Mexican Food restaurants to remind students of summer

Devon Braunstein ('10)/Eastside Community Editor

It takes two and a half hours to travel by plane over the two thousand mile stretch across the border and into Mexico.  Its hard returning to hours of homework a night after vacationing in tropical paradises all summer, or even after just relaxing in the warm, summer weather. But why spend tons of money and time traveling, when two great Mexican restaurants can be found right here in the Cherry Hill area?

San Miguel Mexican Cuisine, located in the Showcase at the Ritz shopping center, just opened last April, replacing M.O., a restaurant owned by the same family as San Miguel.  The bright colored walls, soothing burning candles and hand painted chairs, all imported from Mexico, bring an original Mexican touch to San Miguel.  The owners of San Miguel take care to details of their restaurant, such as the intricate woodcarvings on various chairs.

“We try to make it feel like Mexico,” said Jennifer Clark, a partial owner of San Miguel.

The Mexican cuisine offers not only traditional Mexican food, such as their “Build Your Own Tacho” dish, but also a modern style of Mexican food, such as different fish dishes, burgers, and crab cakes.  The varied menu serves as an aid to ease leery customers into the true Mexican style of cooking.  Besides the original menu choices that San Miguel offers, there are a few other aspects of the restaurant that help it stand out from other Mexican restaurants in the area.  One of San Miguel’s signature dishes, called Molcajetes, arrives at the guest’s table steaming in a bowl constructed out of hot lava rock. 

“We stand out by providing a large variety of foods,” said Clarke.  “If a customer doesn’t normally eat Mexican food, they’ll most likely find something they like.”

Instead of treating his or her selves to an upscale, sit-down dinner at San Miguel Mexican Cuisine, other Cherry Hill residents might prefer a quick, take out Mexican meal at a fast food, chain restaurant such as Baja Fresh.  Although it goes by the title of “fast food,” Baja Fresh exceeds the standards of any normal fast food joint.

Baja Fresh, the Top Mexican Chain in America for 2007 by the Consumers Choice in Chains, serves traditional Mexican favorites, including quesadillas, fajitas, and chicken taquitos.  Similar to San Miguel’s “Build Your Own Tacho,” at Baja Fresh, customers have the option to customize their own fresh, grilled burrito with the various choices offered at the salsa bar.

Besides fresh food, Baja Fresh offers fast and efficient service.  For example, now, ordering online is available at all Baja Fresh Restaurants.  Whether taking out or sitting down, the short time customers spend waiting for their food is occupied by appreciating the upbeat, rhythmic Mexican music playing in the background of Baja Fresh.

“In a processed, pre-heated world, we’re here with fresh mouth-watering Mexican favorites done right,” says the official Baja Fresh website.

Although Mexico may be over two thousand miles away, East students can easily escape into a Mexican paradise by visiting San Miguel or Baja Fresh and taking a bite.  If its traditional Mexican food, a modern cuisine, or even a quick bite to eat that students are looking for, why travel all the way to Mexico when the Cherry Hill area has plenty of unique Mexican restaurants?