Cantina Laredo - Boulder
I don't get this place. Tried it last night for the first (and last) time. When the server began by telling us that this is a "gourmet Mexican restaurant" and that all ingredients "are made from scratch" I got the feeling that she was trying to justify what was coming in advance. By the way, the server was the best part of the meal. She was pleasant, friendly and just the right amount of attentive.
But, if you want real gourmet Mexican, then go to Don Juan's in Chicago or second choice, Tamayo in Denver.
My gripes in the order that we received them:
1. The tequila list is really thin. No stand-outs. Just the usual.
2. Ditto on the beer.
3. The wine list is worse than dismal.
4. 10 bucks for guacamole? Yeah, it's made at the table but that didn't help it. I have a recipe for guac that is light years better.
5. My wife got the Durango plate. The relleno was over battered and over limp. The mole enchilada was just bland. (If you want better mole, go to Mamacitias.) The sour cream & spinach enchilado was also fairly tasteless.
6. At 6:30 they were out of the halibut special but gave me swordfish which wasn't on the menu. It was a thin cut, grilled well but the alleged red pepper sauce didn't seem to have any red pepper.
7. Because of the aforesaid halibut outage, the server comped us dessert which was a nice gesture. This was the best part of dinner. The 7 layer chocolate cake was dynamite. The serving size was designed for Orson Wells.
So, gourment Mex, it's not. Passable hole-in-the-wall Mex it's not. This place is just mediocre at best.
OK, you are talking about the Cantina Laredo that's just south of Belt Line on Midway in Addison. I was in Dallas for 8 years form '95 to '03, and I'm not sure I knew anyone who liked it at that point. Too many other, better options nearby. My ex g/f went there once for a work thing and hated it.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago (early 1980's?), Cantina Laredo was a small, locally owned Mexican restaurant in Dallas, TX (Addison to be more specific). It was fabulous... original, fresh and delicious.
But they either decided to start franchising themselves, or perhaps they were bought by another company that decided to franchise them after purchase. I don't know. I just know that they were our favorite Mexican restaurant in the late 1980's in Texas.
Taking great restaurants and scaling them up doesn't always work. There are Cantina Laredo restaurants from here to Florida... they are not the same as the original in Texas. Heck, the original in Texas isn't the same as the original, original anymore. I've eaten at one in Arizona and the "original" in Texas within the past year and I was disappointed with both.
And it sounds like the one in Boulder isn't worth it either. Too bad because the original was just that -- original.