Local Cantina is a fun new Mexican place right off Grandview Avenue -- like the similar new El Camino Inn on Fourth Street, it's a kitschy approach with cheap tacos and lots of tequila. I was initially optimistic about the larger, more interesting food menu at Local Cantina, owned by the people who run Aladdin's and Local Bar. But the food I tried was good, not great, so I'll call it a draw. Both spots serve up decent grub and good drinks in campy, fun atmospheres.
I tried three tacos: one with roasted carnitas, mango and pineapple; a fish taco with cabbage slaw and chipotle cream; and a Rajas veggie taco with poblanos, onions and queso. The best was the fish taco, a simple and relatively authentic take on the street food staple. The carnitas were a bit overcooked, while the rajas were a little bland despite the heat from the poblanos.
A Cantina Burrito smothered in queso fared worse, with tough beef brisket and way too much lettuce.
As I mentioned, though, the drinks are quite nice. A rotating selection of craft beers is offered on tap, plus the typical Dos Equis and Bohemia and Corona. And I'm excited to work through an interesting margarita collection after trying the excellent Mustache Ride ($7), made with Patron, lime, agave nectar and a Grand Marneir float.
Oh, and the chips! The standard restaurant-quality tortilla chips are stored in a huge vat near the front, where customers can help themselves to big bowlfuls and salsa.
I'd recommend splurging for a $4 bowl of the taqueria-style guacamole, made with onions and cilantro, to accompany the complimentary salsa.
Here's the rest of the menu:
CHIPS & DIPS
Tomatillo Salsa, $2: fire-roasted tomatillos, chopped chilis, cilantro, lime, onion
Chipotle Pepper, $2: roasted chipotle peppers, ranch
Diablo, $2: fire-roasted tomatoes, chilis
Queso, $4: melted cheese, jalapenos
Local Guacamole, $4
Mango Pineapple Salsa, $3: red onion, fresh mint
Queso Fundido, $5: melted cheese, grilled chorizo
Trio Sampler, $5: Tomatillo, Diablo and Mango salsas
Roasted Carnitas, $3: mango, pineapple, mint
Cantina Fish Taco, $3: slaw, chipotle cream, lime
Picadillo Taco, $3: ground beef, potato, Diablo salsa
BBQ Beef Brisket Taco, $3: roasted brisket, BBQ, cole slaw
Cantina Fajita Taco, $3: beef or chicken, grilled onion, peppers, lime
Baja Shrimp Taco, $3: Baja sauce, cabbage, queso
Rajas Taco, $3: poblano peppers, onions, queso
Migas Taco, $3: refried beans, guacamole, queso fresco, sour cream, lime
Chorizo & Egg, $3: scrambled eggs, chorizo, salsa
Green Egg No Ham, $3: scrambled eggs, verde salsa
Casa Del Nacho, $8: shredded carnitas, queso, beans, pico, sour cream
Grilled Chicken Nachos, $7: tomato salsa, queso, beans, chipotle cream
Brisket Nachos, $9: beef brisket, queso, jalapenos, onion, BBQ sauce
Fajitas for 1, $9: chicken or beef
Fajitas for 2, $16: chicken or beef
Cantina Burrito, $7: carnitas, brisket, chicken or rajas with refried beans, pico, rice, lettuce, covered in queso
Monterrey Quesadilla, $6: chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream
Fajita Quesadilla, $8: chicken or steak, grilled peppers and onion, queso, pico, sour cream
Tres Amigos Quesadilla, $7: wild mushroom blend, chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, crema
1423 Grandview Ave., Grandview
Hours: 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-12 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-10 p.m. Sunday