A taste of home

Family-owned and -operated restaurant serves tried-and-true family recipes

Posted: August 15, 2014 at 6 a.m.

Designed after a Mexican estate, San Miguel Mexican Grill & Bar in Fayetteville is the most recent enterprise by the Rodriguez family.

Pioneered by Jose and Maria Rodriguez, this family-focused and -operated restaurant and bar emits the class and comfort of a large home in Mexico. From the family recipes to the customary home decor, San Miguel Mexican Grill & Bar was built to be a welcoming and familiar homestead for all who cross the threshold.

San Miguel Mexican Grill & Bar

facebook.com/fayettevillesanmiguel

3722 N. Front St., Fayetteville

(479) 966-4680

Open daily at 7 a.m. for breakfast. Open until 10 p.m. Sun-Thur. and 11 p.m. Fri-Sat. Breakfast served until 11 a.m. daily. Quick service, limited lunch menu 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner menu available 2 p.m.-close. Fresh, made-from-scratch dishes; family-owned and operated. Full bar, private meeting room, enclosed patio.

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Kale Enchiladas

The menu offers the tried-and-true recipes that the Rodriguez family created in their home kitchen and in the kitchen of their other restaurants, La Hacienda. Through many years of practice and feedback, Jose Rodriguez expressed that San Miguel restaurant is his best operation to date.

"Every day we are learning, trying different ways to make it right," he said.

With his daughter Anna by his side, the feeling of family, dedication and growth expounds. Anna is joined by her siblings -- Alejandro, Carina, Jesus and Paloma -- who help operate San Miguel restaurant and the two La Hacienda locations.

The restaurant life is a way of living for many employed in the industry, and it is no different for this family.

"A lot of meals (that we cook at home), we have brought to the restaurant. We'll go grocery shopping and create a dish. We all try it and give our input," she said.

Several dishes featured on the menu currently, such as the kale enchiladas and mango salad, were established in such fashion.

Although everyone in the family can play the role of chef, matron Maria is enthusiastically the best cook. She was taught by her mother at a young age the proper methods of food preparation. Those lessons have not gone unheralded.

"One day she said, 'If I [would] cook rocks, it [would] be good," Jose Rodriguez said.

Graciously, the customers San Miguel restaurant are offered the best of what the Rodriguez family has to offer.

"Everything on our menu, we make from scratch. Nothing is from a box or a can. We take a lot of pride in that," Anna Rodriguez said.

The menu at San Miguel restaurant offers traditional Mexican dishes, in addition to numerous specialties. There are several dishes that aren't even on the menus at the sister restaurants, La Hacienda.

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The Rodriguez family opened San Miguel Mexican Grill & Restaurant in Fayetteville to offer a variety of family approved r...

For example, there is an option of pico de gallo with mango, and the refried beans are made from black beans. The enchiladas, a Rodriguez specialty, include varieties such as pulled pork, brisket, kale, avocado or chipotle chicken.

The tortillas used for the enchiladas are made from scratch and seasoned specifically for this dish. There is also a house sauce, called chili gravy, that is paired with the beef, cheese, pork and brisket enchiladas. The savory brown sauce is made with a blend of multiple seasonings and is a secret family recipe.

"It's those little details that make the difference," Anna Rodriguez said.

It's not easy to define the style of cuisine served at San Miguel restaurant -- it is not quite authentic like one would find at a taquero in Springdale, but not Tex-Mex like one would find at an Americanized eatery.

"It is Mexican food with a Rodriguez flare," Anna Rodriguez said.

In addition to the Mexican-Rodriguez-style lunch and dinner, San Miguel restaurant is also open for breakfast.

Breakfast is served 7-11 a.m. daily, and although the Mexican breakfast staples of huevos rancheros and chilaquiles are featured, most offerings resemble more of an American brunch menu.

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Sizzling Fajitas

There are numerous farm-fresh egg dishes, with an option to upgrade to organic eggs. The a la carte plate includes skillet potatoes with an option of apple-smoked bacon, turkey sausage, pork sausage or ham for $5.45. The No Veggies Omelet is served with skillet potatoes and has chicken sausage, apple-smoked bacon, ham, cheddar cheese and onions. The Just Indulge plate has two eggs, buttermilk pancakes and a choice of bacon, sausage or ham. Each dish is $8.95.

There are Belgian waffles, French toast, banana pancakes, nutella crepes and a freshly baked pastry basket. The kids' menu is priced at $3.69 and includes French toast sticks, dollar pancakes and a cheese omelet.

There is fresh-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice; as well as freshly squeezed fruit-and-vegetable juices such as the Green Goddess and PINK detox.

Wholesome breakfast choices include the smoked salmon bagel, parfait tower, Irish steel-cut oatmeal and the herb-and-vegetable omelet.

Lunch is served 11-2 p.m. daily and offers a limited menu at reduced prices for expedited service.

There is a taco salad ($5.99), chimichanga plate ($5.95), quesadilla ($6.95), three-tamale plate ($5.75), two-enchilada plate ($5.99), fajitas ($7.95) or burrito plate ($6.75). Specialties also include Enchiladas Suiza ($6.95), Pollo Loco ($6.99) and spinach enchiladas ($6.95).

The full menu, served after 2 p.m., includes nachos, fish tacos, tortilla soup, specialty enchiladas, fajitas, salads, entrees, light fare and several other options.

The building, which was formally used as a seasonal outfit for Halloween Express, has been thoroughly renovated. The interior features the styling of a modern, Mexican abode with concrete and brick floors, rich-stained wood, open spaces and contemporary paint colors.

The bar area has high ceilings and big-screen televisions. The enclosed patio has vibrant colors symbolic of the streets of Mexico. There is also a private room that will be outfitted with a ceiling-mounted projector and retractable screen for meetings.

More information is available by calling (479) 966-4680 or online at facebook.com/fayettevillesanmiguel.

NAN Dining Guide Cover on 08/15/2014

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