From looking at the outside or the inside, you’d never guess that Plaza Mexico less than 2 years ago was a retro-style new diner! The owners have clearly invested a good amount of time and effort converting the former dinner into something with a Mexican flair. The former diner counter has been turned into a bar and now there’s a mix of two dozen booths and a half dozen tables all upholstered with upholstery that fits in with the new theme. Interestingly compared to some other Hispanic restaurants, the owners and staff at Plaza Mexico are all proudly Latino.
The menu offers a wide range of Mexican standards – fortunately the staff brought us a basket of some good taco chips plus a small carafe of red salsa and a dish of a white sauce that kept us busy while we read through the menu! A dozen appetizers ($4-$8), soups ($5 including Sopa de Pollo, Sopa Azteca and Black Bean Soup), Taco Salads ($8, $10 with Steak/Chicken or $11 with Shrimp), and literally dozen of entrees (most reasonably priced from $8-$12). Additionally, there are “Combo” dinners were you can pick two items for $9 or three items for $10 plus eight vegetarian options ($8 – $11). The owners say that the recipes are authentic to the area around Guadalajara where they grew up. Our waiter asked if we wanted more chips and salsa; we said “Yes, Please!” but were quite happy to find out that he didn’t charge us for more chips!
John decided on the “Mexican Burrito” ($11), Tom picked the Carnitas Quesadilla ($11) while Paul went with a two item combo with a Taco and an Enchilda
The significance of the name of John’s Burrito Mexicano became obvious! Topped with a red sauce, melted cheese and a green sauce, his burrito looked like the Mexican national flag!!! The inside was stuffed with bits of steak, rice and beans and it was pretty good!
Tom’s quesadilla was stuffed with roasted pork and cheese and came with fried beans, pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos! (Tom had never had pickled jalapenos before and discovered he like them!) Tom mentioned that he had tried other Mexican places in the Bel Air / Fallston area and that he felt that Plaza Mexico was decidedly the best of the bunch!
Paul’s taco and enchilda “combo” which came with refried beans and rice made quite a meal for $9. He was happy and finished it all off!
We spotted another server go by with two delicious looking desserts topped with mounds of whipped cream which looked absolutelly tempting (perhaps the Fried Ice Cream – $4?). BUT… between the chips and the hearty portions served up with our entrees, we passed on that (as well as Flan, Sopapillas or Xango… Sigh!)
One weak link was that service seemed spotty. After he took our order, our waiter didn’t check in with us again until he came by to ask if we wanted dessert (our entrees were brought to the table by a bus boy). John needed a refill of his ice tea ($2) and finally turned to the manager for help (to his credit, he was great, brought more tea quickly and even offered to get more water for Tom and PaulPlaza Mexico offers a nice dining space.
The food we had was very satisfying (if not the height of Mexican cuisine…) But considering what we had cost $9 to $11, we considered it good value for the money and we’d be back to revisit Plaza Mexico if we were in the area.
FACTS: Plaza Mexico; Fallston; 2314 Belair Road; 410-877-2461; http://plazamexicomaryland.com ; Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner; Full Bar; Vegetarian options; adjacent free parking. There is also a Plaza Mexico located in North Beach in southern Maryland.