Restaurant Review: Cantina Laredo

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Cantina Laredo continues to aim high in the increasingly competitive Tex-Mex and Mexican segments of the restaurant industry. The Polaris location, the only one in Ohio for the Texas chain, features a series of dining rooms, some of which can open onto a courtyard when the weather is warm enough.

The menu hasn't remained static since last fall's opening. One of the best new items is enchiladas de avocado ($10). Compared with the typically heavy, cheese-drowned enchiladas found at Tex-Mex restaurants, this one is light.

It's made with true corn tortillas, which are folded around a filling of sliced Hass avocados and thinly sliced artichoke hearts. A fresh-tasting, house-made tomatillo sauce -- with tomatoes, onion, cilantro and jalapeno peppers -- gives the filling a tart, zippy flavor.

The enchiladas are placed on a bed of spinach and baked. After a turn in the oven, a garnish of sour cream, sweet red pepper and fresh cilantro is added.

The accompaniment is also attention-getting: a fresh-tasting jicama salad, with a lively dressing and great texture. It's a great summertime dish that would be nice to have during the cold season as well.

Unlike the practice of most chains, where the lunch menu is an edited version of the dinner lineup, Cantina Laredo includes some lunch-only offerings.

One is the hearty chicken flautas ($8). Mole chicken is folded into jack cheese, onion, minced jalapeno and a poblano sauce. The flautas are rolled into the same real corn tortillas, which are briefly fried and served, decorated with more poblano sauce and tomato, fresh cheese and cilantro. The garnish is a light Mexican rice.

Click to Dispatch.com for more restaurant reviews from Jon Christensen.

Cantina Laredo

8791 Lyra Dr., Polaris

614-781-1139

Web: cantinalaredo.com

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday