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Openings Wed May 11 2011
The past few days have been unusually sweltering out. Sweltering to the point where I had to have a Slurpee at 8am and may have inappropriately disrobed on the way to the El.
Regardless of the fro I'm now sporting due to the overwhelming humidity, I do have one thing to be grateful for -- dining alfresco.
This week I had the opportunity to check out Cantina 46, and while I am disappointed that Vince Vaughan showed up after I had already left, I was too full (and buzzed) to care.
The restaurant (located in the former Salute location, 40 E. Superior St.) will be celebrating its grand opening today, and while Mr. Vaughn clearly came because he knew I was going to be there, you're probably wondering why else he was so eager to dine at this new hot spot. I'm no mind reader, but I'm guessing it just might have something to do with their Short Rib Enchiladas and waitresses clad in tequila-holding hip holsters (you had me at hello, Cantina 46).
I started out my meal the only way a meal should be started out -- with an adult beverage. I ordered a traditional margarita -- this is a Mexican restaurant after all -- and was quickly on my way to my happy place (which might have a little something to do with Vince). As I found myself sipping my drink and imagining frolicking on a sandy beach in Mexico I was quickly interrupted by my waitress and her cowboy like moves as she whipped out a tequila bottle from her hip holster and provided me with a "topper," all the more reason to dine here.
Another great reason? The view. With sidewalk seating in great demand as the weather creeps above freezing, this restaurant has one of the best in the Gold Coast area. While much of my meal was spent noshing and imbibing, I did periodically lift my head from my plate to check out the scene which will only get better as the weather gets warmer.
Because I'm no lush (really, I swear), I also made sure to check out a sampling of the menu. I piled my plate high with chilaquiles, chile relleno, enchiladas, tacos and ceviche. I again found myself in my happy place as I tasted the flavors that were so familiarly Mexican, but lacked something we are so used to -- the sensation of oil and deep-fried artery clogging ingredients. You see, the restaurant prides itself on being a no-fry, no freezer eatery where you are guaranteed the true taste of Mexican food without the need for Pepto Bismol -- or in other words, a great place for a first date (wink, wink Vince).
But don't take my word for it. Check out the restaurant's menu here [PDF] and head on over stat before it starts snowing again.