Maria Bonita - Mexican Restaurant
Saw the same sign. Said the name was Maria Bonita. Looking forward to it. The remodeling when Bar 46 briefly became Jenny Jump was really well done.
its going to be the first in the area,its a steak and skate,they are big down south.they have a lease for five years so they are going to give it there best shot.the place will have a Mexican feel and the waiters serve all the meals wearing roller skates.they want to be open by may.
"Beautiful Maria" (Mary, in Spanish) Cool name with a nice ring to it. I hope the grub is as good!
Bonita in English is Fish. Theme of this place sounds like an ICE trap, make sure your papers are in order when applying for jobs
eapos - you're thinking of Bonito fish. The spanish word bonita means beautiful in english.
eapos, sorry, but you're wrong.
Bonita means pretty or beautiful in Spanish. As does bonito, the masculine version.
As MB explained, there is a species of fish called bonito.
Tracy, sorry your only source of fact is wikopedia, due to my lack of computer skill I can't put the website here but if you look up fishinfranks.com you will in fact see pictures of bonita and other info about them.
Apparently Maria is a fish too............so.........oi vey the new place is fish fish
Bonito = Atlantic Bonito = good eats
Bonita = South US name for Little Tunny or false Albacore = bad eats
This is the link to the bonita fish description. With that said, it would seem to me that given the fact that the restaurant will be a Mexican place the bonita in their name clearly translates to the pretty definition not a fish.
Forget about the name, skates!? Come on the place isn't 100 feet long. This isn't a car hop in the 50's. Lol
A pickle place and a Mexican steak house with skaters.
Good luck to all!
""And the sign said........?"
Long-haired freaky people need not apply :-)" - emaxxman
Thanks for the laugh. :-)
There are a number of eateries specializing in Mexican food around the U.S. named "Maria Bonita", but as far as I can tell, they aren't related and none I saw are drive in chains with skaters, but I could have missed something.
Some may have been named after a Brazilian Bandit who was nicknamed that and as I mentioned, yes, it translates to "Beautiful Maria":
Unfortunately, she came to a very bad end.
There is a pair of restaurants of the same name in Florida:
Hopefully this place will have an owner and staff as passionate about the food as the ones in Florida. I'll have to send a friend and his wife there to check it out, since they're my barometer of good Mexican eats, lol.
eapos, is there some point to you arguing about this? The link you cited, that Greg was kind enough to post, even stated that Bonita means beautiful in Spanish. Bonita does not TRANSLATE to fish in Spanish, or any other language, which you are arguing it does, erroneously. It is a KIND of fish. Is that clearer?
"Related to the Tuna or so it would seem
These beautiful fish,
The name Bonita in Spanish means beautiful
they live up to that Blue colors
heavy body large forked tail,
all things about this fish show it is fast
Their blood seems to have a lot of iron in it
being fast requires of lot of energy
This is where the problem starts with
being edible, even when bled, there is so much
blood in this fish, they have an iron taste, "Tinny""
went past the Mexican restaurant tonight.the parking lot was packed.will have to take a peek inside Saturday.
they were having a "soft opening" on Friday. not sure if/when they're open for good.
The soft opening was posted on the board on the hwy
A friend of my stopped in early and was told "come on down" - he was not a friend or family of anyone working there.
A few of us agreed to meet up at 630 - 7pm
got there 630 - parking lot full - bar inside full and 3 tables empty
I loved the decoration on the walls. And the crowd inside seemed to be having a good time.
It was very crazy and much confusion!!!!!
We left at 7, to go else where, again you could see the confusion on the employees faces, not knowing which table the food belonged to - the bar was hopping also- For all I know after we left they may have figured it out, but not in the 1/2 hour we were there.
We look forward to going back in a few weeks.
I believe that they should not have put the soft opening announcement on the board - esp on Cinco De Mayo......this is just my opinion - it should have been for friends and family, think they bit off more than they could handle.....just my opinion.
We went here last night. We were seated right away, but after 20 minutes no one had come over. There seemed to be two waitresses, but they were both very busy and running around like crazy. Didn't think that boded well for getting fed in a reasonable amount of time so we left and went for BBQ. If we didn't have little kids with us, maybe we would have hung in there.
Looking forward to trying it after the service kinks are worked out. The food we saw at other tables looked great!
