Friday, May 29, 2009

Girls Night Out doesn't get any better than this!

Great friends. Fresh guacamole. Refreshing libations. An attentive, wonderful server. Atmosphere. Delicious food. Amazing service. This was our experience at Cantina Laredo in the Gulch.

When the manager, Mike, discovered my mention of the restaurant on Blogof Joan a while back and left me a comment, encouraging me to visit, I thought we might get an appetizer comped. Instead he comped our entire ticket, which would have been, well, a lot, because it included me and three hungry friends. Completely unexpected, but just an example of the amazing service Cantina Laredo has.

And you know what? We would have happily paid full price after such an awesome evening. I can't think of a night when I had more fun, and the food and drink, from entree to dessert, was just a delight.

The first thing we found at Cantina Laredo is that the salsas are deliciously layered with the freshest flavors. Not the usual bowl of red stuff you get other places. And the chips are just right - warm, crispy and salty. Mmmmm. My favorite salsa was the roasted tomatillo (spicy!) which is actually served warm.

We put our adorable server Adrianne to work by ordering the table-made guacamole. Sure, we all have the kitchen skills to make guacamole at home, but somehow, when somebody else is doing it for you, it's 10 times better. Oh, and it's so very fresh. Even Sheryl, who's from Texas, and knows good guac, agreed it rocked.

The margaritas were a must-order and they did not disappoint. Made with fresh lime juice, they were muy fresco, not heavy laden with a sugar taste you often get when a mix is used.

I ordered The Cantina Laredo Platter, which included a cheesy chile relleno, a tamale and steak taco. I enjoyed my meal but had filled up on chips and guacamole, so couldn't finish. I can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch.

The Kellys both had the fajitas and Sheryl had Oaxaca Camarones con Tocino, which translates as shrimp filled with oaxaca cheese and jalapeƱos that are wrapped in smoked bacon. The shrimp were perfectly seasoned and the bacon added a sweet and salty finish I wasn't expecting. Those were my favorite of the night.

We finished the evening with the Mexican brownie, which Adrianne brought to the table in a skillet, then doused with sizzling Mexican brandy butter and piled high with cinnamon ice cream. That so rocked. We nearly licked our plates clean. I enjoyed a cup of coffee with it and it was supurb.

Had Mike not so graciously comped our bill, it would have been around $150. Entrees average $20 and up, and that special guac was $10. So if you want a cheap Mexican meal, this isn't the place to go. But if you want atmosphere (the place is sleek and modern and oh, it was PACKED with beautiful people, by the way), great food and the most outstanding service in Nashville, go to Cantina Laredo. The servers treat you like a million bucks and we had lots of quality time with the manager and even one of the chefs.

Manager Mike and Server Adrianne are now our new friends. We'll ask for them next time we go.

Loving Cantina Laredo. If you want better pictures of the fabulous food (darn my Blackberry - it's convenient, but the pictures stink), go to

PS more on The Gulch later. It was my first time down there in a while and it is totally transformed. And people said nobody would want to live, work or play in the Gulch. Just goes to show you not to listen to the naysayers.


Chris said...

Hi Joan. I ran across your blog while trying to find a good place to eat when I visit Nashville this summer. I had heard they recently opened a Cantina Laredo and have read many positive things about it, but seeing your blog helped me make up my mind. I guess I should go ahead and make my reservation, it sounds like a popular place! I can't wait.

jessica said...

I think I should have skipped the trainer for all of that! Sob! So glad you guys had fun!!

Joan said...

Chris - when you come, please tell Mike you heard about this place through Blog of Joan. He will treat you right! Let me know if you need any other suggestions on restaurants or things to do!

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