Maria’s in Grass Valley goes outdoors

MARIA’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT in Grass Valley has been serving fresh Mexican food to locals and visitors for a generation.

Now Maria Ramos’ loyal following received a new treat: An outdoor patio, round bar and expanded restaurant.

“We’re going to make the patio look like Mexico,” says Maria, who learned to cook from her Mexican- born mother. “It’s going to be fun.”

Maria’s expansion—the biggest in the local restaurant scene— was wrapped up this summer.

The patio includes cowhide chairs, a bell tower, a fountain and pink flowering plants such as Crape Myrtles. It seats more than 60 diners, who also can enjoy an outdoor bar.

Inside, the expansion includes added seating and a spectacular round bar.

Maria’s menu will be enlarged too. Maria’s plans to add specials, such as a freshly roasted poblano chile enchilada, to the regular menu.

The new bar offers fresh-fruit margaritas and more than70 kinds of tequila.

The expansion fulfills a longtime dream for Maria, who opened her restaurant in 1992. The downtown building had been a burger joint, and she gradually transformed it into a
Mexican eatery.

Her tamales, chicken enchiladas suiza and carne asada were popular draws, according to Maria’s father, Moses. The consistency of the food kept people coming back.

Maria came up with a long-term plan for her restaurant and bought the adjacent land when it came up for sale about five years ago. She hired an architect to come up with a Mexican style, complete with red-tile roofs.

Maria looks forward to serving a new generation of customers. “People feel comfortable here,” she says. “It’s like going to your grandma’s.”

Maria’s Mexican Restaurant
226 E. Main Street, Grass Valley

(photo credit: Lisa Redfern)

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