The good- its close to our house
Good chips and salsa ( not traditional salsa, more like a hot sauce but i did like it)
The not so good - service was beyond awful
The food in our opinion had no flavor or spices. We went in trying to forgive everything but in the end, we were disappointed
The details if interested...
Arrived 530 last Friday. The sign said it opens at 5pm. Were told something broke in the kitchen and to come back at 6pm. I didn't understand why we couldnt sit at the bar and have a drink but we walked next door to Blackstones and had a drink. Went back 6:15. My friend and I were seated right away. Unfortunately thats where the good service ended. We really wanted to like this place, as its close to our home so we kept trying to forgive everything.
There were 3 servers for 6 tables of 4 people or less when we arrived. Thats one server for 2 tables so we thought that was a good sign. Sat there for 15 minutes before a server took our drink order. No apology from her. We saw that the service was going to be bad so we tried to order our food right away but she left too quickly. Our plain margaritas on the rocks took another 15 minutes. There were only 3 customers at the bar and 2 servers behind the bar at the time. Ordered one entree each. Took 45 minutes. I had a plate with one cheese enchilada, guacamole tostado rice and beans. So sorry to say everything was tasteless to us. No spices or flavor at all. I had to flag server down for salsa to add flavor. That took forever. We were really hoping for decent food since the service was so poor. In the 2 hours we were there, no manager/owner visible at all. We wanted to find something good here. We definitely would have given them many more chances if the food was okay but sadly we wont be back. Darn it.
We wanted badly to like this place too. We're new here. Everywhere we've lived in NJ, we've had a great Mexican restaurant nearby. The one by what used to be pathmark in ledgewood, the excellent authentic Los Chilitos on 22 in Lebanon, Sol in Branchburg, etc. There seems to be nothing good Mexican near here. Tried Brenda Lee and couldn't understand them on the phone, went there and still had communication problems, couldn't even read the menu (other than a lot of tongue, brains, etc) and ended up coming home with a lot of wrong stuff (it wasn't bad though, but I think it's geared more toward the local Mexican population, nothing wrong with that).
Anyway, we *really* wanted to like Maria Bonita. Close to where we live. To be honest, we went on one of the soft opening nights, just before opening, so I wasn't going to comment, but it looks like now that they're open, nothing has changed. The menu was limited, kind of expensive, and the service was absolutely horrendous. Food wasn't bad, my wife had some kind of dish with unsweetened dark chocolate sauce and chicken that was very good.
It blows me away that people would spend so much on opening a restaurant and do such a horrible job of marketing it, staffing it, and quality control. I know it's not easy, but there should be multiple backup plans before going live. Maybe it's just to launder money or for a tax shelter, who knows.
Anyone know of a better Mexican alternative within a few minutes of Hackettstown??
All these bad reviews..yet parking lot is packed
I knew this place was going to suck even before it opened. I hate to be right. You can try Don Jose in Netcong, I find it to be pretty good. The service is good and the food and sangria tasty. It might not be the most authentic, but it's better than what's around. Sadly for what we pay in taxes to live in Hackettstown the restaurants are horrible for the most part.
Juanito's in Washington is pretty good. It's a BYOB. We used to like Casa Maya in High Bridge, but something was off the last couple times we ate there. We enjoy Juanito's more than Casa Maya and it's closer. Win, win!!!!
2nd the Juanitos recommendation. I ate dinner there with my mother and sister a couple months ago and the food was pretty good and it was also inexpensive. Small storefront off Main St in Washington. Was not super authentic, but food was well flavored (guacamole was yummy) and the serivce was good. If you are ever in the mood to take a ride, Tacqueria Downtown in Jersey City is amazing. So cheap, so good, best chilequiles I have ever had, and 3$ bloody marys and mimosas on weekend lunches.
I was hoping Maria Bonita would be our close to home Mexican restaurant but, alas, not true:-(( It would be great if there was a Good Mexican Restaurant in Hackettstown, but, IMHO, there is not. For now we will go to Juanitos in Washington or Don Jose in Netcong, both of which are "okay." Neither one is in Hackettstown. It seems to me that the 3 or so restaurants in Hackettstown who have 'some' Mexican food are focused more on other ethnic foods such as Colombian. If a true Mexican Restaurant opened in Hackettstown I think it would be very successful.
