Rejoice, Parsippany/Lake Hiwatha citizens! With the grand opening of Maddy's Mexican Grill, at 52 B North Beverwyck Road in Lake Hiawatha, REAL Mexican cuisine has arrived.
Americans have this belief that Mexican food is supposed to be covered in tons of melted cheddar cheese and jalapenos. Guess what? Go to Mexico and you will discover that you have been completely misled. True Mexican cooking is leaps and bounds different that what you are used to getting at the Chili's and Applebee's of the world.
I spent most of my formative years on the California/Mexico border. I was one of two "gringos" on my high school soccer team. Every other player was from Mexico. (this was 1978, so soccer was still a burgeoning sport in the suburbs). So, I spent many amazing hours in my friends' mothers' kitchens devouring and falling in love with all things Mexican. Especially, the food. In fact, I still love traveling to Mexcio just to experience the country and its people and dishes.
So, with the Mother's Day grand opening of Maddy's Mexican Grill, located in the former Francesco's, I was beyond tickled to discover a truly amazing new restaurant that serves food such as this. Not only is it family owned and run, if you're lucky you might get to meet the incredibly precocious 4-year-old Madeline, who the restaurant is named after. How good was my meal at Maddy's? I went back again last night alone for dinner. As I said: I take Mexican food very seriously.
With Mexican food, you know the first impression is made immediately with how good the chips and salsa taste. No problema acqui! Freshly made hot tortilla chips, that you know did not come out of a bag, and real homemade salsa. Plus, they have a creamy jalapeno dip/spread that is both hot and cooling all at once. For starters, try the delicious molletes. A soft roll is slathered with refried beans, chorizo sausage, manchego cheese and pico de gallo. The crunchy richness of the chorizo mixes with the creamy beans on a soft roll that makes for an explosion of tastes and textures when you take a bite.
I, personally, judge a Mexican restaurant on the quality of their mole sauce. For those of you that have never had mole, do yourself a favor and have it at Maddy's. Mole is a deeply flavored sauce made up of about 30 different ingredients, the primary one being dark Mexican chocolate. Normally served over chicken, I find it to be incredible on everything. (In fact, the first night, my wife took away my plate and handed it to the waiter before I could start licking it!). My wife enjoyed their Mojarra Frita, a whole fried tilapia served over salad. I am not a big fish eater, but between the crispy fried skin and the tender white meat within, you could taste the freshness of the fish.
My second night, I treated myself to another favorite of mine, tamales. The tamales at Maddy's, made by hand by Madeline's grandmother, Marisol, are to die for. Normally, tamales made with a dense corn masa tend to be very heavy and filling. I found Marisol's to be light but still have a the solid complexity you want in a tamale. I also enjoyed their sopes. Homemade tortillas slathered with sour cream, manchego, beans and chicken or steak. I tried the steak and it was amazing.
Maddy's does 10 different types of tacos. You heard me: 10. Everything from chicken and steak, to such true Mexican favorites as al pastor (pork), lengua (beef tongue) and cecina (beef jerky). As an added plus, Maddy's has kept the old pizza ovens working, and you can get your pie with any of those selections, as well.
Open seven days a week, Maddy's is open until 10 during the week Sunday through Thursday and until 11 on Friday and Saturday. Delivery? No problem; they do. And bring your wine and cerveza and sit and enjoy the comfortable homey atmosphere that makes Maddy's Mexican Grill a welcome addition to our area.