Gary Paul Lewis/

“Margaritaville” is a song written by Jimmy Buffet in 1977 from the album Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. It is Jimmy Buffet’s highest charting solo single. The song is obviously named for the cocktail the Margarita, but also reflects a laid-back way of living in a tropical climate. Written in Key West, Florida, the song has come to define Buffet’s music and career.

As Jimmy Buffet’s most popular song, “Margaritaville” has been successfully commercialized into many ventures, including the casual dining restaurant chain Margaritaville. There are many locations across the United States, Jamaica and Mexico to name a few. The location in Uncasville, Connecticut at The Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino is where I had the pleasure of dining.

The atmosphere was, indeed, laid-back and I actually felt like I was away on a tropical island and not 50 feet from a casino. We were seated in an actual boat, which was very cool. The restaurant is very family-friendly, and even had a clown on stilts making tremendous balloon animal hats for all of the children dining there. Perhaps the most famous sight in a Margaritaville restaurant though is the HUGE pitcher located on the bar. The pitcher goes from the bar to the ceiling. All throughout the restaurant are televisions playing Jimmy Buffet in concert, and even have the words scrolling across the bottom of the screens so you can feel free to sing along. When the song “Margaritaville” comes on, a siren wails and the big pitcher on the bar begins to fill up with Margarita. Well, what LOOKS like Margarita. It’s actually Margarita-colored (lime green) water that fills up and cyclones around the pitcher until it’s full and then drains out, until “Margaritaville” plays again.

I was not expecting much from the food being such a large chain restaurant, but I have to say it was excellent! We started with the “Volcano Nachos” and it was pretty clear why they are named this. The platter of nachos was in the shape of a volcano, and quite large. The nachos were topped with chili, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, tomatoes and scallions, and was more than enough for my table of six.

The drink menu at Margaritaville is vast with many different selections. There are a lot of different types of Margaritas available, from “The Perfect Margarita” to the “Italian Margarita” which incorporates a splash of Amaretto. Being at “Margaritaville” I of course had to try a Margarita. I chose “The Perfect Margarita” which was superior to any Margarita I have ever tasted. I also tried a frozen drink called the “Bama Breeze” which has Margaritaville Premium Silver Rum, Cruzan Vanilla Rum, orange juice, and Island Oasis Mango and Coconut mixes. The drink selection really adds to that “island feel” because they are vacation/beach-type cocktails.

For my meal I had the Cheeseburger in Paradise and sweet potato fries. Also very delicious and cooked exactly the way I ordered. The service was very good, too. Not a Buffet fan, I was reluctant to dine at this establishment, but I have to say, I found myself singing along to the Buffet songs that played throughout my meal. If you are ever at Mohegan Sun, Margaritaville is definitely worth checking out!