Yummy and satisfying.
Funny - I can't say it was the best Mexican food I ever had, yet I really really enjoyed it. Alviso doesn't have much to offer, so my expectations were pretty low, and I was just hoping for a place that wouldn't upset a sensitive stomach.
But I loved Maria Elena's - the atmosphere is warm and inviting, the menu is intriguing (vegetarian dishes that actually feature vegetables, not just meatless dishes), the service friendly and patient. The salsa was good, but it wasn't so great that I spooned it straight into my mouth like my friend did; the chips were great, so thick and "corn"y that you could tell they were handmade.
I was deeply surprised and endlessly pleased that my burrito especial was topped with a dusting of cinnamon. It added a terrific zest that made of for the dry rice.
Their liquor license is back on, and the margaritas looked very tempting.