This restaurant is a joke, and I can't imagine why people think the food is good. The guacamole and salsa are both bland and have excessive amounts of oregano as an ingredient. The beans and rice are served on many of the dishes, and they are also extremely bland. Where is the cilantro, cumin, chorizo sausage, jalapenos, and limes. The shrimp, spinach and cheese dip was watery and bland. My chicken empanadas were doughy, bland, and garnished with poorly cut, raw zucchini and yellow squash. The tomatos were flavorless and under ripe, not acceptable for the end of summer. My wife's chicken fajitas were average at best! This is your run of the mill below average mexican restaurant. It was way too costly for the quality of ingredients and flavor of the dishes. This restaurant needs to go back to the basics and study good food, and cooking techiques.
The prickly pear is an awesome restaurant that has been known for great food for years. I am rating it purely on the food and give it 4 out of 5. Some of these reviews seem to lack credibility. The prickly pear definitely deserves 4 outof 5 rating as any of the town's locals will tell you.
The restaurant is small but cozy, the nice booths give a lot of privacy and the mexican decor is the theme throughout. The waitstaff is highly inefficient and our server in particular had that flakey over enthused Red Robin sort of personality, I don't enjoy that, I want somebody who is waiting on me to be real. All that said, I can get past the sketchy service because the food was fantastic. I had the shrimp and scallop quesadilla and boy was it delicious. The dish was perfectly seasoned and had just the right amount of acidity. The portion was generous and I'm sure I we be able to squeeze a second meal out of it at lunch tomorrow.
Don't let the other reviews lead you astray. The food at the Prickly Pear is just ho-hum; it reminds me a lot of the food that's available at leisure dining chains. It's no better than the sum of its parts, and the parts don't impress as either exceptionally high-quality or authentically southwestern. I've eaten here three or four times with people who think there's something to this place (dark lighting, acoustic din, strong drinks, perhaps?) and each time I leave mildly disappointed. There's definitely a quantity-over-quality approach and salt prevails over vinegar and chilies and citrus. Just about everything comes with heaps of black beans that are barely seasoned. Some extra cilantro, chilies, and onion for the black beans, or a twist or lime and garlic for the guacamole would go a long way, but it's all very bland. However your guts will be full and you'll have plenty to bring home. If you must, the meat-and-potatoes (or rather, meat and sweet potato fritters) plates are the way to go. If you have a craving for this sort of thing, go to Sabor Latino down the street, then spend the money you saved on atmosphere and an after-dinner drink.
I completely adore the Prickly Pear. Their food is wonderful, even if there is sometimes a wait to get a table. I moved to Boston a couple of years ago, and the Prickly Pear is right at the top of the list of things I miss. Definitely a do-not-miss of Ann Arbor. =D
The Prickly Pear has been our favorite restaurant since we began visiting 18 years ago. My fave dish is the shrimp/scallop quesidillas at $18.99, and for dessert they have the BEST cheesecake in the world.
Their frozen strawberry daquiris are simply amazing too!
Seafood lovers might also enjoy the coconut scallops or pumpkin scallops.
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