Friday, July 3, 2015

Urban Cantina Mexican Restaurant in Tampa, FL

On a recent rainy evening, I stopped for dinner in Downtown Tampa at a Mexican restaurant called Urban Cantina. My initial destination was going to be a nearby Taco Bus location to give them a second try. After walking by and seeing that restaurant deserted with all the employees outside smoking, we decided to give Urban Cantina a try instead.
Chips and salsa was served first. The chips were interesting. They were probably double the thickness of a typical tortilla chip. They reminded me more of a pita chip than a tortilla chip.
I had their Three Taco Combo. I tried the Carne Asada taco, the Tinga taco, and the Al Pastor taco. The carne asada was filled with steak, onions, cilantro, queso fresco and avocado. The tinga was served on a hard taco shell, filled with chipotle marinated chicken, onions, lettuce, pico, and queso. This was my least favorite of the three tacos. The chicken lacked flavor and toppings combined with the hard shell reminded me of something Taco Bell would serve. My personal favorite of the three tacos was the Al Pastor. This soft tortilla was filled with marinated pork, pineapple, cilantro, onions, and cheese. The sweet pineapple provided a nice balance between the savory pork and the salty cheese. Refried beans and rice were served alongside the tacos.
Overall, I liked my tacos. The food was good. My one complaint about Urban Cantina is the TV placement in the restaurant. They had televisions placed around the dining room, like many restaurants do (although I'm not a big fan of this). The problem in this restaurant was that the TV that I was facing behind our table was so low that it was very hard to ignore. Seeing silent images of some sort of crime scene reconstruction show slightly above eye level for my entire meal was really distracting.

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