$20 for $50 Worth of Mexican Cuisine from The Prickly Pear

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What You'll Get

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Put a twist on your frijoles and spicy up your preconceptions about Mexican fare with today's enticing deal: $20 gets you $50 worth of modern Mexican cuisine at The Prickly Pear, the elegant yet casual, romantic yet family-friendly, prickly yet pear-like restaurant housed in a renovated Catholic church in Mooresville. Owners Val Panizzut and Eddie Chavez wanted to dispel the misconception about Mexican food being the sum total of six ingredients, and chef Raul Ortegon obliges with a thoughtful menu of contemporary Central American dishes.

Peruse The Prickly Pear's menu for a bounty of creative dishes inspired by land and sea. Popular dishes include the Marbella (flour tortillas loaded with shrimp, crabmeat, green onion, tomatoes, and jack cheese, served with lobster-chipotle cream sauce, $17) and the camarones mango-mojo (jumbo shrimp, mango, garlic, and habanero sauce with mango-infused rice, plantain chips, and prickly pear reduction, $18). The Prickly Pear also specializes in tender, sizzling fajitas—adobo steak, tamarind chipotle chicken, or mango citrus shrimp—served with onions, peppers, charro beans, pico de gallo, cheese, and your choice of tortilla. For those who don't enjoy delicious food, ice water and chairs will be made available, as well as a your choice of song-stuck-in-head. Accompany the meal with a blue agave margarita, made with Sauza tequila and blue curacao, or a horizon martini with coconut rum, vanilla Stoli, and cranberry.

Dine beneath The Prickly Pear's 500-year-old-plus rafters, hewn by Jesuit missionaries and transported from Portugal or Spain to Mexico to Los Alamos to North Carolina—the leftover churchiness practically guarantees that your meal will never be interrupted by scores of wall-crawling draculas. The aged Taiban wood rafters look down on the warm glow of The Prickly Pear's open, intimate dining room, forming the perfect crown to your Mexican feast.

Get your friends and favored mail carriers in on this deal, and get your Groupon!


The Prickly Pear has been featured in Charlotte Magazine, Lake Norman Magazine, and the Apollonaire, which raves:

  • If The Prickly Pear isn't in your neighborhood, it's worth the drive. Chef Raul Ortegon, who has worked in the kitchen of Acapulco's famed Las Brisas Hotel, as well as some of Charlotte's top restaurants, prepares gourmet dishes that are akin to those found in Acapulco's or Mexico City's better restaurants.

The Prickly Pear gets an 84% approval rating on Urbanspoon and high marks on TripAdvisor:

  • This is the best Mexican food around. It is upscale and unlike any other Mexican restaurant in the area. I drive 45 minutes atleast [sic] once a month just eat here! – Wally King, Urbanspoon
  • New twists on Mexican and Central American dishes, attractive presentation -- have never gotten a bad meal here. – jhawkwalk, TripAdvisor
  • They make the guacamole fresh at the table! – A TripAdvisor Contributor

Handle With Pear

The Prickly Pear’s namesake fruit might sound dangerous, but it’s actually a relatively harmless treat with a misleading name. What other unfortunate entities have to cope with a misleadingly menacing moniker?

Killer whales: An ancient misnomer, likely derived from their ability to hunt and kill larger whales for food, and not the probability of one standing directly behind you in a hockey mask right this minute.

Sid Vicious: Actually named after fellow Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten’s pet hamster, John “Sid Vicious” Ritchie only maybe killed one person, probably, and it was definitely a total accident, or whatever.

Slaughtermelons: Bluffing when they say they have your family chained to an elaborate underground trap made of spring-loaded rusty clamps and circular-saws; melons have no hands, and your family is clearly visible in the kitchen. Get outta here, you crazy melons!

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The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Apr 24, 2010. Amount paid never expires. 1 per person. Limit 1 Groupon for every 2 people at table. Dine-in only. Not valid with other offers. Gratuity not included. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

About The Prickly Pear

On Val Panizzut's first visit to his wife’s Mexican hometown, the co-owner of The Prickly Pear vowed he would name his first restaurant after the delicious fruit borne from cacti. Today, the fruition of that fruit-inspired idea offers expansive views of Lake Norman from its generous windows or patio seats, as well a menu of Mexican cuisine. Not content with just offering traditional tacos and burritos, the kitchen crafts modern Mexican dishes that have earned it numerous local press mentions. They pair the usual flavors of cotija cheese, chipotles and cilantro with, for example, fruits such as pear, mango, and pineapple, all in an effort to add savory, piquant, or sweet depth to shrimp dishes and adobo-rubbed chicken. To augment the adventurous atmosphere, live musical acts entertain guests on Thursday and Sunday nights—but they never say in advance exactly where in the restaurant they’ll hide as they play.

The Prickly Pear

Restaurant, American
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