Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Yes that was $177 for Mexican food

Happy New Year to you and yours. We here at the SFA are diligently working to bring you awesome stuff so long as it doesn't interfere with our family and employment status.

While it was fresh in my memory, I thought I would share with you one of the worst experiences I've had at a restaurant. It occurred just last night on New Year's Eve. The wife and I went out to dinner with my inlaws. Long Story (that is soon to be another blog post) but we currently live with them while we are between houses. Anyway, we thought it would be a good time to meet up with them outside of our currently living arrangements and without kids to just talk like adults. We settled on a restaurant that they had been to before but we were anxious to try. Its called Milagro and its in Webster Groves (for those of you out of town readers, sorry just think St. Louis). It gets some pretty good press and is known for Modern Mexican cuisine.

We got reservations the day before with a simple phone call. They had seating for 4 adults & no high chairs available. Perfect. The phone call was pretty short and went like this?
Wife: "Do you have availability tonorrow night?"
Milagro: "Yes."
Wife: "Great. See you at 6:30pm"
Milagro: "Ok."

New Years Eve was suddenly upon us and the wife and I got all dressed up to go out. This means we showered, she wore heels, and I tucked in my shirt. Pretty fancy. We arrived at the restaurant and my roommates/inlaws were already there. They let us know there was a fixed menu for the evening. It took the wife and I as odd as it wasn't mentioned on the phone, but whatever, sometimes its nice to be forced into situation where you have to try new stuff.

We are started off with a half a glass of Champagne and the meal had begun.... We were trapped.

Now I won't bore you with the complexity of the flavors of the meal or the conundrum of Modern Mexican cuisine versus traditional Mexican cuisine because, I can't describe to you how food tastes anyway. However, all the food was very good. The meal went like this: Small Enchilada w/ Mushrooms, Mango/Pineapple/Avocado Salad, Pulled Brisket in a corn boat, Snapper with Asparagus, White Cake for dessert. The food was good. Better than average. Simple. Refined. We were still hungry though. Which is tough to do with my mother-in-law, it doesn't take much to fill her up and she is very healthy. Throughout dinner the 4 of us did split a bottle of wine and the wife and I each had an additional glass. My inlaws are light weights and can't hang with us young kids. The meal had come to an end and we were pretty pleased with how everything tasted but were still a bit hungry (as mentioned before). Not a terribly big deal because both couples were going to other parties where there would be some stuff to snack on, but still we just ate 5 courses and shouldn't be wanting food as we were leaving the restaurant. Whatever, it was good.

Then the bill came....

Please keep in mind that when we called for reservations we were not told that there would be a fixed menu or that when we arrived, said fixed menu did NOT have a price listed on it. The wine was under $30 for the bottle. So we didn't go crazy on booze. Well, it turns out the 5 course meal was $60 A PERSON with a grand total of $300 for the table without tip. We all kind of looked at each other for a few minutes dumbfounded until my adoring wife said, "Did we just spend $177 Dollars on Mexican food?" We had been had. At no point in our conversations with the restaurant did they mention a fixed menu or the price of the meal.

As mentioned before, the food was good, but not $177 good. Also please don't think I am a cheapskate or a white trash bum when it comes to eating out. We were completely blindsided by this meal's cost and it set the tone for the evening. We had to cut our next party short so we could go relieve the baby sitter before midnight (which on top of this was a lot of money).

So, Milagro, you should be ashamed of yourself for not setting the tone for the night with your patrons, at least I am sure your bank account had a happy new year.

- end rant.


  1. I think you probably should have asked how much it was if it wasn't readily available, but they DEFINITELY should have warned you when you made reservations.

  2. New Years Eve always seems to be a let down some way, you can't just go out to a nice restaurant, they always try to make it "special". Don't they know just getting out of the house for a nice dinner is special.

    We had a great time at Tokyo Steakhouse (out your direction) one New Years Eve.

  3. Hi John,

    I'm really sorry that you had one of the worst dining experiences at Milagro. It really wasn't our intention to trick anyone. In fact, we advertised the menu and price quite a bit via twitter, facebook, in-house and e-mail prior to the evening. We are actually closed on Mondays, and thought doing a special dinner would be a nice change for our regular customers to try on New Years Eve.

    When most people called they were directed to our General Manager for the reservation, and he made sure that they understood that it was a prix fixe menu and told them the cost of the dinner. Unfortunately, a couple reservations were made on Sunday evening when he was off work and the host made a mistake in not making sure people were well aware of the menu and cost. And when I printed up the menus for people to view while they ate, I did feel it a little tacky to put the price on it, since I was under the assumption that people new what the dinner entailed.

    So I really hope you understand that we are not in the business of cheating people. And if I was looking to get rich I wouldn't have opened a restaurant. I'm in the business of making people happy, and it bums me out to know that we really ruined someone's special evening.

    I'm really glad that you enjoyed the food though. It seems as though you understood that not all Mexican food is rice and beans. We showcased some unique ingredients, such as the huitlacoche in your enchilada and the blue corn sope with beef brisket birria, as we're trying to broaden people's view of what regional Mexican cuisine can be.

    Still, I'd like to make it up to you somehow. If you want to reach out to us via e-mail I'd be happy to reimburse you and your in-laws for the food portion of the meal, or I could send you a gift card in that amount and hopefully get you back in to check us out again.

    Adam Tilford
    Co-Owner Milagro Modern Mexican
    milagromodernmexican at gmail dot com