I hadn't had a chance to step foot into Silo Point—the grain-elevator-turned-condo-complex in Locust Point—which had its grand opening reception back in October 2008. I had seen the 24-story building, which is hard to miss as it rises high above the Formstone rowhouses of the blue collar neighborhood. But I wanted to check out Miguel's Cocina y Cantina, the complex's new Mexican restaurant that opened a couple of months ago.
Though the restaurant was a little hard to find (try using the GPS address on the website), the space was beautiful once we got there. With a definitive Día de los Muertos theme, the restaurant felt less like cheesy Tex-Mex and more authentic. This makes sense, considering the restaurant's chef and owner is Michael Marx of Blue Agave and Rub fame.
Like most Mexican restaurants, Miguel's has an extensive margarita menu. I tried the margarita sampler, which included four 2.5-oz glasses of the bar's frozen margaritas. The mango was waaay too tart for my taste—even getting through a couple ounces was difficult. The pomegranate had a better balance, though it was a little on the sweet side. The Jamaica had a welcomed subtlety and a really refreshing fruit flavor. De La Casa (the house margarita) was your standard salty, acidic mix of flavors.
Additionally, Miguel's had six beers on tap, some pretty random (Blue Moon, Coors Light) and others that made perfect sense (Dos Equis Amber, Dos Equis Lager, Miguel's Aztec Gold, and Chigonga IPA). I had never tried Chigonga, which was a full-bodied, hoppy brew, different from most Mexican beer I'm used to. My favorite cocktail of the night was the prickly pear, a margarita with Hornitos Plata tequila, Citronge liquer, prickly pear juice, and Miguel’s mix. Who would have thought that fruit from a cactus could be so delicious?
My one complaint about Miguel's is that the bar area is extremely narrow. If you're hanging out with a large crowd, it's difficult for everyone to stand comfortably. Some of the margarita prices are a bit steep ($7.50 for the prickly pear), but most drinks are pretty standard for a nicer restaurant ($4.50 for a Dos Equis draft). Overall, people will appreciate Miguel's for its vibrant atmosphere, authentic food and drink options, and the chance to try something new.
[Image: courtesy of Miguel Cocina y Cantina]