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Café Cantina:

Toned-Down Mexican

RESTAURANT LATIN MEXICAN POINTE-SAINT-CHARLES CASUAL <$20

The Pitch

With spring approaching – and the weather slowly becoming more conducive to walking – I have recently started to explore the area surrounding my new workplace.  With a dearth of options for lunch on a Monday in slowly-gentrifying Pointe-Saint-Charles, the nearby Café Cantina came to mind.

tagged:  OPEN ON MONDAY

The Mood

Mood image

In business since 2011, the casual Mexican eatery must have caught The Point's condo/office boom early on.  A prior visit at noon revealed a tiny dining room teeming with techie types – probably from tech hub Nordelec next door.  Show up closer to one in the afternoon and you should have the place for yourself – as my two kids and I did today.

tagged:  BRING THE KIDS

The Food

The canteen's menu leans towards Tex-Mex with a prominent section of tortilla-centric main dishes such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas and quesadillas.  Guac, chili and a couple salads round up the food selection.

The burrito and tacos we ordered were filling and hit the spot, although I felt the flavours were played safe and subdued.  An extra squirt of lime, sprig of coriander or pinch of spice would have gone the extra mile.

Chips & Salsa thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Starter

Starter

$2.95

$2.95

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Chips & Salsa

"small"

Beef Burrito thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Main

Main

$11.95

$11.95

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Beef Burrito

"wheat tortilla filled with rice, black beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole & salsa, side of salad"

Chicken Tacos thumbnail (click to enlarge)

Main

Main

$13.45

$13.45

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Chicken Tacos

"corn tortillas served with guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, onions, peppers, tomatoes & red cabbage, side of rice, black beans & salad"

The Service

Our timid punk-ish waitress was mild mannered and amicable.  She was also helpful in pointing out dishes which might prove too fiery for my kids – although a teeny kick would not have hurt. As expected of a spot whose bread and butter is the lunch service, our food came out lightning fast.

tagged:  IN & OUT

The Verdict

Although Café Cantina has a lot going on for it, I personally thought it failed to deliver that punch I desire from Mexican food.  Granted, it is quick and affordable; and its laid-back/grungy vibe fits nicely in its anti-trendy surroundings.  However, I would not recommend it to anyone living or working outside of a two-block radius.

tagged:  PLAN B.

Price per person:  $15.65

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514eats

Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink.  We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.

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