Baja Miguel’s – Las Vegas, NV

Baja Miguel’s
@ South Point Hotel and Casino
9777 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 796 7111

Baja Miguel's on Urbanspoon

Earlier in some other posts, I alluded to the fact that I was not in an overly hungry mood during my recent trip to Las Vegas, often sticking with just one big meal and a snack to carry me through the entire day. On one of those days, my main was a shocking one, especially when it came to volume. I often have to remind myself when going to the States, how large portions can be and to remember to downsize any order whenever possible (e.g. large to a medium for instance in the case of a soft drink).

Baja Miguel’s is located on the second floor inside the South Point Hotel and Casino. As I knew nothing about the building, I thought I’d take a chance and do a walk through to see if there was anything special about it, as I kind of felt sorry for it being located so far south of the main action on The Strip. As a result, I can confidently report there was nothing significant about the casino floor, and clearly no special attractions that would interest those non-gambling visitors either.

The customers that were inside the restaurant seemed to be a different group from what you’d find in the core of the city’s gambling area. A lot more roughly dressed, older (eg. over 40’s), and clearly tourists from mainly other American states, and with looks on their faces that they were here to grab a quick bite before heading back to the main floor gaming areas. At this point, as we were getting shown to our booth seats, I figured it was too late and frankly I was not that overly energetic to do a 180 degree turn and go find something else in the city. Decor-wise, it reminded me of a late ’80s chain restaurant that could use a serious renovation, though it was quite spacious and well lit.

I suppose one nice immediate touch was the delivery of a big basket of tortilla chips that were accompanied by a trio of dips (guacamole, another liquid-y bean sauce, and salsa). I think for the Latino man who brought it out to our table, this was his primary task, as I saw him make the same drop off at other tables when customers arrived, but never any of their food orders. Our server was a pleasant middle-aged woman with a rich Southern accent, I’m guessing she was from nearby Texas. Our glasses of water (with lemon wedges) and other drinks were asked for and brought out promptly by her as we started into the menu.

Scanning the large lunch menu booklet, it was divided up into sections labeled Botanas (Appetizers), Sopas Y Ensaladas (Soups and Salads), Platos Combinados (Combination Platters), Burritos, and what they called Traditional Favorites. Nothing really stood out for me, so I went with what they dubbed a Burrito El Patron, which included the choice of either chicken or charbroiled steak, added with jack and cheddar cheeses, rice, beans and sour cream and rolled in a flour tortilla.

When it came to the table, I was in awe at how big it was, covering the width of the entire plate and as thick as a generously stuffed sub sandwich. As I selected the steak, I was pleased to find they were generous with it, and the nice smoky, charcoal scent coming from them was nice as I was fearful of something just seared on a hot plate in the kitchen. The cheese that smothered the burrito was also not light handed, and I was happy that the tortilla was plenty soft and not stale nor brittle from being heated up too long. The overall flavor though I felt was weak, just not bold enough in the seasoning of the meat and the sauce was just as bland.

My dining companion went with a much more simpler plate in the Chicken Quesadillas, grilled with cheddar cheese, and served with sides of sour cream, guacamole and salsa. I had a few bites of it, and while the tortilla was again very nice, the chicken was quite stringy and when eaten alone, you could tell it was not really seasoned. Now to me, there is nothing worse than flavorless chicken meat, even if it is wrapped in a good tortilla and they expect you to eat it with the supplied sides to give the added flavor. Lastly, I did appreciate they did not overly compress it in a hot press as you find in a lot of bad North American chain Tex-Mex places, and it becomes the thickness of a centimeter.

It was not until we started eating, that we noticed a small card inside one of those clear plastic table stands, that showed there was a daily lunch special for just under $9. In hindsight, I had wished our server had mentioned this, as quantity-wise (soup plus choice of two entrees among an enchilada, flauta, taco or chili relleno), I think this would have been a much more palatable option.

To conclude my thoughts on Baja Miguel’s, I would say that it was not horrible, but just an average place in the true sense of the world. Clean, decent service and attitude, and plentiful servings but not overwhelming tasty. A step back from the down-home, but more glamorous restaurants in the more well known casino hotels. Basically, a first visit will be your last, unless you are actively seeking mediocre…

Baja Miguel's on Urbanspoon

8 thoughts on “Baja Miguel’s – Las Vegas, NV

  1. Hey shokutsu,

    While reading your post, I thought “OK, it sounds like it won’t be a bad place”. That was until the very last word. Based on the overall description, it sounded at least average (or a coin flip). Could it be the conclusion is based on comparison to other restaurants in the Strip? How would that place compare if it was in, say, Downtown Vancouver/Calgary (not that I have been there)?

    I apologize if it sounds like criticism of the post (that’s not my intent); rather, want to have an insight of how we make an assessment of places we visit (work reasons, holidays, et al) and compare it to local places.

  2. I just love the amount of Mex style dine out options down south. If only we had half of the latin options up here…

    Having never visited LV, not much of a gambler, I’m hoping when I do go to have a solid base of restaurants to eat at.

    I’d be interested to hear the goods H.Peter as well.

  3. > KimHo
    The assessment of “average” all around was based on my own experiences for this cuisine over the course of my lifetime, in all the cities I’ve been.

    > H.Peter
    Noted. I did have a decent list prepared, its just that we never got around to them as our days were pretty busy, and for most of the trip we were never really that hungry.

    > raidar
    Sure there are a lot more options in the southwest States, and I am sure there are some true gems. One in particular was given to me by the Foodosopher, but I never got to it on this visit. LVS does have its fair share of widely praised restaurants, as well as those smaller lesser known standouts as well.

    I’d ask if anyone has any recommendations, to populate this comment thread to help the others…

  4. As you said, food options in Vegas are endless. High brow to low brow, it’s all there.
    Living in Vegas gives you the added benefit of being able to explore all the off Strip gems as well as spending your expense account $$ in the pricier establishements we all read about.

    As for a good Mexican experience you should venture north of downtown, way past the neon lights. Thanks to the very busy Latino population who keeps Las Vegas humming, you will be able to eat like in Puebla, atmosphere included. From fresh Tacos in a super market to live music Cantinas, that’s where you find it.

    It’s just that hardly anyone visiting for 3 or 4 days has the time or desire to venture past the glitz and glam along the strip.

  5. > H.Peter

    So true, living in a city rather than visiting has its advantages, least of all having the time, but also the knowledge (e.g. reliable word of mouth). Repeat visits as a tourist though can help bridge the gap.

  6. Wow, eating like in Puebla. That perked my ears and taste buds up. With a possibility of delicious moles and tacos al pastor..who needs the strip; I know where I’m going! I will definitely hit you up for some more info if I head down this year H.Peter.

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