Review:
Maya Grill
Coronado Springs Resort

by
Debra Martin Koma
ALL EARS™ Senior Editor

Maya Grill InteriorThe Maya Grill is the sit-down restaurant at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, and, as the name indicates, its décor is marked by Mayan and Mexican influences. Tall columns topped by faux flames give the spacious restaurant an almost majestic air, and the combination of tables and booths provide adequate intimacy in an open space that could easily seem cavernous and cold. The rich earthtones add warmth to the room, enhanced by the colorful mural that runs around the upper border, depicting the liveliness of Mexican marketplaces.

The menu, however, reflects the fact that this restaurant services the convention trade that frequents this resort -- don't come here expecting typical American-Mexican restaurant fare of fajitas, burritos or even chicken mole. Steaks, steaks and ribs is what you'll find, with a seafood entrée, a "catch of the day", a grilled pork chop and a chicken entrée to appease those who aren't looking for a big hunk of meat.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I love a good steak.

At our recent visit, our server Doug promptly brought us water and a basket of coarse Mayan bread with a wonderful Chimichurri Sauce to help pique our appetites while we surveyed the menu. The combination of green pepper, scallions, olive oil, parsley, and lots and lots of garlic made for an unusual dipping sauce that we couldn't get enough of.

We studied the menu's appetizer selections -- Cancun Chicken Roll with Mango Ketchup ($6.95), Chipotle Spiced Onion Rings ($6.50), soups and salads -- and finally settled on the Beefsteak Tomato and Mexican Manchego Cheese Salad ($5.50). This variation on the Italian Insalata Caprese (tomato and mozzarella salad) that we so enjoy came with juicy red and yellow tomatoes, bathed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chives, and then dotted with chunks of savory dry white cheese. Mmmm.

Maya Grill Rib-eye Steak

My Rib-Eye Steak ($22.99), which came with a medley of steamed vegetables (carrots, zucchini, peppers, onions and broccoli) and my choice of potato - I opted for mashed potatoes with caramelized onions -- was a little on the thin side, and came slightly more well-done than the medium I had ordered.

My husband ordered the Grilled Pork Chop ($14.99), a nice, sturdy sized chop, which came with the same accompaniments and again was a little overdone, but tasty nonetheless.

One very pleasant surprise was the variety of options offered on the children's menu - one of the few places on Disney property that goes beyond the usual hot dogs, chicken tenders and mac and cheese. From the choices of Grilled Chicken Parmesan, Fried Ravioli, Beef Tenderloin, Fried Shrimp and Broiled Mahi Mahi, my son chose the latter, which for $8.25 came with mashed potatoes and corn, as well as a soft drink and a scoop of ice cream. The fish was light and cooked perfectly with a portion that satisfied his 11-year-old appetite.

Maya Grill Spiced ChurrosThe Maya Grill offered a number of very tempting desserts, which were slightly more Mexican in flavor than the entrées had been: Crème Brulee, Fruit Soup with Mango Sauce, Apple Spice Cake with Walnuts, a Chocolate Mousse with Meringue Cookies… but we chose to split the Spiced Churros ($6.75), the Maya Grill's take on the popular snack of fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar. This choice was possibly our best decision of the evening. A scoop of creamy coconut ice cream came swimming in a warm nutmeg cream sauce, surrounded by glazed banana chunks and miniature churros, garnished with a fried strip of plantain. The combination of warm and cold, the sweet and the spices, left us wanting more. It was outstanding.

Dinner for the three of us totaled nearly $65, NOT including tip and a bottle of Pepperwood Syrah wine, making this restaurant a bit of a splurge for those on a budget, but definitely worth considering for a nicer, intimate meal for those staying at the resort.

Click HERE for the full Maya Grill dinner menu. And HERE for the children's menu.

Maya Grill also serves a breakfast buffet daily. Click HERE for the menu.