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Cantina Laredo nails gourmet Mexican cuisine

By Steve Cabeza

Thanks to the fine folks at t.b.a., the buzz agency, I got a press kit and V.I.P. invite to the Grand Opening of Cantina Laredo at theVillage of Gulfstream, and was excited to sample some Gourmet Mexican Cuisine.

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In addition to almost 10 years as a salesman living on the road in hotels and constantly eating dinner out (both alone and whilst entertaining clients) all across our great nation and Texas, I lived and attended college in Mexico for almost a year many moons ago, so I think I can qualify as being a better-than-average judge of what Gourmet Mexican Cuisine might look like. Take it from me, Cantina has it nailed!

I was uplifted and impressed (not easily done) upon entering Cantina Laredo and catching a scent of the food combined with the warm, relaxing, and inviting décor, most succinctly described as “polished casual” (thanks Gordon!), modern, and minimal. The semi-circular bar acts as the center of the room, and the acoustics are well thought out. The room was full last night and I was still able to converse freely and use my tape recorder without cackle, clamor, or music drowning it out. The pottery and tile decorative accents make sense without being gratuitously “South of the Border.” It is very tastefully done.

This was the V.I.P. Grand Opening and the drinks were flowing along with some fabulous food served at buffet stations. The dish that made the biggest impression was the Oaxaca Shrimp which is usually served as an entrée ($24) or piled on top of a steak. These are large shrimp that have been wrapped with bacon, Oaxaca Cheese, and peppers, before being lightly fried and finished off on the grill. Six of these would easily fill most people to a contented sigh. They were fantastic. I will be returning soon to try the Oaxaca Shrimp-stacked Steak!

There was also delicious ceviche (I am a huge fan of all types) made with Tilapia, shrimp, bay scallops, lime juice, Cholula (where I went to college) Hot Sauce, olives, onions, and capers. Overnight marinating helps the flavors fuse fabulously, and I admired the large chunks in the ceviche—no corner-cutting here.

Highly touted dishes that I haven’t tried yet but will soon (stay-tuned for updates!) include the Top Shelf Guacamole (made table-side), Chilean Sea-Bass Entrée, and Mexican Apple Pie for dessert.

The staff was omnipresent, helpful, attentive, knowledgeable, and friendly. I understand that this was a big night, but it is clear that Cantina Laredo means business; they certainly know how to manage a first impression and I extend them kudos for the hard work they put into it.

Happy Hour is M- F from 4-7 p.m. Margaritas, house wine and domestics are all half priced. Thursday is Ladies Night, and margaritas are half-priced all night and at every table, so you don’t have to worry about crowding around the bar. See a bar review by clicking here on Cantina Laredo.

Entrees run from $14 – $26. Cantina Laredo is located in the Village at Gulfstream Park, 501 Silks Run, Hallandale Beach, FL, 33009. (

Steve is an aspiring writer, devout Floridaphile, marketing guy, and food & drink lover who enjoys sharing his experience and hearing of others. Find his local bar articles at and his personal blog at He can be reached at .

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Posted by Andrea Freygang on Mar 24 2010. Filed under Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale, Local news, New businesses, Taste Broward. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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