Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cantina Laredo

Cliff Notes version of this review: Average.

Located just off the infamous Restaurant Row, Cantina Laredo is actually an international chain with locations in the US, UAE and UK. And with this most recent opening, we can add ORL to that list. The space itself is actually quite nice-spacious, calming and clean. (Plus the ladies room has a super cool sink.)

But pretty much everything else was...just kinda average.

Our server? Well, he was very nice and timely but didn't wow me. As we were seated in our booth, I noticed a bowl containing a lime and avocado. I had read that this restaurant offered tableside guac and was looking forward to it. So I was psyched when I saw the avocado decor on the table. But the server didn't mention it or explain why the bowl was there. And then he took the bowl away. At that point, quite frankly, I just kinda forgot about it. Also he did not offer a second round of drinks (for the record, the Mojitos are yummy) or dessert. I know this isn't really something for ME to gripe about. Because the server was actually saving me money. But from a business stand point, this behavior does not make for a successful business.

My food? Again, average. I ordered what I thought was the most interesting item on the menu: the Enchiladas de Avocado. (Heyyyy, maybe I ordered this subconsciously because I never got the guac! That's right! Who used to be a therapist??) My biggest problem with this dish? The lack of avocados. Seriously. The enchiladas were basically stuffed with artichokes. From a can. You know exactly what I'm talking about-that tinny flavor of canned artichokes. The tomatillo sauce on topped was quite nice, but the side of Mango Jicama salad was seriously lacking in the mango department. I think not following through on what they advertised for this dish plus the tinniness of the canned artichokes really ruined it for me.

Here's where it gets sticky. Will I ever return to Cantino Laredo? Probably. Because the cuisine that we lack the most in Orlando is (unfortunately) Mexican. I'm telling you investors: go to Houston, grab a chef from one of the two hundred high quality Mexican restaurants in the area and bring her or him to Orlando. So hopefully one day I'll find a Mexican restaurant in Orlando that is....above average.

Cantina Laredo on Urbanspoon


AmandaRose said...

Awesome Blog! Great review on cantina laredo, thought about trying it, now I think I'll stick to my hole in the wall mexican joint! thanks!

Kate said...

You should still give it a try Amanda! Maybe I was there on an off night....