Mary Ann’s, like most mini-chain restaurants, is consistently just fine. Pumping out tacos and burritos by the truckload, there is very little concern for experimentation, new menu items or improvement. You know what you’re going to get every time you come here, assuming, of course, that the cook hasn’t just broken up with his baby-momma or had a tough day at the track. That can lead to the occasional scorched plate of nachos or soggy-bottomed taco loco, or whatever. Otherwise, you’re in for reasonably enjoyable Mexican food that is more authentic than Chevy’s, Burritoville or Taco Bell, but still has that conceived-in-a-mass-test-kitchen flavor compared to a hole-in-the-wall joint like Tovar’s. The atmosphere is what makes this place fun, as you and the other patrons share the small, loud space in a veritable tequila haze. It’s always a party here, and there’s always a line to join in. The bar is about the size of a small skateboard deck and the servers seem on the verge of homicidal rage, but if you can get in for a taco/enchilada/tamale plate and a couple margaritas before heading out to drink your face off in the East Village, you could certainly do worse. [MF]
86 2nd Ave.