You can also try La Rienda in Long Valley. It's next to the brew pub in Restaurant Village. We've always enjoyed the food and the sangria. They have outdoor dining now too. https://lariendanj.com/
There are better reviews on their Facebook page. I think yall should take into consideration that this is a new restaurant. They are trying. One of the servers was telling me that they are low on staff. There is little people in the kitchen, one in the bar, and 2-3 servers dining. They are pulling through.
I also forgot to add: Its two-three servers managing 15-16 tables, and one bartender for the bar. This will bring things into better scope.
Not a fancy place, but I always enjoy the food I get at MIlena's Restaurant on main st.
Before Milena's was in its current location, Emma's was there. It was a pretty standard Mexican place and I loved the fact that they served chorizo as a meat option in tacos, burritos, etc. But the place simply didn't do well.I thought the food was pretty good. Isn't Ashley's Mexican food?
Ashley's is Columbian or something other than authentic Mexican. Have you guys gone to Dover? Lot of good places there! El Tapatio is fantastic & BYO.
Emma's was real Mexican, but not the typical Sonoran non-Mexicans are used to. It was definitely good. They had good Al Pastor as well as the chorizo.
Ashley's has a little Colombian and a little Honduran but is mostly Costa Rican. The Costa Rican food is very good.
A friend who has traveled extensively through Mexico as well as Central & South America (via horseback & hiking) favors "Riviera Maya" on Rt. 206 in Branchville for authentic Mexican food.
Most reviews average 4.5 out of 5 stars as shown here:
I miss the old "El Coyote" in Netcong which was decent, though not great, though the place I miss the most for Mexican food is "La Fonda Mexicana" which used to be on Rt. 46E on the block between the "Dover Diner" and "Robbie"s Collision" back in the 1980's & 90's. Not sure when it closed, but it had a tiny strip of parking area alongside it, which made things tough. It was easier to walk from my ex's Mom's house in Dover, which was only a few blocks away.
+1 for La Rienda. It's very good and authentic. Chips and salsa are very good too.
I don't get Fresca. When we went (albeit a few years back) and the chips sucked. I need good chips.
I miss el coyote!.....fresco in chester is pretty damn good! No bar though.....don Jose is good too...I think they skimp a bit on the rice and beans but always fresh food
Wow Phil D. did you just bring back memories. I haven't thought about La Fonda in years!! I loved that place. I know it was still there mid 90's.. If your not afraid to venture into Dover (detect sarcasm) El Tapatio on Blackwell Street has very good food.
Glad you mentioned you were being sarcastic, just in case. I do go visit my ex every so often (in Dover) and on occasion we'll go out to eat nearby, normally switching off who pays for the check. (Yeah, odd I know, but we started out as friends for quite a while and have no animosity towards one another.) Maybe next time we'll drop by "El Tapateria". Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to ask if she's been there before.
I like the Dover Diner and Bakery, but that's known more for its Argentinian cuisine and pastries. When there after her Brother's funeral a few months ago they brought us two trays of mixed pastries that were SO tasty and rich!
La Fonda was awesome, but I think the parking issue may have been what killed it. I think you probably remember how tight it was down the side of the building along with how delicious the food was. Best fajitas I've ever had too!
Went to middle school right across the street and graduated from DHS. Depending on your age, I probably know your ex or her family. If my memory is right, La Fonda moved from the Dover location to the old Heslin House in Wharton for a while.
Oh boy you probably remember Guido's too if you remember La Fonda. Another one of my old favorites. Have you tried Table 42 yet, the old Laughing Lion? Went there a few weeks ago, definitely worth a trip next time your in the area.
My sympathies for your loss..
My ex was the youngest of 5 and graduated from DHS in '85 (the Tigers, just like HHS, lol). I didn't know La Fonda had moved. We were married in '95 and moved to Hackettstown then, so were less in touch with what went on in Dover, even though we visited.
I remember Guido's, but we never ate there. We liked Senatore's on Rt. 10W in Randolph (that's gone too). Thanks for the suggestion of Table 42, we may try there too, as long as it's not expensive. We used to also like the place that was downstairs in Rockaway Mall next to the J.C.Penny's - Maxwell's, I think.
