Mavericks Cantina – Johns Creek

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Let me warn you before we get too much into this new restaurant. They play Beach Boys music. It’s played quite often at Mavericks. I counted four of their songs over the course of my last lunch there. If their groovy 50′s tunes set you off then stay away. They have a tendency to linger in my head for unwanted periods of time. If you’re willing to suffer through it you’ll find Mavericks to be a promising new restaurant worth trying.

Mavricks logoNew Mexican restaurants abound these days. It’s a tough job trying to stay ahead of them. I get around, yeah I get around round round from town to town… trying these joints. We try them all, trudging through menu after menu of Speedy Gonzalez.

Yet two have stood out to me this summer, Mavericks and Costa Vida up the road a bit. Both are concepts going for a southern California surfer theme and featuring a Mexican cantina feel. Mavericks of course is the first to open and the only of the two that isn’t a franchise… yet. Success might change that.

The first thing that hit me here was smoke. Yes, smoke. We smelled it in the parking lot walking in. Is there a barbeque joint nearby? Nope. It’s a wood-fired grill in the Mavericks kitchen. So before we event set foot inside, I was pickin’ up good vibrations. This smoke was givin’ me excitations.

The wood-fired grill lead me right to Maverick’s grouper tacos. I’ll try any fish taco that isn’t made with tilapia. The thought of a smokey fish that was wild-caught left no doubt in my mind as to what I’d order. Like I’d later find with their other tacos, these guys know how to layer flavors. From a buttermilk dressing to mangos, pickled radishes and cilantro, there’s a lot of flavor and texture going on in this tortilla. If there was any ding to be made it was that any delicate flavor in the smokey fish was overpowered. Nevertheless these were delicious tacos. They’ll make you want to wear your baggies and your┬áHuarache sandals too.

I wish Mavericks would let you mix and match tacos on the menu. Your best bet is to go with a group of friends and each order something different for sharing. That’s exactly what we did on our second visit. We hit the steak tacos first. The smokey meat came through this time, but these tacos were among the least favorite at the table.

Surprisingly delicious was the fried chicken taco. This had great texture and a bit of spice that was tempered with an Alabama style white barbeque sauce. They had me rockin’ and a rollin’, rockin’ and a-reelin’.

The beer braised brisket tacos are also not a bad choice. A salsa verde sits on top and a lime cream pulls it all together. If fish and chicken are not your thing then make a beeline for the brisket on your first visit.

The menu at Mavericks is still pretty limited at this time so a return visit might be in order once these guys get going. Prices are a tad steep compared to the competition. They’re similar to what you might pay at Pure but are not quite there food-wise.

But Mavericks has a lot of potential and some talent in the kitchen. Hopefully daddy doesn’t take this T-bird away.

Mavericks Cantina is located at 11030 Medlock Bridge Road, Suite 160 in the Johns Creek Walk development.

2 Responses to “Mavericks Cantina – Johns Creek”

  1. JP October 3, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    Nicely done, Lee!

  2. B October 5, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

    I have been there and also really enjoyed the chicken tacos – great flavor! I actually preferred the steak tacos to the brisket. Don’t really care much for the BBQ like taste in my mexican food. Will be back to this place for sure.

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