In Maplewood, Missouri, new tenants are giving an old destination for Mexican fare a new life.
Casa Maya opened on May 20, filling the space previously occupied by Maya Cafe. It offers a robust menu of Mexican cuisine, including everything from fajitas and flame-grilled steaks to street tacos and seafood.
The concept comes from Juan Gutierrez and his stepson Rosendo Chavez. According to Gutierrez, who was born in California and raised in Jalisco, Mexico, the business is a family affair established over many iterations. The chef came to St. Louis by way of Shreveport, Louisiana, where his family has owned five restaurants – a legacy started by his parents.
With Casa Maya, Gutierrez brings his wealth of industry experience to the Midwest for the first time, cooking up a well-honed menu of traditional Mexican food with California influences. He opted to retain a portion of the space’s former name as an homage to its history in the neighborhood, bringing in new furniture and decorations to fill out the dining areas.
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“We hope to make the customer feel like they’re at home,” Gutierrez says. “We’re happy to be part of the community here.”
Casa Maya’s menu follows the footprint established by his family’s businesses, featuring recipes cultivated over nearly 30 years. Gutierrez says the ranchero specials are a longtime best-seller; each comes served with Spanish rice, sautéed bell pepper, onion and tomato and is topped with the house cheese sauce. Choose from protein combinations such as the Ranchero Desoto with grilled chicken, bacon, shrimp and steak. Seafood and vegetarian options are also available.
Gutierrez also recommends the California-style house burritos, such as the Burrito Casa Maya – a large flour tortilla filled with seasoned ground beef or shredded chicken, covered with red sauce, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and shredded cheese and served with rice and beans. Flame-grilled steaks are also among his favorites, featuring 14-ounce rib eyes in assorted platters such as the carne asada plate, comprised of a steak grilled with sautéed onion that is covered with cheese and red enchilada sauce and served with beans, red rice, guacamole, salad and tortillas.
Guests seeking a variety of offerings will find no shortage of options; the menu also features a wide range of additional items such as soups, salads, quesadillas, nachos, chimichangas, enchiladas and molcajetes (Mexican stone bowls) filled with options such as fresh guacamole or a combination of grilled chicken, steak and shrimp with all the accouterments. A full bar offers everything from domestic and Mexican beers to wine and Margaritas to wash it all down with.
Casa Maya is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm and Friday through Sunday from 11am to 10pm.
Casa Maya, 2726 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, Missouri, 314.282.0408, facebook.com/CasaMayaSTL