WHEN THERE’S A LOCALLY-OWNED eatery whose motto is “We believe in craft beer, hand-crafted tacos and finely-crafted tequila,” we would be derelict in our Taste Buds duties not to report said establishment. (And let’s face it, the Taste Buds can be derelict enough without shirking our foodie duties.) So let’s get our taco and tequila on and check out Local Cantina.
We all know Local Bar, the space for great craft beers, crab races and a great time in general. Recently, one of the owners wanted to “bring the Local Bar flair to a restaurant” and that investment helped bring us Local Cantina. This review, in order to ensure its thoroughness, “required” more than one visit in order to keep trying different things. To be exact, four visits were required. With great food and great drinks, who could resist a $4 Mustache Ride and a couple of tasty tacos?
Local Cantina features tacos in normal people portions. If you’re expecting that rice-overboard bloat from “that” mas Mexi-chain, you won’t get it here. What you do get are ingredients clearly prepared with exquisite detail and assembled in very unique, flavor-complimenting ways. Pick two tacos (two different ones, if you’re like us) and then fill up with the free, endless chips and salsa. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill “What do they expect for free?” salsa. It has just the right blend of tomato, mild heat and cilantro goodness.
So about those two (or three) tacos you’re likely going to select? Though you can’t go wrong with any selection, our faves are:
- Roasted Carnitas: juicy pork and a pineapple mango salsa with a little cilantro on top.
- The Avocado BLT is amazing. The cilantro ranch dressing really sets it apart.
- The Grilled Fish taco has a jalapeno slaw and a little chipotle cream drizzle.
- For a touch of Mexican meat, there’s the Chorizo and Egg with an onion-cilantro-salsa mix.
And about that Mustache Ride? It’s Tequila Cazadores, Grand Marnier, agave and lime. It’s a simple but potent concoction that you can find for five bucks on happy hour, when you’ll also find their extensive selection of craft beers on draft for $3 a pint. The House Margarita at $5 regular price is nice. The same drink without the splash of OJ is $4, El Pozo. Nice. Rustic. Rough yet smooth.
Beyond tacos, we can recommend the quesadilla, and superb fajitas, as well as the Cantina Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken. Taste Bud Craig suggests ordering that last item plus a side of black beans, mix it all together, and ask for an extra of their house Chipotle Agave Vinaigrette Dressing. This, folks, is an amazing, filling salad. If you have eaten your fair share of chips, you’ll likely have take-home lunch for tomorrow!
You can find Local Cantina in Grandview at 1423-B Grandview Avenue and also in the Creekside at Gahanna at 101 Mill Street.
Like to plan for your visit? Check out: LocalCantina.com
The Taste Buds have full intentions of giving Local Cantina a full four thumbs up, as soon as all four hands stop shoving this fine local food into their faces!
Photo | Ryan Schumann, Rude Photography