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“Maria Elena's” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Maria Elena's Restaurant

Maria Elena's Restaurant
1450 Gold St, Alviso, CA 95002
(408) 946-5336
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Ranked #1 of 5 Restaurants in Alviso
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business
Dining options: Breakfast, Outdoor Seating
San Francisco, California, Usa
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Maria Elena's”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

In the little city of Alviso, CA there is a Mexican restaurant called Maria Elena's. It is one of the best and truly authentic Mexican restaurants in the area. The decor needs work, but the food is good.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    13
    1
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Authentic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

Ambience is great! Not one of the large chains like Chevys. Salsa is flavorful. Shrimp fajita with corn tortillas was awesome. Guacamole & the sauteed veggies were perfect. The quanitness of the little bayside town of Alviso adds to the overall charm of this little restaurant. Lines are very long at lunchtime specially on weekdays!

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Clemente, California
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Food is better than the place looks.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013 via mobile

Atmosphere is what you expect for a very old restaurant. It is not modern but that could be part of the charm. High Tech silicon Valley next door meets 1960 old Town. The broken soda waiting to be thrown away is classic.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
“Most Pleasant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

Had lunch here with a group of friends based on a recommendation. A little out the way but not difficult to find. The food was very good with a decent selection. The service is excellent and the pricing is reasonable.
Would recommend getting there a little earlier / or allow a little more time for lunch as it can get busy during the week.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flemington, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A nice surprise in a funky neighborhood”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

A group of colleagues and I happened on Maria Elena’s while searching for another restaurant in Alviso and saw the crowded lunchtime parking lot. We returned the following day, hoping the crowd outside the day before was a harbinger of good things to come. It was.

We waited 20 minutes to get a table outside under the large awning that dominates the front of the restaurant. As other reviewers have pointed out, it appears that the lunch rush is large for the number of tables, so diners will either have to arrive early or be prepared to wait.

The wait was worth it. From the salsa and chips onward, it was apparent that the cooks knew what they were doing. This was my first visit, so I selected the house tacos – one beef, one chicken – on flour tortillas, assuming that if the kitchen couldn’t get those right then it would be pointless to consider the remainder of the menu. Both tacos were stuffed generously with tender meat and lightly dressed with tomatoes and cilantro. Well-seasoned and served with lime wedges on the side, they were simple and delicious. The beans with queso fresco were good. I found the rice unremarkable but, on balance, it didn’t detract from the meal.

Once seated, service was friendly and efficient, but we encountered two errors: the small one (a side of sour cream wasn’t delivered with the meal) was corrected quickly. The larger error, the late delivery of one of the four entrees ordered, was inexplicable but apologized for appropriately. We concluded: no harm, no foul, and there were no other mistakes.

Is Maria Elena’s real Mexican food? I have no clue; I’ve never been to Mexico. But the restaurant is a sterling example of what I consider to be Mexican food, and it sits on the far side of the spectrum from Taco Bell and Chipotle Grill. If you find yourself if Silicon Valley with time to spare for a good lunch, it’s worth the drive and the wait.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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