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Casa Maya Mexican Restaurant

Gillette/Meyersville NJ

615 meyersville rd, gillette NJ 07933
mon-thurs 11:30am-2:30pm/5pm-9pm, fri-sat 11:30am-10pm, sun 12pm-9pm

Casa Maya (Gillette/Meyersville NJ)

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Rating: 75

The To-Go

Our first New Jersey review had a phenomenal appetizer (queso flamenco), good salsa, and some average tacos with a high pepper/onion load.

The Sit-Down

To move in to the crowded New Jersey taco market, was looking for a Mexican restaurant with the perfect combination of factors: namely, close to my grandparents' house in Madison NJ and open on Sundays. After a cousin recommended the chili at Casa Maya and some brief googling revealed it was just on the other edge of the Great Swamp, we decided to give it a go. After much debate about the location of Gilette NJ, a crew including taco sidekick Erin, taco guest reviewers Mom & Dad, and new business associates Uncle Carl & Grandma, took the drive out to Casa Maya. Upon arriving, we found that Casa Maya was actually on the same corner as the well-known Meyersville Inn.

Casa Maya specializes in colorful decor, which includes chili pepper lights hanging from the ceilings, paintings on the walls, bright tiles, and Mexican flags hanging everywhere. Shortly after sitting down, we received some very acceptable chips and some pretty good salsa. The chips were your classic crunchy yellow tortilla chips - nothing special, but nothing wrong with that either. The salsa was a finely pureed tomato based salsa which tasted fresh and had a medium but inoffensive amount of spice. Unfortunately, we were unaware that Casa Maya does not serve beers, though they do permit BYOB.

At Casa Maya, tacos can be found a few places on the menu. Tacos de Chorizo are listed in the specialties section, Tacos de Carbon as a subcategory of fajita, and then the generic "Tacos" as one of the combination dinner options (served with rice & beans). Mulling it over, I decided on the combination plate, as it would allow me to sample two taco flavors: chicken and pork.

As a table, we also ordered the Queso Flamenco, which was a delicious appetizer consisting of a bunch of melted cheese with various meats and vegetables mixed in. It was served with a side of tortillas, so the enterprising consumer could make a DIY Cheese Taco, which turned out to be the highlight of the night. The main course tacos tasted good, but were fairly run of the mill; both the pork and chicken were mildly seasoned and received a generous portion of hot sauce. I was also afforded the opportunity to sample some of the chorizo tacos, which were similar - the chorizo was not of the crumbly & greasy style, but rather finely chopped hunks of sausage. A common theme across all tacos was that they were served with ample fried peppers and onions, which were a nice accent but could be a bit overwhelming at times.

Overall, the queso flamenco was definitely the highlight of the night, and among the finest appetizers I’ve ever tried. While the tacos were totally acceptable, I wouldn't call them anything noteworthy. With no basis for regional comparison, it is difficult to know how they stack up to Mexican restaurants in/around the Great Swamp, and thus there is a clear and present need for additional taco data acquisition on future trips to New Jersey.

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