Finally Some Good Mexican Food in Tampa

Before moving to California in my 20s, I had never eaten Mexican food. I grew up in Maine. The closest thing we had was Taco Bell.

But after 5 years of enjoying burritos, fajitas and homemade chips and salsa at great taco trucks and little hidden dive restaurants all over Northern California, I was hooked. When I moved back to the east coast, it was clear I was also spoiled. There’s just not a lot of great Mexican food here in Tampa Bay… but this week, I did find one spot that even rivals the best I’ve had on the west coast.

Miguel’s Mexican Cafe, 3035 West Kennedy Boulevard, is going to be putting on some of the pounds I misplaced (lost sounds permanent) over the past year.

The place is a bit upscale compared to those dives I used to frequent back in California. And the prices are a bit higher than you might find elsewhere, but spend the extra couple bucks. It’s worth it.

As soon as you sit down, you’re greeted with warm chips and a great authentic salsa. Good luck not filling up on them. They’re too good to eat just one… or 10… or 20.

Their fajitas combination plate called “Alambres” was amazing. It’s $15 but you won’t leave hungry. Your plate will be filled with chicken, beef, peppers, onions, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and melted cheese. The rice is just ok. The flour shells are warm and good.

The service was solid and much needed drink refills came quickly.

As I mentioned at the top, my dinner was so good, I went back the next day for lunch with a buddy of mine I told about the place. I went with the “India” this time. It’s a fried flour tortilla shell with refried beans, melted cheese, beef or chicken, sour cream, guacamole. I wasn’t blown away. But then again, I’d only left the restaurant 14 hours ago. The dish only will set you back $8 and I still left full.

I can’t believe it took 2 years of living in Tampa to try this place! If you’ve got a great Mexican spot that you think can give Miguel’s a run for the money, leave it in the comments area below.

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