Restaurant Review: 101 Cantina

A new Mexican restaurant has opened in town and you know what that means? I had to try it out. Yes indeed! The prices were a bit outrageous for a Mexican restaurant, especially one right across from campus. But with 35 margaritas on the menu, there was no question I was going. 35??? Are you serious? A must.

First, let's talk about the website and atmosphere. There are NO HOURS on the site! Why have a site if I have to call ahead to make sure you're open??? It has separate menu links for margaritas, tequilas, island drinks and pitchers which all went to the same thing. The only differences in the lunch and dinner menus is not price, it's that the lunch menu has a few sandwiches and wraps. In their place at dinner were 3 entrees. That's not going to work. Lunch is supposed to be a more cost-effective option. The inside is far too small. We were forced to sit outside because the restaurant was full. I wouldn't be surprised if it only seated 30. If memory serves me correctly there were no more than 8 tables against a wall and a bar. If we'd sat at the bar, perhaps we would've gotten our drinks more promptly. The outside bar took an obscenely long time

I saw several ceviches on the menu but I'm not a fan of shrimp or scallops so that eliminated a few. I decided to try the tuna ceviche which was Asian-style. The chunks of tuna were way too large and didn't have enough acid which made it taste flat. When the server asked me about it and I said there wasn't enough acid, she said, "I think the traditional ceviche has more of the acid taste, but because this is more of a non-traditional take on it, that's why." Yeah, no. It's ceviche and should therefore still TASTE like ceviche no matter what other ingredients you put in it. I've had multiple ceviche preparations including about a dozen at a restaurant dedicated to AND CALLED Seviche in Pittsburgh. And ALL of them had plenty of acid. That recipe needs to be fixed. Especially at that $10 price tag. The portion was huge, plenty to share among several people, but probably a tad ambitious for 2.

We had the 101 margarita which was the best one. The key lime margarita tasted almost powdery. Very strange and not appealing. The peach margarita didn't taste very peachy. The sangria margarita was definitely the worst and it didn't taste like sangria. Harsh reviews. But perhaps there should've been more taste tests of the ahead of time. I am absolutely still willing to make myself available if they would like someone to help them taste the margaritas as they tweak them.

Rashan had the chicken poblano pasta and liked it though it was a bit dry. I thought it could have used some heat. It didn't have to be mouth on fire hot, but something to perk up the flavor. It got better when he squeezed some lime juice on it. I had the cactus and corn and chicken fuego chimichanga. O.M.G. After a series of poor restaurant choices, the chimichanga was AWEEEEESOME!! I mean so good I couldn't keep Rashan's fork off of my plate! Delicious!! Loved it. Could eat it on a regular basis. And it was huge. Very much a fan. It's nice when the entree is fantastic. Now if they could only get more of the menu together.