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Fonda San Miguel

March 10, 2012

Fonda refers to a Spanish boardinghouse or inn. Our waiter described a fonda as an establishment that provides  both lodging and dining, which reminds me of the American Bed & Breakfast concept.

Although you cannot drink yourself dizzy with margaritas and crash on site, Fonda San Miguel does make you feel warm, jubilant, and right at home.

Atmosphere:  Restaurants with excellent atmosphere transport you from status quo to an elevated sense of being.  Many restaurants play on the the zen theme, creating a simple and tranquil environment.  Some create a rustic elegance with a menu that subtlety narrates the farm to plate story. Fonda falls into an entirely different category by transporting you to a exuberant family reunion in some distant land (Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore). The vibrant exterior makes me feel alive.  Guests are seated at individual tables, but something makes me feel a sense of community. Maybe it’s the restaurant’s traditional design or maybe it’s the sense of laughter and warmth traveling from table to table–whatever it is, I like it.

Food: We had chicken mole and an ancho relleno.  I don’t get to eat mole very often, so when I do, it’s always a special treat.  Fonda delivered me a plate of rich, flavorful mole over tender chicken that did not disappoint.  I could eat that sauce like soup.  So good.

Service: Excellent.  I enjoyed our waiter.  He was attentive and conversational when we asked him questions. Our food came out in just the right amount of time and our glasses were never empty.

Price: Expensive, but worth it.  This is a great place to celebrate special occasions–date nights, anniversaries, birthdays, guests visiting from out of town, etc.

Will I go back?:  Yes!

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