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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cafe Maiz - Review #2

Cafe Maíz de El Cholo
27567 Puerta Real
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
(949) 367-0777

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(UPDATE: Cafe Maiz has closed.) Met a brother for lunch the other day at El Cholo's Cafe Maiz in Mission Viejo. Quite a bit had changed since my last visit a few months earlier. The biggest change is that it has converted from an order-at-the-counter type place to a table service place.

Look for the quotes on the beams above the patio


They also now have tableside guacamole where your server makes fresh guacamole for you according to your specifications. We asked for it medium in spiciness and it was still quite spicy so if you don't like your food too spicy start mild and keep some of the peppers to add if you find you need to.



They also now have brunch (I think on Saturday and Sunday from 11am - 2pm) and I tried out the chilaquiles, which are scrambled eggs, chicken, and green onions over corn chips. There was much less sauce on these chilaquiles than normal (which meant my chips didn't get too soggy too quick) but they gave me some extra on the side. There was a certain lightness to these chilaquiles that I found appealing; it wasn't the usual mushy mess (see here for Gustavo's complaint/resignation about the typical sogginess of chilaquiles).


My brother enjoyed his fish taco and al pastor taco with rice and borracho beans:


Another new thing on the menu is roasted corn on the cob served with butter, cheese, chile powder and lime wedges:


This was appropriate since it fits the name of their place to have corn on the menu and also because I recently started seeing chili-lime corn on the cob for sale at Disneyland.

They also began serving flan which is good because I was waiting for them to add some dessert items. I think out of other restaurants theirs tastes the most like the flan I make, and I think mine is pretty darn good.


Of course you end your meal with some complimentary pecan pralines, one of El Cholo's signature items:


The total with tax and tip for our guacamole, one corn on the cob, two entrees, and two flans was $35. On the way out I noticed they are building a Cafe Maiz Cantina next door.


melissa said...

Love the tableside guacamole and the corn! I really want to roll it around in the seasonings and take a bite. I may have to check this place out.

ChristianZ said...

Yeah, it's good stuff. A little El Cholo gem in Mission Viejo.

Captain said...

Now that's what a flan should look like, and I can tell it's tasty just using my highly trained flan sensors. (and by trusting Christian's sense of taste)

Gudalajara in Lake Elsinore needs to take flan lessons from this place.

ChristianZ said...

"Guadalajara in Lake Elsinore needs to take flan lessons from this place."

What's the problem with their flan?

Captain said...

From my Yelp review:

"The flan was the only downside to the meal. It was bland, tasteless and dressed in a pale, watery sauce. Not recommended."

It was more like a pudding than a firm, custardy flan. Horrible.

ChristianZ said...

Doesn't sound too appetizing.

Dennis said...

On May 24 2009, My family and myself ordered food from this restaurant. Unfortunately the food was not great.The green tamale was sweet which is not mentioned on the menu. The burrito's (Shrimp,Carnitas and Fish)had more rice than meat and if I wanted a rice burrito I would have ordered one.The guacamole had no taste except for tasting like frozen avocados.I am a cook and I have owned my own restaurants and I grew up in San Diego so I know good Mexican food.

My Mother picked up the food at the restaurant and said the staff was very disorganized and she felt she had to make sure all items were in the order and they weren't. Unfortunately it is unlikely that we will order again. The one positive I have to say is at least the food wasn't covered in melted cheese.

ChristianZ said...

Hard to compare because my experience there is mainly with other items. I liked what I got.