1459 Montgomery Highway (Vestavia Hills)
In the no-frills location in a motor inn that once housed Sol Azteca. A June 2009 City Scene review noted that tacos benefit from fresh ingredients. A taco salad was a hit, as were Camarones al chipotle, fajitas, carnitas, enchiladas with mole, and chiles toreados (whole jalapenos rubbed with oil and roasted). Desserts -- fried vanilla ice cream, flan, banana chimichanga and tres leches were also praised. Margaritas are "not the best in town ... a strange, almost acid green color and have an odd, artificial taste." However, noted reviewer Susan Swagler, "There's something about Maria's that reminds us of our beloved Las Pinatas," and Maria makes a point of greeting customers personally. On our own visit, while the food was good and cheap, we didn't think it was worthy of the four-star rating from Susan Swagler. Read our impressions from the blog.