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“Creative, Upscale, but Inauthentic Mexican Cuisine” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Buen Apetito

Buen Apetito
4 Chaplin St, Waterville, ME 04901-5543
(207) 861-4649
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Ranked #14 of 82 Restaurants in Waterville
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
152 helpful votes 152 helpful votes
“Creative, Upscale, but Inauthentic Mexican Cuisine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

On our last two stays in Waterville, we enjoyed excellent, authentic, but somewhat bland meals at Cancun. Given the generally enthusiastic reviews of Buen Apetito on Trip Advisor, we decided to give this competing establishment a try in hopes of finding a bit more heat. It turned out to be all that and then some, but none of the reviews prepared us for the actual experience.

The ambience and decor are actually a lot more pleasant and comfortable than the amateurish snapshots on the restaurant's website, which made it look a lot more tacky than it actually is. Our waitress Kim was very efficient and prompt, although somewhat brusque and unpleasant. She may have just been having a long tiring night, but I rather suspect that cranky is just her standard operating procedure. The two younger women waiting on table were a good deal more pleasant and personable.

And then there was the food itself. The menu, taken at face value, purports to be mainstream Mexican with a few unusual items, complemented by a number of Southwestern and Tex-Mex items including barbeque. What the kitchen delivered, however, was something far different than any of those cuisines normally provide.The two salsas served upfront were rich, hot, spicy, complex, but quite unlike anything I had previously experienced in any Mexican restaurant. They were indeed harbingers of things to come.

Every dish sampled was, for wont of a better word, different. Their fare is innovative, complex, interesting, and very spicy, but the one thing it is NOT is authentic. This is not so much traditional Mexican food as it is an upscale, creative, and experimental gloss or commentary on Mexican cuisine. Whether or not one likes their Mexican food so innovative and non-traditional is of course very much a matter of personal taste.

While I found our experience at Buen Apetito to have been interesting and challenging, to say the least, I will probably return to Cancun on my next trip to Waterville. I guess I just prefer my Mexican food to be more authentic.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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67 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Small place with great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012 via mobile

Good Mexican place! Had to wait a bit as it is doesn't have a lot of tables. Worth the wait however as the food was great.. Had the 3 tacos, with homemade tortillas.
Margarita of course. Staff was friendly and set a nice table for us.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayside, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
222 reviews 222 reviews
145 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 92 cities Reviews in 92 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“Outstanding salsa”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

Three of us arrived on a Saturday night and had to wait 30 minutes to be seated. It was well worth the wait. Kim was our server, and she was very good. The margaritas were good - on the rocks, strawberry, and coconut.

Chips and homemade salsa were delivered to the table quickly. I enjoyed all the salsas, but especially the chipotle. The guacamole was just okay.

One of us ordered the veggie burrito, which was the disappointment of the meal. It was large and the tortilla became soggy.

The tamales were great, but again huge. I had the pork tostada at the recommendation of Kim our waitress. She said they smoked the meat themselves. It was terrific. There didn't seem to be much of a shell at the bottom. I didn't care because I was mainly interested in the meat. I thought the BBQ sauce served with it was too sweet, so I used the chipotle salsa. Great combination.

For dessert, we had one Mexican chocolate with ice cream. It was reasonable serving for one person, but after all we had eaten, it was enough for the three of us.

We liked the meal so much that we decided to go back with our husbands. They enjoyed it just as much as we did. Service with Katie was just as good as the first night. I ordered the tostadas again, and the shells at the bottom were definitely there and crunchy.

FYI, they are only open for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays. There is a small outdoor section, but it's in a parking lot, so I'm not sure of the view.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Sauveur des Monts, Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Disappointed after all the reviews”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

Although the chips and salsa at the start were tasty, the rest of what I ate was rather bland for Mexican food and felt thrown together rather quickly. The coconut cake at the end was very tasty but not made onsite and a bit sweet for my taste. The decor/ambiance is fun and I would go back but with lower expectations!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Winslow, ME, USA
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“One of the best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

I have eaten at Buen Apetito many, many times. My husband and I go there at least twice a month because we absolutely love their frozen margaritas and their fahitas. Excellent! There are two Mexican restaurants in Waterville. The other one is terrible in comparison - don't go there - stick with Buen Apetito. You will not be disappointed.
Food: Excellent. Favorites are fahitas, burritos, enchilladas. On Thursdays they get a Coconut Cake that is fantastic! We always reserve two pieces of cake as soon as we sit down so that we are sure to get it. The flan is good too.
Service: The wait staff knows us by name. Kim, Crystal, Jill and others are polite, fun and efficient. They are always on the mark and are very capable. The owner is sometimes on the floor working and she is very pleasant too.
Decor: Nice atmoshpere. 6 or 7 booths and the about the same amount of tables. Not a large restaurant. It does get chilly by the windows so I always bring a sweater.
Popularity: Since this restaurant is very popular it often has a waiting line. It's best to eat early or late to avoid the waiting line which forms around 6 pm. I've never eaten lunch there so I don't know how busy the resaurant is at lunch time.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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