If a foodie is someone with a relentless love for cuisine, what do you call someone with a passion for good beverages? Whatever the term, Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar provokes thirstiness in everyone who walks into this seemingly nondescript spot.
With over 475 beers and a selection of seasonal cocktails on tap – that’s right, on tap – it’s no surprise that the front of the house at Maria’s doubles as a liquor store. Upon entry, you’re greeted by symmetrical shelves lined with an assortment of neon-colored bottles of booze and beer.
Walk past the brigade of beverages and enter into a dark, pub-like room. The bar sits to the right and is illuminated by two rustic chandeliers crafted with clusters of old wine bottles. Two guys in t-shirts stand behind the bar waiting to take patrons’ orders before customers find their table of choice.
Looking for the best spot to sit? Go for one of the communal wooden tables on the back patio. With a vine-covered brick wall and low-hanging strands of light bulbs, the patio offers a homey spot to sip your brew. Maria’s rotates its 18 beers on tap, so make sure to ask what’s on the list.
If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail for a warm evening – go for the G.T.L., a take on the classic gin and tonic, jazzed up with a little lemongrass. Fancy an Old Fashioned? Try the NOLA – a stout rye drink partnered with Creole bitters and lemon.
One of my personal favorites – the Rosemary Fizz – tastes like lemon gelato in a glass. What’s not to love?
Or, you could go for one of Maria’s most popular drinks: The Repollo Corral. Although the bright green hue might be off-putting, the spicy rim around the glass will zing your taste buds. This drink mixes tequila with cilantro, jalapeño and pineapple to hit your spicy, sweet and savory all in one glass.
Crowds fill this watering hole on the weekends, but each night has its own special, so try stopping by one night after work. I recommend Mondays, when a special catered BBQ starts at 5:30 and is served until it’s all out. Plus, their top 13 beers and all whiskeys are $1 off.
Either way, you won’t leave Maria’s thirsty!