2258 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI | Directions 5320743.003637 -87.904663
Neighborhoods: Bay View
Different, but not better – With its large Hispanic population, Milwaukee really does have a great selection of Mexican restaurants. While most of them are fairly similar in terms of food, Riviera Maya tries to be different, but falls short. You might hear from people that this is the most authentic, but I would disagree. With the exception of the Tortas (Mexican hot sandwiches, which are basically paninis on different bread), the rest of their menu is pretty much the same as other places. My biggest surprise is that you don't get chips and salsa at the table like you do at other restaurants. I know this is largely an American thing, but I really enjoy tasting the differences in each restaurant's salsa. Instead, you get tortilla soup with your entree, which isn't very good. It was salty with a strong cumin and liquid smoke taste. The portions are also smaller than what is typical. My flautas were small and only came with a tiny dollop of sour cream and pico de gallo. Instead of including mexican rice and beans with your meal, you get a small pile of white rice with peas and carrots, which looks to have been molded onto the plate using a small ice cream scoop or a measuring cup. Despite the smaller portions the price is the same, if not higher, than what you would find farther west. However, this restaurant is in the Bay View area, and many people are willing to overlook a lot of things, including better options, in order to associate themselves with the neighborhood and its culture. Would I go back again? Yes, but probably just for an appetizer or a drink.
Just not very good. – The food is not very good. Some will argue that it's authentic as if that's an excuse for it not being very good. The seasoning was off, overuse of salt the biggest problem. Too many things with chipotle, too. I really don't care for it and never had the slightest difficulty avoiding it _IN_ Mexico, just here. The margaritas are very large and potent (watch out - seriously), and also mediocre. Service was okay.
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