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This week I went to Mari Luna. There are two locations, one has the subtitle of Mexican Grill while the other is referred to as the Latin Grill. Although their names would not indicate that there is a particular difference between the two Mari Luna restaurants, there is a significant difference: the menu. Mari Luna: the Mexican Grill opened first, and it specializes in traditional Mexican dishes like empanadas and enchiladas while Mari Luna: the Latin Grill focuses on Peruvian dishes like paella and well-seasoned baked chicken. Although both restaurants are great restaurants in their own right, my personal favorite is the Mexican Grill.
I have been a patron of Mari Luna: the Mexican Grill for the last few years. It is located on Reisterstown Road – a main street in Pikesville, just over the Baltimore City border. On Friday and Saturday nights, you can expect a wait, but on weekdays it is calm enough so that you can enjoy a relaxed dining experience.
Of course, what is best about Mari Luna is the food. I have gotten several items on the menu throughout the years. I enjoy the enchiladas, made from fresh corn tortillas and I get the homemade red sauce. It is a fantastic dish, but I was feeling in the mood for something that had a bright flavor, so I ordered the ceviche.
The ceviche is actually an appetizer that is meant to be shared with a table of about four. I enjoyed this as my main course. In case you are not familiar with ceviche, it is a dish that combines a variety of seafood such as calamari, shrimp and tilapia, cooked by marinating it in a citrus, like lime. Thin slices of iceberg lettuce are mixed into the ceviche with sweet red peppers. The ingredients are simple, but a definite palate pleaser. I use my tortilla chips like a spoon to get every last drop of the tangy citrus sauce and seafood. I had about half of my ceviche so that I could save room for dessert.
It is almost like a tradition for my family to get a particular dessert on the Mari Luna menu: the Sopapilla. This is one of the simplest desserts ever. It is fried dough triangles tossed in cinnamon sugar and drizzled with honey. It is served with a scoop of ice-cream. The fried dough comes out piping hot and the dough puffs up leaving the center hollow. I particularly enjoy biting open the fried dough and then stuffing it with a scoop of ice-cream. The contrast of the ice cold ice-cream and the hot fried dough and honey makes for a perfect dessert.
As always, my experience at Mari Luna: Mexican Grill was exceptional. If I had a Mexican grandmother, I would imagine that her food would taste something like the food served at Mari Luna. For more on Mari Luna, visit: http://www.mariluna.com.
About the Author: Amber Royal is the owner and operator of Royal Things, a socially conscious, handcrafted jewelry micro-business that provides a meal to someone in need for every item sold. In researching how to provide healthy and good tasting meals, she has developed an interest in food, the food industry and how food is sourced. She is blogging about restaurants to give the Foodem audience a look into the restaurants that serve locally sourced good-tasting food. To learn more, visit www.royalthings,com.