813 East Market Street Louisville, KY 40206
Mayan Cafe has been on my list of go-to restaurants for quite awhile now so I was very happy when I finally went a couple weeks ago to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Even though it’s crossed off my list, I definitely plan on returning! I tried to go a month or two ago on a Saturday night for a late dinner but was quickly turned down when we didn’t have a reservation and were told we would have to wait 1.5 hours (9:30 pm)- no, thank you! So make reservations guys!
We started with drinks and the sikil-pak. Glasses of wine and cocktails range in cost $7-13 and beer $4-6, so you can definitely drink reasonably if you choose. Nonalcoholic beverages include unique options such as hibiscus-lime tea and the Mayan mocha. The sikil-pak is a pumpkin seed dip with roasted tomatos and cilantro that come with chips to dip. I thought $8 was very reasonable for the portion size and quality of this unique dish. I was very tempted to order the pumpkin soup and autumn salad which are on the October’s specials menu but decided one pumpkin item was enough for my meal.
For my entree, I ordered the Cochinita Pibil for $20. This slow roasted pork dish was complemented well in a achiote sauce with pickled onions and tok-sel lima beans. The meat was so tender it easy pulled apart with my fork so I could get a little of everything in each bite, including pickled red onion and beets. The pork had a little kick, but my wimpy taste buds enjoyed it just fine. It also came with brazo de reina, which is a Yucatec tamale with tok sel lima beans and queso fresco. I like to have leftovers if I’m paying $20 for my meal or be extremely stuffed that I go into a food coma upon arriving home. Well, I tried to have some self restraint and saved a little for lunch the next day but was still comfortably full after my dinner.
My friends got the chicken and salmon, of which they were both a fan! The grilled chicken has a delicious, flavorful chocolate mole sauce, which I’ll have to try next time because I loved getting this entree when I was in Merida (the capital of Yucatan in Mexico) three years ago. She ordered a side of Tok-sel lima beans and it came with a side of what we think is fried zucchini. The salmon was cooked perfectly medium and fork tender, and it came with a delicious potato and corn cake. I really think you can’t go wrong at Mayan Cafe!
Service was great; we never saw a water glass half empty (or half full, if we’re being positive) and our server was friendly. He was courteous in providing recommendations when we asked and answering questions about the menu. The sitting area was rather small, with a few tables out front. I don’t think there was more seating in the back or upstairs. It had the atmosphere that was nice but could be dressed up or dressed down which I appreciated. Also it was a little loud, so don’t take your hard of hearing family member (cough, my dad, cough) Sorry, Dad.
Mayan Cafe is open Monday-Friday 11:30-2:30 for lunch and Monday-Thursday 5-10 pm and Saturday-Sunday 5-10:30 pm for dinner. They are closed on Sunday. Check out their website for daily and monthly specials, lunch, and dinner menus. Lunch has similar entrees but definitely more affordable prices.