Five Course Meals Set Authentic Mexican Themed Eatery Apart
Jeff Walker, Restaurant Review
While several so-called Mexican restaurants throughout the low country claim to offer up real Mexican fare, most are serving a slightly watered-down version of Americanized Mexican food. Whether they are trying to appeal to the masses or scrimp on costs, often they do not serve entrees that reflect their true Mexican heritage. However, that is not the case with Raul Sanchez.
The Chicago native has been delighting discerning palates in greater Charleston for over a decade, starting with his original Raul’s Taqueria on Rivers nears Remount, before setting up camp in the Olde Village of North Charleston as Raul’s Maya del Sol. Prior to the pandemic and facing higher leasing rates, Sanchez shuttered his eatery, continuing to hone his skills downtown at R Kitchen, all the while maintaining he would find a suitable location for another authentic Mexican inspired restaurant.
Fast forward to January of 2021 and Sanchez recently celebrated the first full year of Maya del Sol Kitchen. Having built up a solid following over the past 10 years, it didn’t take discriminating tastes long to rediscover Sanchez’ newest locale. Situated at 1813 Suite B Reynolds Avenue just a stone’s throw off Spruill Avenue, his latest location preserves his authentic appeal while taking the dining experience to the next level.
Although Maya del Sol Kitchen is open for lunch three days a week and offers Sunday brunch (10-3pm), their main focus centers around reservation only, five course dinner seating’s Thursday through Saturday, often with two settings (6pm & 8pm) each night. His ‘Chef Table’ menu is decidedly Mexican with five different wine pairings; however, Sanchez does like to mix it up on occasion.
The one caveat is that folks taking part in the five-course meal have no idea of the advance menu except for the overall theme, only discovering what they will dine on after all have arrived. Perhaps an even bigger twist is that Sanchez along with Chef Tim often have no idea what they’re going to prepare until a few hours prior to dinner time. According to Sanchez, he revels in his creative flair, utilizing what he has left in the kitchen.
A surprise menu aside, due to his authenticity more often than not, Maya del Sol dinners are sold out ahead of time. Guests realize they’re not chowing down on the same old run of the mill quasi-Mexican food offered up in the plethora of Mexican themed restaurants that dot the greater Charleston landscape. Rather they are getting the real deal, unique Mexican dishes created with passion, dishes not found anywhere else in the low country.
Even though Maya del Sol is extremely welcoming, they offer a limited vegetarian menu upon request, and are unable to accommodate vegan or dietary restrictions with most of their dinner meals. Guests with allergic reactions to nuts or shellfish should make them aware when making reservations. Another of Maya del Sol’s artistry is their ability to make seasonal changes to the menu, using the freshest produce available.
Weekend patrons who like a little surprise may want to keep tabs on Maya del Sol Kitchen. Mexican fare may be Sanchez’ main course, but every now and then he’ll throw guests for a loop and host Italian or French night, among other worldly themes, and all with the same measure of originality. According to Sanchez, although he focuses on serving up quality dishes paired with exceptional wines, he likes to change it up, to sharpen his culinary skills.
Five dishes ideally paired with five servings of wine for a cool $60. Ample serving sizes, just enough to satisfy the palate without overindulging. It’s a dinner experience you won’t soon forget.
While his dinners are all the rage, fans don’t necessarily have to wait until weekends to enjoy Sanchez’ expertise behind the counter. Maya del Sol Kitchen is open for lunch three days a week (Wed-Fri) from 11:30 until 3pm, and on Sunday for brunch 10-3pm. On tap most days are his original made to order tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Enjoy four tacos with a drink for just $16.
Maya del Sol’s Mexican ribs and drink are $15, or maybe enjoy his home-made guacamole & chips for a cool $8. Expect to be blown away and expect a unique taste sensation that you’re not accustomed to. As I indicated earlier, Maya del Sol checks the American versions at the door, and delights in only serving up true blue Mexican style food at lunch and for a majority of their five course meals.
You’ll find Chef Raul and Chef Tim at Maya del Sol Kitchen on Wednesday thru Friday serving up lunch 11-3p.m, offering Sunday brunch 10-3p.m, and entertaining guests at their chef’s table 6pm and 8pm Thursday thru Saturday nights. Their physical location is 1813 Reynolds Ave. Suite B, in North Charleston. Eat and repeat!
For more on Maya del Sol Kitchen visit their website at https://raulsmayadelsol.com/
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