Thanks, by the way. Wally was well known in Dover as a guy with a huge heart that would help anybody in need, though he'd talk you to death while doing so. RIP, Wally C.
Phil, the place next to Pennys was Maggie's. Clyde had a plaque there for drinking all their different beers.
Glad to know someone else besides JrzyGirl88 remembers La Fonda too! Thanks for the correction on Maggies, but didn't the name change to that from "Maxwell's" at some point"? I seem to remember the other name from back in the 80's, though I could be thinking of another place (don't know where else though).
LaFonda was awesome! I used to go there alot when I lived down that way. And fully remember that tiny little lot- that was REAL Mexican(at least to me). Thank for the memory.
Your are right Phil D, it was actually Lindy's, then Maxwells, then Maggie's. Spent way too many hours at that mall. LOL!! Do you remember when there was a Mr. Peanut store up there too!!
Bessie I forgot you mentioned you were familiar with that area back in the day as well..
You have all made me think about the restaurants that were still there, I think I am going to take my dad to Jai Alai for Fathers Day
Given the years, your ex was a senior when I was a freshmen.. Good old DHS, so many great memories.. Loved it!!
I spent too much time at the mall too, usually at the indoor theater or the arcade across from it. Of course my ex & I loved the Sizzler by the outer theaters too! I miss the record stores and book stores - big time wasting there too!
She had lots of friends there, but was in a program at Kubert for part of the day too. She wasn't a big fan of the school itself, nor some of the teachers, but promised her Mom she'd graduate, and did.
I really hope "Maria Bonita" can get on track. Perhaps find a couple of experienced servers to help train the ones there. If it's a family business it doesn't always happen that everyone is well acquainted with exactly how best to do all the various jobs and that's what many don't really think about when they plan out their business model.
Sadly, I also miss "Claudio's Tex-Mex" which was in the old Pathmark Plaza in Landing (Lakeside Blvd.) They closed up a bit over a year ago because they decided to move to Fla., or so I heard. That place was always great for a quick Tex-Mex fix and the people there were great! It was in what had been the teenie-tiny McDonalds that didn't even have a full food menu. (I think they didn't have shakes at that one)
We don't need another carp deal there. If I had the money would of been a country bar. Line dancing and Bull riding.....gilleys. urban cowboy way......but..i didn't have the money. Good luck to this new place anyway.
Maria Bonita's service was slow.. Food came out barely warm. I ordered the Mole Enchiladas and my spouse ordered fajitas. The Mole was just okay and barely warmed, the Fajitas came out on a non sizzling cast iron plate with peppers and onions that were basically raw.... Safe to say we will be sticking to Juanitos in Washington. For those who recommended Don Jose - just an FYI, they have "CONDITIONAL SATISFACTORY" from the health department. I have worked in many restaurants and ate at many restaurants and it's safe to say that this is the first time that I have ever seen that.
Conditional Satisfactory from the health department could be something as simple as not having current paperwork on hand. It's not always an unsafe food practices or cleanliness issue. A quick call to the health department would reveal the answer.
I've been to Don Jose one time and enjoyed it. I look forward to trying Maria Bonita's once they get some time under their sombreros.
This place has great food. If you're going to complain at least sign too your name.
I've seen a Conditional Satisfactory at a very clean, well respected and well patronized establishment in town. I would not hesitate to eat there nor does much of the town. As Greg said, sometimes it's a matter of not having the paperwork on hand.
Just ok. At best. Ordered the tacos and got three each of two small soft tortillas with some chicken and onions on them. Had to pay extra for guacamole. Waited 15 minutes for the check. Won't be going back.
flwrpwr, I've never worked in a restaurant, but I've seen plenty of Condntional Satisfactory ratings. It's all good.
Awesome food. Authentic food and margaritas. No watered down sugar margarita. Kick ass service too. Will be coming here often
That was my thought, maja. He was sitting at the bar, enjoying his 5th margarita, lol.
Had dinner at Maria Bonita, Saturday night July 8th,2017. Serve was extremely slow, drinks were overpriced. A bottle of Budweiser was $5. Food was just okay. Will not go back.
We've had dinner there a few times and absolutely loved the food and thought the service was fantastic! It's definitely not fast food but we weren't looking for that. Even got dessert - flaming bananas served over ice cream. Yummy!
