On a recent excursion in Watkins Glen State Park, we emerged from the gorge famished. I had read another review suggesting that one will find many Watkins Glen local citizens at Maria's Tavern for some of the best food in town.
We agree. Excellent, perfectly prepared and fully-topped burgers fit for folks with appetites. The steak fries my husband and I ordered as a side hung on to the sides of the plate for fear of toppling off, making room for the large burger on the locally made (soft and delicious) bun.
Anyone considering him/herself a lover of the American burger may well adore this small space serving burgers called Maria's. The atmosphere tells you "small bar", and the food says "small bar that knows how to serve quality food".
Patrons will find seating extremely limited, with the front room allowing approximately 10 at standard tables. Four high-tops will fit 2-3 more people along the side wall of the bar area, and the bar seats (guessing) a dozen. Get in, enjoy, get out -- people came and went in this establishment throughout our visit, so yes, a busy place.
When you taste the food, you'll understand.
We found the staff ultimately pleasant and the barmaid/server especially so. This young lady does her job well and enjoys it. One of the cooks brought orders to the bar and occasionally helped out in delivering platters to tables. Nice guy, too.
The Maria's menu offers about a dozen finger foods, from fried cheese sticks to jalapeño poppers, prices averaging about $6. The burgers weigh down the menu as the largest offering, from plain to fully-topped.
You will leave Maria's blessed by good food. It's not a family spot, in my opinion, as I found some people do not seem to have respect for others when offering their personal vocal emissions. I know this happens, but exposing young ears and eyes to that kind of behavior doesn't make sense to me. Pick and choose … or order take-out!
Great food. Worth a stop.
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