Dinner and a Wait

April 29th – May 5 is Vermont Restaurant Week! Restaurants all over the state offer lunch specials and prix-fixe dinner menus for $15, $25 or $35 per person. It’s a great opportunity to try new restaurants or restaurants that are normally in the (splurge/special occasion) bracket! To kick off restaurant week D and I decided to grab dinner at Miguel’s on Main, a small Mexican Restaurant & Cantina in Burlington.

When D and I arrived at Miguel’s it looked busy but we were seated promptly by the friendly (and fashionable) host who told us a server would be with us shortly. After 15 minutes of sitting at our table with no water and no waitress D called the host over. The host apologized, quickly brought us waters and promised to send our waitress right over. Five minutes later our waitress finally stopped by and with no mention of the wait we’d had asked if we wanted drinks. To be safe we gave her our entire order (drinks – dessert) and prayed that the first 20 minutes of service had just been a fluke.

More than a half hour after being seated our drinks and chips n’ salsa arrived.

The salsa was fresh and even though both D and I thought it could have used a bit more heat we enjoyed it all the same. D ordered a Corona and I decided to try their Ginger Fizz (brandy, ginger beer and lemon juice served over ice). It was delicious! Fizzy, sweet and perfectly strong (it helped take the edge off the service for sure).

D and I ordered off Miguel’s restaurant week menu To start I had the Ahi Tuna Ceviche with cucumber and chopped jalapeño. D opted for the Duck Confit Quesadilla, with dried cherries, green chiles and Monterey Jack.

Please note: at this point D was so hungry I didn’t dare ask him to wait while I photograph his quesadilla!

D’s quesadilla was excellent. The sweetness of the dried cherries worked well with the gameyness of the duck and the melted Monterey Jack cheese was a great finish. My ceviche was equally as tasty (though I was hoping for more of a bite from the  jalapenos) the tuna was fresh and the marinade was light enough that the flavors could really shine through. After how wonderful our starters were D and I hopped that the negative aspects of our visit to Miguel’s were behind us, but we had no such luck.

Thirty minutes after our starter plates had been cleared we were still without our main course. The couples sitting on either side of us both commented on how slow/poor their service had been so while we didn’t take it personally we were obviously frustrated. Ten more minutes of waiting brought the host over to our table, he graciously offered to buy us a round of drinks and apologized for the wait.

Almost two hours after we were seated our main courses arrived My Alambres ala Mexicana, skewers of beef tenderloin, sweet peppers and shrimp served with rice and salsa tomatillo.

The rice, veggies, salsa and wrap were good but the tenderloin was tough and the shrimp was dry. I ended up picking at it and then turned the rest over to D who picked a bit more.

D’s Pollo Santa Fe was very good. The chicken was stuffed with a moist and very flavorful honey-pecan cornbread. After we’d eaten D’s meal and picked at mine we were tempted to ask for the check but we figured that we should stick it out till dessert.

Miguel’s Maple Flan & Dessert Nachos Since D and I were splitting the desserts I got to photograph both!

Not surprisingly dessert was the best part of the meal (and not just because we go to leave afterward either). The flan had a perfect texture and rich maple flavor. The flan was surrounded by a light and sweet sauce that D (Mr. Maple) declared to be golden grade b maple syrup. It was wonderful. The dessert nachos came with chocolate covered tortilla chips (that still had a great salty crunch despite the chocolaty coating) and a fresh strawberry and mango salsa. The fruit salsa tasted fresh and came topped with shredded basil that provided a nice complimentary flavor.

Overall I left disappointed, the food was good but wasn’t worth the wait and the service (with the exception of the host) was ok at best. Would I recommend Miguel’s for dinner, no, but if you’re in the neighborhood and looking to kill some time stop in and try it for yourself.

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4 responses to “Dinner and a Wait

  1. Wow, sorry to hear your service was so terrible. That was not my experience when I went. I wonder if something was “off” that night? Love your food photos, btw.

    • Thanks Gray! I read a few different reviews of Miguel’s on yelp, restaurant.com and through Google and there seemed to be an even split between people who loved Miguel’s and people who ran into spotty service like I did. I agree with you that something must have been “off” the night we went, hopefully it was just a fluke. Glad to hear that you’ve had a positive experience at Miguel’s, did you go during restaurant week?

  2. Sounds like it was quite the ordeal 😦 I would like to get my hands on some of those chocolate-covered tortilla chips, though, yum!

  3. bummer! i just had similarly awful service at a restaurant in saratoga last weekend. it took more than 45 minutes for some sandwiches at a slow lunch hour!! two other tables were seated and finished before we’d even been served. slow service is the worst.

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