Cantina in the old Marthas Café building (photo from the Hook)

Cantina in the old Martha's Café building (photo from the Hook)

Though we were sad to see Martha’s Café go, we were happy to hear that a taqueria had arrived in its place. Cantina has preserved the same homey feel as Martha’s but the menu is straightforward Tex-Mex, with basically nothing besides nachos, tacos, quesadillas, and burritos.

I had the spicy chicken quesadillas, which sounded delicious — cumin, chili, cheese, etc. — with a tall limeade on the side. Erin had a chicken burrito and unsweetened iced tea.

The verdict: Decent flavors but poor execution. My chicken was overcooked and chewy. The chips were straight out of (the bottom of) the bag and the black bean-mango salsa was old and mushy.

Half-baked six-pack condiment caddy

Half-baked six-pack condiment caddy

It’s also hurting on presentation. Plastic cutlery comes in an awkward cardboard beer 6-pack that isn’t as charming as it should be. Salsa and guacamole are slapped into the basket with the chips instead of in separate containers, and drinks come out sometimes in plastic cups, sometimes in glass.

Some of these issues will surely be ironed out after Cantina has been open for a while. Maybe I’ll return in a few months to try it again. But probably not.

Erin, my partner in food crime, adds: “Biggest problem was my burrito tortilla seemed barely steamed. Why doesn’t everyone know the beauty of grilling your wrapped burrito?”

award_star_gold_3 16 Rating: Erin:  Jed:

thumb_up 16 Pros: Outdoor seating, good service, open late (4am on weekends).

thumb_down 16 Cons: Mediocre food, bad presentation.

money_dollar 16 Price: $5.50 for a small quesadilla. $5.50 for a chicken burrito. $3.10 per taco.

car famfam 16 Parking: There is a small pay lot immediately across the street but it is often full. During the school year parking on the Corner can be a hassle.

phone 16 Contact Info

View Larger Map

newspaper 16 Read More