Cinco Lagos: Brian Polcyn’s Mexican Restaurant

Ann Arbor Food

I went to Cinco Lagos, in Milford, Michigan for my B-day meal this year. It is the newly themed restaurant by Brian Polcyn which used to be the Five Lakes Grill and featured upscale cuisine. The restaurant has now morphed into a fine medium priced Mexican eatery. We went on Friday night and the place was packed. There were not many people waiting to get in, but the place was full with a steady stream of people leaving, and others being seated.

The food was what one would expect at a Mexican restaurant. There are Tacos, Chiles Poblanos Rellenos, Enchiladas, Nachos, Fajitas, and as a nice surprise Pozole Soup (pictured above).

A big basket of chips comes to your table for free to start, with pico salsa, and a hot red salsa.

Ann Arbor Food

I order the Pozole, and loved it. It was rich, hearty, porky in a good way, and full of flavor. I am a big pozole fan, and make it every other week or so at home.(see my recipe) Mine is made with chicken, not pork, to please a family house majority.

The pozle is so rich, that I could have had it for my meal. At $3.50 a bowl it is a bargain. The next time I go, I might just order two bowls for my meal, along with the chips and call it full.

For our entrees, Emily and I both ordered the three taco platter, which consisted of three large chicken, pork, and beef tacos, each with there own sauce, which came with rice and black beans($11). They were some of the best tacos I ever had.

In general the place is very affordable, the service was very good, and the atmosphere nice yet with a lot of TV’s going made for a kind festive, sport bar like feel. The most expensive entree on the menu was a shrimp, chicken and steak fajitas($16)

They offered a only one special, mahi mahi with a tequila butter sauce, and manga salsa. It sounded great, but we both wanted tacos.

Ann Arbor Food

They were more like six tacos because they came with six soft taco shell. The idea being that you placed half the filling into one of the two shells provided with each taco.

The meal was very filling, and after my pozole, I only had three of the six tacos. The rice and beans are very good and worth noting. Most of the rice and beans I get at mexican restaurants were a filler and after thought, but these were expertly prepared and very tasty.

The big star of the place was the margaritas.($5). Every table besides ours seemed to be having a margarita party, which explains the business model for the place (sell great inexpensive food, and encourage margarita orders). But this is not a margarita bar with lame food. The food is excellent, and affordable. And considering the packed crowd, I felt that Chef Polcyn made a great decision.

For dessert I had the spicy brownie with vanilla sauce which was excellent. It was a warm brownie with a touch of spice for a pleasant, subtle back ground favor.

Ann Arbor Food

Emily had the Mexican flan, which I tasted and it was great, very smooth.

Ann Arbor Food

In general the food was great, and affordable. The check was $40 for two, with soup for me, a soda, and dessert for two and we took home a full meal each for lunch.

Some online comments mentioned that the menu was playing it a little safe with featuring the more familiar Mexican fare. The menu does seem very standard, but the food was all great. Maybe some additional special would satisfy the more adventurous crowd, which I encourage, but the people I saw seemed perfectly happy as was I.

I will definitely go there again. In fact if this place was in Ann Arbor, I would probable go there almost every day. (smiles)


4 responses to “Cinco Lagos: Brian Polcyn’s Mexican Restaurant

  1. The days of high end dining have passed. Great food does’n have to cost an arm and a leg. Quality and value are where its at. Yoy can have both without either suffering.
    It sounds as if Brian Polcyn has made a strong move with his concept change.

  2. Hi Ed,

    One of my hopes is that there is more locally sourced eateries, on the low end like sandwich shops, and various themes.

    With the recession, now might a perfect time start and push for low end local restaurant.

    People still love to eat out.

    I agree that Polcyn is showing his ability to be flexible and adapt in this new economy


  3. I often eat at Cinco Lagos and find the food and service to be exceptional. The food is priced well for the huge portions you receive and you are able to tell that everything is made fresh..yummm!

    • Thanks for the comment. I have not been to Cinco Lagos and in a little while, but your comment got me planning a trip to get their pasole…it is so good.

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