulled pork, beef tips, a steak (no kidding), shrimp, and the most delicious chorizo I've ever tasted. If you must return (and you will), I suggest the Jumbo Burrito which is stuffed with chicken, fresh tomatoes, rice, beans and salsa. Did I mention the salsa? I bought some to go because it is fabulous--fresh tomatoes, cilantro, onions and loads of garlic. Yum. Directions: Head up Gallatin road nearly to Briley, definitely pass the Taco Bell, and it's on the left side. Both meals for two around twenty bucks. Service is great--tip big.

Meat Eater: I must say I thought there was no way the mountain of meat in the “Las Parilladas” could possibly be cooked well, given the mass quantity. I was wrong. Each bite was just right: tender and delicious (and kindly Jackie let me taste quite a few.) Kudos to bp and all of the other readers who recommended this place.
Las Maracas on Urbanspoon


Any Little Reason said...

Love, love, love, LOVE this place - a scant four minutes from our house and truly satisfying in terms of warm service, quality of food, menu variety and overall atmosphere.

Any Little Reason said...

Love, love, LOVE this place - not only is it a scant four minutes from our house, but it truly shines in terms of warm service, delicious food, menu variety, and overall atmosphere.

aJenniferOriginal said...

and their carnitas are fantastic!

yank283 said...

All i have to say is, $3.65 for a 32 oz beer...anytime!