Cantina Louie

Cantina Louie… there’s been a lot of buzz about this Mexican Street Food restaurant. Can it live up to the hype? The kiddos and I went recently- this was our experience:

Cantina Louie's vibrant decor makes for fun I Spy games while you wait for dinner!

Like most Mexican restaurants, Cantina Louie brings chips & salsa while you peruse the menu. We added an order of Guacamole Dip {$5.99} since we were eating a very late 2:30 lunch. After a squeeze of lime and extra dash of salt, we dug in & enjoyed this traditional avocado dip.

Cantina Louie's guacamole is pretty darn good.

I really wanted to try some of the Mexican Street Food items like street corn and tamales but they’re available weekends only {tamales only on Sunday} and Friday doesn’t count as a weekend. So I’ll be back for those! Specialty tacos are available all week so you can still enjoy the street food flair without a special trip.

I wanted to order one of each street taco and everyone share tastes… but I let everyone order whatever they wanted. {good mommy points, bad food blogger points LOL} Ben went with the Kids Menu #2: One enchilada, rice & refried beans {$5.99}.

Lauren opted for Vegetarian Fajitas {$9.99} and shared with her little sister. They had fun assembling them as they ate and it was more than enough for a 12 year old & a 5 year old. So far the food was all tasty but nothing spectacular- seasonings were simple, ingredients the usual.

Timothy and Andrew scoured the menu for the weirdest thing they could order. They found the West Coast Burrito {$7.99}. It’s stuffed with grilled chicken and french fries {more like potato wedges than fries} and served with queso. I say weird but hey, I asked for something out of the ordinary, right?! They loved it. This burrito wasn’t quite the sharing size but since it was our first visit, we weren’t sure what to expect & didn’t want to over-order.

Check out the cute tin trays most meals come on. Love 'em!

I made a mistake when I ordered. See, after mamma helps 6 hungry chillens order lunch at 2:30 in the afternoon, she likely has very little time left to pick her own meal. I thought when I ordered huevos at a Mexican restaurant I was getting the traditional fried egg dish. When I saw jalapenos in one version of the huevos, I quickly decided on that one- glossing over the whole “scrambled” part of the order. My Huevos a la Mexicana {$6.99} had a little heat but I couldn’t get over my frustration that I ordered scrambled instead of yolky eggs! Drat. My bad, not theirs.

Huevos a la Mexicana $6.99

I was still hungry after this dish plus the appetizer order of chips & salsa and guac. I am pregnant so maybe baby needed extra… but if I ordered this again {which I wouldn’t because I’d get the Huevos Rancheros with yolky centers and add jalapenos!} anyways, if I ordered a huevos dish, I’ll add a side or not wait until 2:30 for lunch. ;)

Since several of us shared lunch portions, we decided we definitely needed to order dessert. Cantina Louie offers both flan and churros- since there were 7 of us dining, we ordered both and shared bites. Eating with a big family is so much fun!

Cantina Louie's serves up a tasty Flan.

The menu says their Flan is a “traditional Mexican dessert made of spongecake with a sweet & savory filling.” Wait… what? Flan has never consisted of spongecake in my experience nor been savory so I was confused. Our server {who was a handsome American kid but didn’t know much about hispanic food yet nor about how to keep water glasses full or bring chips and salsa out right away for a table of hungry littles so I’m not sure if he really knew what he was talking about…}. Where was I? Oh yeah, our server assured me there is no spongecake in the flan and so I ordered. I’m mostly gluten free but don’t have an allergy… if you’re eating there and have an allergy to wheat, I’d suggest confirming with the kitchen.

It tasted like “normal” flan… creamy, custardy, not too sweet but resting in a puddle of sweet syrup. Yum. At only $3.99 each, that may be the best deal on the menu!

The kids will disagree with that… they loved the Churros {$4.99}.

Crispy, briefly rolled in cinnamon & sugar, filled with bavarian cream and served with a dollop of whipped cream- my children thought they’d died and gone to heaven. I’m not gluten-free enough to resist a bite of that goodness {sorry, doc!} and I concur. Yum.

We left happy and full- lunch was good.

Will I rush back? No. Cantina Louie is a drive from our house and the experience wasn’t good enough to make it worth that for us. We have a favorite Mexican restaurant a block from our house that doesn’t look as fun but serves up delish meals & hearty portions {which is good for our big family}.

Will I go back? Yes. I do want to order some of the Mexican Street Food & Specialty Taco items. The social media buzz is that those are what sets Cantina Louie apart.

For now, when I want authentic Mexican food in St. Augustine, I’ll head to Casa Maya- but it’s a whole different {and more $$$} kind of menu- not an option when we’re dining as a family of 8.

What’s your favorite Cantina Louie dish? I need to know so I order right next time!

Cantina Louie
1900 US Highway 1 South
(904) 770-2608

Cantina Louie on Urbanspoon

Comments

  1. Crystal says:

    I have to say those churros do look good… Even at 7:45 in the morning :-)

  2. Thanks for the review. It’s a bummer that you have to go on weekend’s for the special street-style Mexican food. I’ve been waiting to a while to see what happens to this new restaurant. I hope it stays open and that the street food is good! I’ll eventually get there …

  3. My family and I were excited to try Louies. We were disappointed, The guac was incredibly bland…like it was made from mostly Florida avocados with a hint of Haas, and it was oxidized as if it had been sitting out…certainly wasn’t fresh made as i’ve come to expect. The rest of the meals was just as boring, no salt, no spice, nothing that would come close to matching the spicy decor of the building. All in all, a disappointment. I doubt very much we’ll be back.

  4. I ordered two street tacos, each one different and got a wrong order, they were both the same. Once the order was corrected still wasn’t impressed, very plain, cilantro and onions only. Won’t be going back. The margarita was good, but pricey.

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