Formerly a Macaroni Grill, Plaza Azteca serves surprisingly tasty and affordable Mexican fare that’s worth a special trip to Plymouth Meeting—even if it is a chain. The food is consistent, well prepared and not quite as Americanized as what you find elsewhere. There’s also a premium selection of 60-plus tequilas.
The camarones gratinados appetizer—grilled, chopped jumbo shrimp with onions and melted Mexican cheese—is positively addicting. Sweet and succulent, the shrimp had a great snap. Add sides of flour tortillas and fiery salsa verde to make a meal. Not as great were the guacamole salad’s tangle of shredded iceberg and a slightly over-processed mountain of guacamole.
The tortilla soup was robust and full of moist, tender chicken and other goodies—all in a garlicky cilantro- and chili-rich broth. Also notable are the chile rellenos and the mega-size fajitas—always enough to take home. The 8-ounce rib-eye steak Michoacano is a good deal at under $13, but the one we tried was a little tough. (The beef in the fajitas was more tender.)
Plaza Azteca’s massive menu is a little overwhelming, so it’s easy to succumb to ordering the usual. The crowd is mixed depending on when you go, but once you get one of those tasty margaritas circulating through your bloodstream, you’ll be able to tolerate a noisy kid here and there.
Just beware of the 22-ounce monsters, which take “relaxed” to a whole new level.
351 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting; (610) 940-3906, plazaazteca.com.