Cabana Grill (CLOSED)

Cabana Grill (menu here) opened in Mandarin recently, and I was invited to a special blogger lunch to try them out. Ever since I heard they were coming, I was very interested. They are from the same people as Pollo Tropical, so I knew they would be good!

Let me start by saying how awesome the restaurant is. All of the decor is authentic Mexican pieces, and they even commissioned a photographer to go down to Mexico and shoot street photos! As a photographer myself, I can really appreciate the awesomeness in that! Another really cool thing is that they make all of their salsas and sauces in house daily. Nothing is delivered in cans, it's all fresh veggies. All tortillas are always made fresh to order, and you can really taste the difference (more on that later!) They have a window next to the registers where you can watch the magic happen, which I love. To me that means they have nothing to hide and it's very respectable.

Now, on to the food!!
They have a salsa bar, and I tried almost everything on it. You can't go wrong. I will warn you though, that salsa verde is so spicy that it made my throat close. True Story.

 We were treated to a few different menu items - Steak Quesadilla, Shrimp Quesadilla, Chicken Taco, Steak Taco, Mexican Potatoes, and Sopapillas. Everything was really really good! The Steak was tasty and the chicken was real grilled chicken pieces. The shrimp was my favorite. They use small shrimp, but you gets lots of them. I like that way better than one or 2 large shrimp. The Shrimp quesadilla was very cheesy and had a very nice flavor.
These things are like crack. They are little pillows of awesomeness. Do yourself a favor and order them. You can thank me later.
I liked this place so much that I took my coworker Michelle with me again 2 days later! On this trip I got the Taco Plate with  Shrimp Tacos, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Black Beans. Once again, it was delicious! I really enjoyed the flavor of the sauce in the tacos and the rice and black beans were great additions to the meal. With the tortillas being made fresh to order, that really gives it something extra. They were light and flaky...unlike a ready-made tortilla!

Michelle got the Chicken Tortilla Bowl.  She also really enjoyed her meal and mentioned how great the bowl tasted and how fresh it was. The bowl was loaded high and was a very good value at $5.49.

Verdict: Loved it!!
I don't know what is going on with the negative reviews I have seen. Everyone I have talked to likes this place, so all I can ask is that you go there and form your own opinion. All I can think is that they have only been open a week, so I'm sure they have had a few bumps in the road. I have been there twice now and I love it. The food is super fresh and the employees are very friendly and attentive. I will be back for sure...hopefully during happy hour (from 4-7) when the margaritas are $1.50!!

Cabana Grill on Urbanspoon


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