Seattle >Food & Dining > Cactus Restaurant
4220 E Madison St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9811247.636176 -122.277693
Neighborhoods: Capitol Hill, Madison Park
Yikes – How can the same restuarant chain be so different? The Madison Park service is not so good and the food rushed with so so results. Liked Kirkland. Didn't like Madison Park.
I love Madison...the server! – This is a great place to find some tex-mex food and fantastic margaritas. Staff here has always been friendly and accomodating when asking for substitutions. For a stealthy but attentive server sit in Madison's section, she keeps the chips and water full without getting in the way of conversation your keeping. She's truly a gem!
It had been a while since I had been to the Cactus Restuarant on Madison so reminded by the Rachel Ray Vacation show, we headed down on Sunday around 4pm. I remember how great the food used to be and still is. The butternut squash enchiladas are genius! The food is top notch. What it suffers from is what I find in a lot of Seattle restaurants; bad service and weak drinks.
Our waiter would have been more at home guiding a Universal Studios tour bus. He kept repeating exactly the same routine in the same tour-bus style at every table but I'm not sure he listened to anything the customers said. The first thing he pushed was the guacamole. We said yes but he never brought it. He later said "Oh yeah, that was totally my fault". Duh, it sure wasn't mine. There was no attempt to make it better. Also, the tamales were being "pushed" as well because they were "made fresh daily". does that mean the rest of the food is stale? The "Cactus" margarita was super weak, perhaps the bartender also "forgot" to put tequila in it. The table next to us also complained among themselves about the poor service and weak drinks.
It could have been a great experience but the lack of care from management, (and yes, it's the management's fault if you have lousy staff), made the experience more like mediocre inspite of the excellent food.
I'd like to give it another try, but I won't take anyone there that I'm trying to "Seattle impress".
DON'T BOTHER!!! – I have heard for years on how great Cactus is.... NOT!!! The food was lacking in flavor , the drinks where just OK??? and the service person was not very freindly.
Good Drinks – I live close by the Cactus so it used to be my spot in the hood to meet friends. I still go there occassionally because the Mojitos and Margaritas are great but the food has really taken a turn downhill. My recommendation is to go for a drink and the nachos for an early happy hour. If you go later you will end up waiting for an hour or more for mediocre food and will be disappointed.
Good Food - Horrid Deafening Environment – Eat here if you like quality Mexican food with a twist - and enjoy eating in an echo chamber with people yelling in your ear all through dinner. This restaurant is crowded and unbearably loud. To me, this takes your mind off the quality of the food that they serve. THe server we had was excellent - the food good - the room tastefully decorated. Why do they not seem to care about the noise level when so much attention goes into everything else? Why pay this much to be tortured? A few drapes and acoustic tiles and the problem would be solved. As it is now, Cactus is unbearable and not worth the wait. There are many other restaurants with pleasant and caring environments nearby. Please fix this - I want to enjoy your restaurant.
mouthwatering food – Cactus has simply succulent food that will make your mouth water when thinking about it. I've been there several times and everytime they have outperformed themselves. The prickly pear mojito is refreshing and their margaritas delectable. It is a little bit pricy for me, but definately worth it for special occasions. I think they would do really well if they opened another location downtown, because Madison Park and West Seattle are a little out of the way for a lot of people.
The wait is not worth it – The wait at this restaurant is unbearable. They make you wait outside and when we were there it was raining. It?s really too bad when a restaurant can not respond to paying customers. I can not say that the food here is worth the wait, and the help is surly and the hostess rude and arrogant. Advice ? go elsewhere and avoid the insult.
Great mojitos!!! – The food was pretty good, but i do love the mojitos, more than I like the Cactus margarita. The ambiance is pretty noisy on a Thursday evening, but not too shabby. The service was wonderful, and the waitress was very nice and cooperative with splitting the tab with my fellow co-workers. We were a bit too toasted to ask for separate checks! Whoops! But the location is great, and the crowd seems pretty lively. I would recommend making reservations if you're coming with a large group. The meals can be a bit pricey but it is the location. Everything is expensive up in Madison Park. But overall, it's pretty good food. LOL I had the Green Enchiladas, and it was perfectly spicy!
West Seattle Beach Location – I have been to all of the Cactus locations now that they have opened the new one on Alki. The location is great for the summer but the decor is a little ... umm... airport restaurantish. The food is good in all the locations, especially the bacon wrapped peppers. The margaritas are good but on the sweet side. This Cactus is great for the summer with a the garage door walls and the water view.
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