"A bottle of Budweiser was $5"
If true, talk about setting your bar/restaurant business up for soon to be failure!!
had two gin and tonics two weeks ago.price was twenty dollars.come on two gin and tonics for 20 dollars.wont go back.
We had dinner here last night. We both enjoyed our meals and were served our food within 15-20 minutes. I'd say it's on par with Don Jose in Netcong.
Is this place open for lunch, or just dinner? I can't seem to find any hours anywhere. Their website has never been updated with any info. You can't even get a menu.
"It seems to vary. They put their hours on the board outside."
That's not very handy for someone who lives in Oxford. Guess I will have to call there the day of.
Was there about a month ago. They came to us right away for drinks and brought the chips. After that, all down hill! Waited forever for food and another drink. Service so slow. Asked for dessert and they gave us the check instead. Also made mistake on the bill that they did fix. Won't go back any time soon.
I can get very happy in an hour. But don't get me started.
Thanks for the pic Greg.
A couple of boilermakers and you can get happy in 10 minutes!
As my dad used to say... 'when there's a will there's a way'
Must be me as slow as I am; but I still don't know when they're open. Lunch only, and only on weekends? Just for happy hour 6-7 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday???
that's after looking at the picture; not sure someone driving by is going to be able to figure it out.
It's open every day except Monday for dinner and weekends for lunch. Not sure about happy hours as I don't tend to notice. We've eaten there about 4 times plus a few take out nights and loved it every time.
Went to Maria Bonita last night. It was wonderful from start to finish! Will definitely be going back. Nice to have a Mexican restaurant close by!
Been to a few Mex restaurants and we really like Juanito's on E. Broad Street in Washington. About 3 doors down from light on corner of Rt 57 and Broad. It is a little hole in the wall place but the food is great, plentiful and reasonably priced. It is BYOB, has take out, and a free public parking lot is just steps further down the block. Highly recommend.
Is there an online menu for Maria Bonita? I can't seem to find one.
I recommend calling these folks! LOL
908 - 269 - 8564- Maria Bonita Hackettstown.
I looked at the prices on the menu and they seem pretty high. I wouldnt pay those prices.
what happened at marias bonita last night.fire trucks,state troopers,people on streachers,road blocked
Have not been yet, the pics of the bar and interior look nice but the plates look rather book boring and small.
My fiancé and I were there last night she had two drinks a regular margarita and one mango margarita I have to say those drinks tested like straight alcohol not like drinking alcohol I meant real rubbin alcohol, soon as she got home she got really sick,this is not her that get sick with two drinks, I have to say they better watch what they put in there drinks
Good food. Horrible service. Staff has no idea what they are doing. Drinks too strong. Bartender young/inexperienced/did not understand English. Courses not coming out together. Wrong or no utensils. No plates for apps/desserts.
Really need to up their game. Won't be back for awhile if ever.
We love Maria Bonita! We were just there again Monday night. Margaritas are spot-on, food is amazing, and desserts are out of this world!!
We have never had an issue with service, but we always sit at the bar. And you won't find us there when the parking lot is jammed.
Monday we met and talked to the owner Rigo. His son Allen is usually behind the bar. Super friendly hard-working family. Wish them great success. And we will definitely be back!
Place is terrible - lousy service & food is not good nor authentic. I went once & will never return. For decent Mexican in this area, I go to Main Street Cafe.
Maria Bonita is delicious. I am patient and don’t mind waiting a few extra minutes for good food. I like to relax when I go out, so there is no hurry. Drinks are good, staff is friendly.
We go there sometimes. To us, the food is good. It isn't a place for a fast meal but that's fine since we know that beforehand. The bartender speaks decent English and he hasn't messed up our drinks yet. Geesh, i'm usually the one complaining about everything.
We ate there once and liked the food. The service was fine, not outstanding, but not bad at all.
Seems like experiences vary night and day. Was talking about this restaurant a couple days ago. Two people had great service while three of us had poor service (wait times of 45 minutes and 1.5 hours is not acceptable for basic meals). We all agreed the food was decent. Not spectacular but good.
Would try for a third time but prefer Don Jose or going to Dover when grabbing Mexican.
