Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tex-Mex And Margaritas

After Consuelo's Mexican Restaurant on Neptune closed many moons ago, we were left wondering where to go for some good Tex-Mex grub and killer margaritas. Someone at work (yes, I used to do some of that) suggested Miguel's on Kennedy. We went, and never returned.

As I recall, the food wasn't too bad, but the margaritas were a horrid disappointment. They contained nada tequila, just some wine based pretender. Conyo! Miguel's, we discovered had no liquor license, so this winey margarita was the best they could do.

Well, mis amigos, times have changed. Miguel's is now Miguel's Mexican Seafood and Grill and they have expanded their digs and now have a liquor license and they are serving real margaritas. Maravilloso! What a dandy way to end the week, high test margaritas and big plates of gut-busting Mexican food. Truth be told though, the cuisine at Miguel's is hardly Mexican. It is more closely related to Tex-Mex. That's not a bad thing, just a distinction worth noting.

The Belle of Ballast Point and I wandered in to Miguel's a bit before six and were promptly seated in the mostly empty dining room across from the bar.

We arrived at a good time because by 6:30 the dining room began filling fast. There is outdoor seating, but with the afternoon monsoons blowing through, it made more sense to dine indoors.

Troy was our server for the evening and along with the menus we were presented with a basket of chips and tasty, tongue-tingling dip. The chips and dip were soon followed by couple of house margaritas.

Miguel's has a large selection of tequilas, from low end to high, and Troy suggested that we could upgrade our margaritas with a high end tequila. To me, that makes no sense. A top quality tequila is meant to be sipped straight like a fine Cognac, not buggered up with other ingredients, so we stayed with the house tequila.

The house margarita tasted a bit bland, so on our next round I requested Joe Crow Gold, or what is usually called Jose Cuervo Gold. These margaritas were better, but still not Consuelo's good. Turns out the bartender was pouring Cuervo Silver, not Gold.

We had better luck with the food, at least we got what we ordered. My bride requested the Beef Enchiladas with a side of Chili Con Carne and some sour cream.

The enchiladas came with the ubiquitous refried beans and yellow rice. The beans had a nice bite and the rice was laced with corn. Both were good, as was the chili and the enchiladas. The Belle said the enchiladas were on a par with my quick and easy home recipe using Wolf's brand chili and beans. That was probably a compliment to my cooking abilities, not so much for Miguel's. Oh, well.

I was surprised to see Kobe beef on the menu, and after a few minutes of indecision I decided on the dazzlingly delicious Carne a la Cazuela.

The beef was melt-in-the-mouth tender and was simmered with chunks of potatoes in a creamy enchilada sauce. Of course, there were refried beans and yellow rice in addition to a couple of hand made corn tortillas.

Dinner and drinks for the two of us came to a reasonable $87 and included a 20% gratuity for Troy.

Our Tex-Mex experience at Miguel's was pleasant and we certainly weren't still hungry when we left. The one thing that we are still pondering is the name of the place, Miguel's Mexican Seafood and Grill. Yes, there is seafood on the menu, but that almost seemed like an afterthought to the chicken, beef, and pork offerings.

That's not a biggie - just stuff I wonder about.

Miguel's Mexican Seafood & Grill on Urbanspoon Miguel's Mexican Cafe on Foodio54


  1. Jon, I salute your good sense regarding the "ethics", if you will, of sensible tequila drinking. A so called "top shelf" tequila is only adulterated by mixing it with cheap Triple Sec and cheaper lemon juice. Only your wallet will truly know the difference. We the People :-) deserve better. Best wishes, my friend.

    1. Bill, it surprises me not in the least that you would be a fellow connoisseur of fine tequila, and ethical tequila drinking.

      I still hope that one day we can raise our glasses together and celebrate the good life.

      Great to hear from you, my friend.

    2. Amen to that! " 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished." [I read that somewhere. :-)]