Maya Riviera Mexican food in Briarcliff Manor NY

I was really craving Mexican food on Saturday night and we were in Millwood. I opened up Yelp and found Maya Riviera 8 minutes away in Briarcliff which was so close that we decided to give it a shot. It has a huge round bar area and was really crowded and bustling. Even so, we got a table right away. It’s a mix of families and couples and large groups of friends. Very festive feeling.

The menu is big and varied and it has all the usual suspects on it. We got guacamole, which was delicious, nicely balanced and medium spiced as we asked for. They serve really crunchy warm tortilla chips… why doesn’t every restaurant serve warm chips? After that and a plain house salad we got mole enchiladas (me) and a Three Amigos combo platter (my husband). The mole wasn’t the most nuanced I’ve ever had but it was a decent rendition of the dish and a good size portion. My husband liked his enchilada, taco, and mini burrito.

The service was well meaning but not great because they were so crowded. Our young waiter was a bit spacey and it took a few tries to get things we needed. But at this price point ($55 before tax and tip) I can tolerate slightly unpolished service.

Not exciting and not a destination but as I am in the neighborhood I would definitely return. I didn’t realize this area of Briarcliff was so close to me. We passed a couple other restaurants there-- Terra Rustica and the steakhouse whose name escapes me. Are either of these worth trying?

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Flames Steakhouse has morphed into Flames Bar & Grill. Similar menu. Not sure how it is, have not tried it…

Not sure about Terra Rustica. I believe the steakhouse you are referring to is Flames. I’ve heard decent things about Flames and have been meaning to try it again. We had been there years ago. Terra Rustica Due in Mt. Kisco does not get a lot of love!

I actually adore this type of Mexican restaurant - DH and I have been lamenting that we haven’t found anything like this closer to Yonkers. There are plenty of “autentico” places but no “unlimited chips and salsa” kinds of places that we’ve found as of yet (except Rancho Grande on Central Park Ave, but the online reviews are very mixed so we’ve been hesitant to try it). No chains that I know of, either, which I find odd - you would think there would be at least one Chevy’s, On the Border or Don Pablo’s within striking distance. Unless I’m just missing something that’s right in front of me! I will keep this place in mind for the next time we’re up farther north.

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I love this type of restaurant too. Remember when there was a ChiChi’s on Central Ave back in the 80s - early 90s? I loved going there with my parents. Another great place like Maya Riviera is The Patio 3 in Mt Kisco. Unlimited chips and great salsa, yummy Mexican dishes (old faves and some authentic dishes too) and the owner and staff are super sweet.

Rancho Grande fits into this category of Mexican eateries. Good appetizers, cocktails and guacamole prepared tableside. Happy hours here can be fun…

Where is Rancho Grande?

It is in the Highridge Shopping Plaza on Central Park Ave., Yonkers, across from the new H-Mart…they have a website.

Oooh yes - thanks! They’ve been there for a while now - must be doing something right!

We actually just moved to Yonkers last August, but I have many fond memories of ChiChi’s from my college days! We also had an outpost of a small regional chain called La Senorita in my hometown growing up - that was always our special birthday dinner place. I still go occasionally when I visit my parents, just for their extra salty chips and green salsa.

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Maya Riviera definitely fills a niche. Like you said it’s not the super authentic type of place that we can also find in Westchester but I found the food to be above average for this type of Mexican-American fare. The host (owner? manager?) was friendly and checked in on us. It was just a fun atmosphere and above all it was more affordable than most places near us. There were some amazingly ridiculous looking colorful cocktails too; I did not imbibe but many people were. They have a happy hour M-F I think.

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I recently returned to dine in after a couple mediocre takeout experiences. Dining in is definitely the way to go. Love the tableside guac, all our cocktails were on point (my mojito was bracing and refreshing instead of sicky sweet), and everyone enjoyed their food. I think mine was the best- four different tacos (Al pastor, steak, fish, shrimp) with rice and beans. I don’t love tilapia but battered and fried it was passable and the others were delicious. Fajitas, quesadillas and chimichangas were all devoured and a few desserts honored the birthday girl (with a huge sombrero and serenade to boot). Very festive and fun, and great for the babies in the crew- we’ll be back.

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