What did they do to my La Cocina del Puerco?!? (KC)
We drove by yesterday on our way to Casa Paloma, and there is a new sign up that says Austin's Cantina!!! Everything looks pretty much the same inside. Their website still says La Cocina, etc. Please say it's just a name change! Please say it's just a name change! Please say it's just a name change!
Per a phone call to the restaurant (new phone number), same owners but they've changed the concept to be more similar to Austin's Bar and Grill, which also has locations in Olathe and somewhere else. They've changed the menu but kept some items from the former, including the carnitas, for which they assure me the recipe is the same.
Okay, full report... I have to agree with whoever said to take your carnitas and go out on the patio to eat. It just didn't feel the same, but maybe I went into it with preconceived notions. Or maybe it was because I didn't have a margarita this time? Anyway, I had the carnitas and refried beans (they did do away the pinto option on the beans) and the queso blanco. The queso blanco is still tasty, but it has changed... it seemed more like half queso blanco and half American cheese, or something? The carnitas and beans tasted the same, and the rice was top notch that night. My husband go the burrito with pork, and liked it as usual. They still have the carne asada and a lot of the regular menu items... however, they have added several American bar items, and all of those items are covered in Frank's Hot Sauce (which I hate)! Wings... in Frank's Hot Sauce, grilled chicken sandwich... in Frank's Hot Sauce, cheeseburger... with Frank's Hot Sauce on top. Thanks, but I'll stick to my usual... and eat it on the patio! So there! ;-)
re: Katie Nell
Rock on, sister! We are with you. It's patio dining or carnitas to-go for me from now on. . .I did, out of curiosity, drive out to Olathe to check out the other concept they own: Austin's Bar and Grill. Don't go, it will just depress you. It's in a strip center at the corner of 151st and Mur-len, I think. Besides if the bar food he recently added to the Cantina menu is any indication of what he sells there . . .save your gas money.
re: Katie Nell
Tried the carnitas tonight. I liked them pretty well, and I'm glad you recommended them, because I would never have stopped in this place otherwise. Some big hunks of actual pork (no strange animal bits), not much crisp, but good real porky flavor. They tasted like real food, not Sysco crap.
My wife's burger continued a recent unfortunate burger streak. Fries were bad. Rice and beans were okay. We ate inside, which felt less institutional than I expected, and it had its own certain charm, though I would never call it charming. The patio did look nice.
Oh, and the tortillas! Awful. I ordered flour since they advertised flour on the menu. Maybe if I had ordered corn? I don't know, but I wonder if you can bring your own. Limp and stale, crusty around the edges. The first one was kind of hot, covering some of its poor qualilty. Can you BYOT?
Salsas were not very good either. The table salsa tasted like canned tomatoes with a hint of fresh cilantro tossed in. The hot salsa was okay, the green salsa had a weird effervescence and the pico de gallo looked and tasted kind of scary.
I guess I'm not real high on this place, but given all the other negatives, the tasty carnitas were a real surprise. I wonder if you can get takeout by the pound.