Photo by Emile Holba
Let's not beat around the bush: Maria Bonita is the Mexican grub Berlin has been waiting for.
And, of all places, it landed on that nasty strip of treeless concrete known as Danziger Strasse in the heart of the city’s allegedly most gentrified district (leafy Prenzl’ Berg) and we are so grateful it did.
Maria Bonita's home cooking is made fresh daily by a formidable trio: Ramsés the Mexican, and two gringos Trey the Texan and Julian the Australian, who, despite their (relative) youth and cool guise, demonstrate they know how to juggle pots and pans (two are former White Trash cooks) and to handle a packed joint at peak time.
The food is the real thing, just plain flavoursome and delicious, home-made from scratch including the wheat tortillas and corn tacos, the red and green salsas, pico de gallo, and the guacamole (unspoilt by mayo or whatever else Germ-Mex places put in it - just red onions, garlic and cilantro, the best in town!). Try the tacos, not the crunchy Tex-Mex type, but cute small, soft discs of cornmeal topped with beef (sautéed with peppers and tomatoes) or fish (fried cod with delicious chipotle mayo and a side of guacamole) Squeeze on some lime juice and relish the flavour! The enchiladas are so satisfying that you’ll want to lick your plate. You can also chose between burritos (4 euros) or burrito plates (7 euros, with Spanish rice, guac, beans, etc) and chicken tamales (Oaxacan-style, rolled in a banana leaf). Wash it all down with a Corona and lime.
The three chefs are currently cooking up a new menu with more veggie and seafood options: we can’t wait! Everything here is so addictive and fairly priced, that once you’ve sampled Maria Bonita you won’t want to go anywhere else, which might be problematic as the place is so tiny and the dining action has already spilled over onto the pavement. Not to worry: they are so popular that they’re already plotting their expansion. Wherever they go, we’ll follow. Ave Maria!