I should add that we like the food at Juanito's in Washington better. The only bonus to Maria Bonita was the bar. Juanito's is BYOB.
+1 for Jaunito’s and his Mom for running the place. Always good. Flank steak special is tasty.
Everytime I go to Allies Cafe I look at Juanito's and wonder if I should try it. Has any vegetarian out there tried it .... wondering if the veggie options are good.
Juanito's is good. I am always game to drive to a new Mexican joint if they are good. How are the chips and salsa at Maria Bonita?
Went to Maria Bonito last night with a big group for the first time. Everything was delicious! Great cocktails too!
Authentic Mexican. Very good, freshly prepared food.
We ate there for the first time last weekend. Good service. Good chips and salsa. I had enchiladas which were very good. My husband has the fajitas which he enjoyed. We will be going back.
Maybe Stranger Danger can come on this thread and tell us something about Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Well, if you would like to know some history of the bog across from Maria's, I can help with that ! Did you know there was the original school house just on the corner down from Maria's....Bet those metal detector folks want to know where that is. Or the 4 or 5 Mastodon's that were found on the Ayers Farm near Mastodon Pond near her restaurant, one of which is on display at Harvard. I think that may have been just across the street.
Be careful what you ask for :>)
Mastadon Pond is on the North side of 46. I've seen it shown on the old maps and it currently seems to have residences on the properties in front of the backroad that goes by it. There's also a note that "Many Mastodon Bones" found behind what is now M&M towards the RR tracks;-)
My buddy and I went to Maria Bonita's yesterday since we were checking out something in Great Meadows after work. We decided to eat at the bar and the bartender was awesome at both drink mixing (neither too strong nor too weak) as well as in taking and serving our orders, and frequently checking to make sure our experience and food was excellent, which it was. She also made sure not to ask us when our mouths were full of food, as they seem to do in far too many places! The salsa to go with the great chips wasn't watery, but nicely clingy and was slightly spicy. Once done with my meal, which I devoured rather ravenously, I noticed that I wasn't smacking my lips due to overly salted food as I sometimes do.
All in all, a great experience, service, food and price-wise. The decor was also great, as was the music which set the mood for an enjoyable time! I just felt badly that it took so long for us to check it out, but it's now definitely on our rotation of places to go!
By the way, just as a side note, I DID ask the bartender about the name and she verified that the owner "Rigoberto" named it after his wife. "Beautiful Maria". The story is a bit longer, but I won't go into it.
My wife and I went last night for the first time.
We both enjoyed it a lot, and plan on returning.
We also were both in agreement that the food was better than any of the other Mexican places we have been to (Sol in Branchburg, new place by Spruce run, place in Washington)....
Thanks Phil D for the exellently thorough review. I will be trying because of YOUR review. Good job.
love the home made chicken soup,the fresh grilled chicken tacos are the best around.its a warm and colorful place to eat.
The few times I've been there, the service wasnt the best..the food was pretty decent and guac was very good.
A friend and I went there recently and can't say enough about the place. Everything is made fresh "in house", even the chips put on the table. Our meals were amazing and the sangria was delicious and strong! I've done take out many times and it's just as good.
I only wish they had a few American choices like a burger for the gringo spouse!!
It's nice to finally have a good Mexican place right in town!
We were only there once. We enjoyed it. Will have to go again soon. We just don't get out that way too often anymore.
We ate there twice and really enjoyed the food and drinks. Too full for dessert both times. Place was clean and the service was good. win win win
Phil D thank you for the new review. Because of you, we decided to try this place tonight. Food was excellent, drinks (jalapeno margaritas) fantastic! Tamale's were light fluffy and filled with yummy shredded chicken. The guacamole was made to order, so good. Arroz con pollo great. Everything is freshly made, it does take some time to have dinner, so if you are looking for fast food this is not the place for you. Was not overly priced at all for the quality of food. Service was spot on... Thanks again!
I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as we did and I hope "Angela" does too. Obviously not everyone's taste will be the same as ours and we both don't even have the same taste either. He is German by birth, after all:-D
Just West of Hackettstown on Rt. 46, where the old "Bar 46" was, if I remember correctly.
Is that on the right going out of town. Has a parking lot in front and to the right of the building.
Klees's was small wasn't it? That is where all the motorcycle's hung out?
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