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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
Atmosphere

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CUISINES
Mexican, Southwestern
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options
Meals
Dinner, Lunch
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meals, features
Reviews (140)
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Traveller rating
64
42
18
9
7
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Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveller rating
64
42
18
9
7
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All reviews fajitas tortillas spend money bite to eat the wait staff minute wait margaritas maine appetit chore
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Reviewed December 10, 2019

My title was fairly "over the top" but it can't be overstated. Buen apetito is probably the single best dining value in Central Maine. A couple can have a light meal and a margarita or two, tip 20% and still barely break the $50 mark....Their food is quite a bit different than the typical Mexican restaurant. The recipes are mostly handed down from the original chef who was from Mexico. This will sound judgmental, but I've found that people with "poor taste" tend to not like Buen Apetito. People who think that Ruby Tuesday or Governor's are decent places to take the family will probably prefer Cancun. In addition, the portions are great. You can make a meal out of nearly any appetizer if your appetite is reasonable. And if you order a whole meal, you've got to seriously over eat to finish it. EVERY dish is unique and delicious so I won't recommend any one. I have heard RUMORS that their steak is the best. I can't remember the name of it and they have a profoundly poor online presence, so I wasn't able to find a menu. My only gripes with Buen Apetito is that they have made the same mistake many businesses have made: Solve a problem caused by a handful of customers at the expense of p*ssing off their entire clientelle. Here's what I mean: 1. Reservations ONLY for parties of 5 or more. This place is so busy, you're looking at a 30-60 minute wait Thursday through Saturday. Not being able to make a reservation is ridiculous. Come up with a system to help with "no shows" other than penalizing all of your regular customers. We eat at Buen 4 times per year, but would to eat there 1-2 times a month. We will NOT go unless we have 5 or more and can make a reservation, OR on a Tuesday or Wednesday around 5 when there's no wait. Such a short sighted decision. 2. They won't seat your party until everyone shows. Understandable problem: Because they don't take reservations unless there's at least 5, people make reservations for 5 then just show up with 4, claiming the 5th one cancelled at the last minute. Again...you're penalizing the majority of your clients to solve a tiny problem caused by a small percentage. Cut it out!! After coming here for 20 years, I promise the first time our waitress refuses to seat us until we're all here will be the LAST time I visit. 3. They charge extra for extra flour or corn tortillas with their fajitas. Now here's the rub: Their fajitas (and all their meals) are an extremely fantastic value. But .... nonetheless, they serve ONLY enough tortillas for 30% of the meal. Period. It makes you feel like you're being nickled and dimed when they charge you extra for what should've been served in the first place. This is the same type of poor business decision that Jorgenson's made with their charging 25 cents for a cup of water. Annoy 50 people to solve a tiny problem caused by 2-3 people. 4. Service CAN be excellent. There's one waitress there that has been there forever that really shouldn't be working there. She's always harried and makes us feel like we're more of a chore than a valued client. Otherwise, the wait staff is fantastic and makes us feel valued. There is just a touch of "you're privileged to be eating here" simply due to the fact that it's so cheap, EVERYONE eats there and it's been here forever. But it's not overwhelming. I'm sorry, I just like to feel important when I spend money at a restaurant. It's 5 times more expensive to eat out. Make me feel 5x more important than I am. And so, because of these policies, we go to Buen Apetito 8-10 times less each year. We simply don't do "waits". No reservations? Sorry. No Anderson's. Finally...the margaritas here are the best we've had from Maine to California...even Mexico itself! They're less than $8 and are 60% alcohol, very basic recipe but plentiful and delicious. You should NOT have more than 1 if you're driving. I was pulled over after one last year and was given a breathalizer and blew .06 (.08 is the legal limit, so the one drink got me 75% of the way there). But aside from the misguided policy fauz pas, this is either our favorite or second favorite restaurant in the city. I can almost PROMISE you you'll be happy you ate here. (Unless you think Governor's is "fine dining"...haha!)More

Date of visit: September 2019
Helpful?3  
Reviewed November 30, 2019 via mobile

Authentic and delicious food served by a very accommodating staff... in an convenient location for film goers to go for a bite to eat between shows.

Date of visit: July 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed October 31, 2019

Best Mexican around. Service drinks all was good would go back. I think the place is very small and we Had a 15 minute wait for our table.

Date of visit: August 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed October 4, 2019 via mobile

Average Mexican fare at premium prices. Three mini chimichangas platter for $15?? Beans were not at all creamy and were served with a crust on top. Rice was not flavorful at all and had crunchy bits like it had set under a heat lamp too...long. Salsa was unusual-almost like ground dried tomatoes with sugar. Chimichangas were tasty, fresh and crispy. Combination plate was $15, and just average. Service was prompt and friendly but not overbearing.More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed August 18, 2019

I have never been disappointed with food or the Margaritas! Portions are large enough that I usually bring home a container for another time.

Date of visit: May 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed July 21, 2019

I dine here often. Its a busy place because it is great. Food is consistently very good and plentiful. Good prices. The staff is quick and friendly. If you like good authentic Mexican food, this is the place.

Date of visit: July 2019
Helpful?2  
Reviewed May 7, 2019

Food is good but ask for less cheese on anything you order as no one needs as much cheese as they put on everything. Rib Eye is good minus the cheese and the enchiladas are good too. Whatecer dessert they offer made by Acadia Bakery...is the BEST - acadia bakery cakes are delicious - I hipe htey have the chocolate raspberry or the carrot cake when you are there but any of their cakes are worth saving room to enjoy. Service can be a bit rough and not so great as the waitresses are too few and too busy, but.....go anyway as it is the best Mexican Food in the area.More

Date of visit: May 2019
Helpful?2  
Reviewed April 27, 2019

We've tried to eat here several times but it was crowded with a waiting line and almost no room to wait so we ate elsewhere. The long line is, admittedly a good sign. We went off peak for lunch (only on weekends) and glad we...got the opportunity to try it out. Pretty standard Mexican menu but very well prepared. The (probably house-made) salsa and guacamole were about the best I've ever had. My wife enjoyed a raspberry margarita from the wide variety offered. Her "lunch" portion burrito was HUGE! I had a combo and therefore tried several items at once and that portion was HUGE as well. The prices are very reasonable. What's not to like? Its popularity may be its biggest negative but go early and enjoy a great meal. Pretty basic dining room, no pinatas or other Mexican kitsch which is a sign that the food is good enough to not need the foolishness. A little hard to find in the parking lot and behind the Railroad Square Cinema. We'll definitely be back.More

Date of visit: April 2019
Helpful?2  
Reviewed February 9, 2019 via mobile

We go to Buen Apetito regularly. The chips and salsa are bottomless, fee and delicious. I usually get the beef enchiladas which never disappoint

Date of visit: December 2018
Helpful?2  
Reviewed February 8, 2019

The food was great and the drinks even better. We enjoyed ourselves until we found a black hair in my husbands food, not wanting to cause a scene we paid the bill and left. We couldn't eat the rest of our food. I dont know...who handles the food, but they should all wear hair nets.More

Date of visit: February 2019
Helpful?3  
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garry w
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Frequently Asked Questions about Buen Apetito

Yes, Buen Apetito offers takeaway services.

Yes, Buen Apetito offers delivery services.

Buen Apetito is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4.5