Margaritaville


Flamingo (last visit: May 2008).
Casual American.


Part of a chain that started in Key West, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is just part of the commercial web of Margaritaville products. In addition to restaurants, there are stores, tequila, frozen drink makers, and food products. How about some Margaritaville® Jammin' Jerk Shrimp? And soon, you'll be able to gamble at the Margaritaville Casino and Resort.



The Menu
It's pretty much what you'd expect: hamburgers, fajitas, sandwiches, a few dishes with a passing nod to the Caribbean (jerk salmon; Calypso mahi-mahi) - and lots and lots of Margaritas.



The Atmosphere
There are multiple seating areas. The first floor has a bar that is a commercialized, concrete version of a straw roofed island bar. The "straw" roof is made of concrete; the "sand" floor is distressed concrete. There's a six foot tall blender with phony alcohol, labeled "Booze in the Blender", of course. It's set up to be a pretty lively area. In addition to loud Jimmy Buffet music, entertainment took the form of a woman walking on the bar's roof, and a pirate on stilts walking through the crowd. However, when I was there the patrons seems subdued.

The second floor is a lot more boring. I'd describe the decor as "industrial beachcomber." The floor is distressed wood. The industrial ceiling (think pipes and insulation) is painted purple. Unadorned steel stairs are orange, and the walks are either painted one of several colors (streaked tan or bright pink) or are stainless steel with rivets.

There's also a third floor and a balcony, but I didn't check them out.

Service was rushed but OK. When I think of my server, the word "perky" comes to mind.



The Meal
I ate lunch here, starting with a Who's to Blame: a Margarita on the rocks, with a salted rim. It was actually very good: not too sweet, not too tart, with a definite tequila taste, and coarse salt on the rim. Recommended.

My Cheeseburger in Paradise, with American cheese, lettuce and tomato (and a crisp dill pickle half on the side, of course), was a handful. It was decent, but lacking in flavor. The accompanying onion rings were only fair. The batter was crisp but bland, and some rings contained watery onions.

Interestingly, after I had finished I was asked if I wanted a Margarita to go. Only in Vegas.



Summary
The food was OK, but no better than that. For the price, you could get a much better hamburger at Burger Bar. However, you don't go to Margaritaville for the food. The atmosphere has potential, but during the day it seemed pretty low key. From what I've seen in passing, night time, and maybe weekends, would be better choices for a visit.



The Bill
The burger was $11; substituting onion rings for fries cost $1 extra. My drink was $7.50. To this, add tax and tip.


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