I turned 30 last month, and there was one thing I really wanted to do on my birthday: have brunch in NYC. I got exactly what I wanted and more when my friends and I brunched at Maya in the Upper East Side. This is another adventure of the Hungry Trio.
I chose Maya for our brunch outing for two main reasons: 1) It is close to Central Park, where I wanted to spend some time after brunch, and 2) They offer bottomless brunch. I was also intrigued by the menu. Their bottomless brunch costs $55, or $45 without the booze.
The addition of drinks makes this brunch a good deal. They have margaritas, Bloody Marys/Marias, and three flavors of mimosas: mango, strawberry, and the Maya mimosa (blood orange/passion fruit). I personally sipped on the Maya mimosa the whole time, because that combination of flavors was such a delight. You don’t often see blood orange or passion fruit mismosas, but I had never seen them together.
The Hungry Trio does not mess around when it comes to brunch. We tried every item on the menu. The first items brought to us were the charred pepita salsa with tortilla chips and the tuna ceviche. I love a smoky salsa, and this salsa had such a good smokiness with the right touch of spice. This was one of the best salsas I’ve tried. The ceviche was among our favorite dishes of the day. The red fresno aguachile brought a fantastic flavor and kick to this ceviche. This dish was beautiful, bright, and most importantly tasty. We liked both of these starters so much, we ordered a second round before dessert.
Next, we had two types of tacos and two types of enchiladas. For tacos, they have carnitas and lamb barbacoa. Both tacos were very good, but it is hard to beat a slow cooked carnitas taco, although the lamb tacos were packed full of flavor. The shrimp enchiladas were smothered in a colorful guajillo sauce. The enfrijoladas had scrambled eggs and were topped with a black bean sauce. Both were solid options on the menu.
Is brunch even brunch is there are no chilaquiles? I think not. Tortilla chips soaked in ranchera sauce with a sunny side up egg is right down my alley. I can never get enough chilaquiles. We also tried the Maya dog, a bacon hot dog with slaw, chipotle mayo, and fresno chiles. I guess I got a New York hot dog after all. This was a tasty little bite.
Our final savory item was the corn on the cob. Their version of elote was probably better in the summer. The topping was good, but the corn was mediocre. I guess that will happen when you serve corn on the cob in October. This was the one item on the menu we could have done without.
Finally, we had our sweets. We were served a plate full of sweet plantains, which were delectable. We also had the waffle with whipped cream and fruit jam. It is always nice to end the meal on a sweet note. I just think it’s a crime to have a Latin brunch menu without churros. Overall though, I was very pleased with this meal.
*This post reflects my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.
Maya by Richard Sandoval
1191 First Avenue
New York, NY 10065