Cantina: Fresh Food and Hospitality for the Entire Family
As we kickoff our reviews and highlights, in preparation for Birmingham Restaurant Week, we must begin with the Cantina. Located at Pepper Place, the Cantina is an extraordinarily casual yet sophisticated restaurant that will make everyone in your family happy – especially mom.
It begins with a generous outdoor dining area and an indestructible indoor dining room fit for young professionals after work but also your toddler who cannot sit still and seems to leave half her meal on the floor. The process for ordering is as follows: guests enter, grab a menu and order from the counter before sitting at a table. However, it is our practice (and my recommendation to moms) that you seat your family at a table, grab some menus and basically figure out your order. Then, only one adult actually heads to the counter to place the meal order. This will eliminate that most annoying tug on your pants leg or skirt while you place your order. Although I can attest to the unending patience of Cantina staff with children’s orders!
The food is delicious, simple and fresh. Start with guacamole and chips or their cheese/chorizo dip (hint: order cheese dip without the chorizo for small kids) and drinks. For dinner, kids will enjoy a simple cheese quesadilla or soft taco (fish, steak or veggie) delivered in a resilient basket. A selection of tacos is a satisfying dinner for the entire family but adults can also enjoy special plates like the Cilantro Chicken – a delicious grilled chicken on a bed of saffron rice and corn, the Grilled Salmon which is served over mashed potatoes or the shrimp quesadilla. For dessert, the Cantina serves a delicious vanilla flan or churros. These items are included on the Birmingham Restaurant Week 2013 menu for a great fixed price. One person in the family could order the fixed price meal (chips, entrée and dessert) and then supplement the rest of the family a la carte.
The Cantina is the perfect place to eat before a Barons game (home games during restaurant week 8/18-8/22), lunch after the Saturday farmer’s market, during the third Tuesday evening market at Pepper Place on August 20th and, well, anytime your family is hungry and you need a simple, quick, fresh dinner.