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Local Cantina Brings Casual Mexican to Grandview Avenue

 Briana Gunter Local Cantina Brings Casual Mexican to Grandview Avenue
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With everything from Indian, Indonesian, Mediterranean, and Italian restaurants to pub grub like The Winking Lizard Tavern, it seems Grandview Avenue offers a little of everything from every corner of the world. Nestled in a small plaza of restaurants and businesses, Local Cantina is the latest addition to the already diverse culinary scene in the area.

Lanterns and lights strung across the ceiling illuminate the room while the random pictures, vintage license plates, and various beer bottles decorating the walls give the restaurant that cantina feel. While it sticks pretty readily to its cantina motif, Local Cantina also has a few typical bar offerings too, with a jukebox and big screen TVs throughout. (I bet they’re the only place on Grandview Avenue with a skee-ball machine, though).

Like most bars, Cantina offers a little something for everybody as far as drinks go. But margaritas are their specialty and if you’re a tequila fan, you definitely want to check this place out.

I’m not much of a tequila drinker but even I found the Gimlet ($6) to be pretty palatable. Made with Cazadores, muddled lime, and agave nectar, the drink came in this little mason jar which, while cute (I’ve never seen a mason jar that small before), could have been a little bigger for $6. The tequila packs a bit of a punch, but the sweetness of the lime and agave help balance out the taste.

The Mustache Ride ($7), on the other hand? Well, let’s just say it is very aptly named; if it doesn’t add hair to your upper lip, trust me, it’ll add a couple strands to your chest for sure. Though the only differing ingredient is the addition of Grand Marnier, this drink and the Gimlet are worlds apart. It was recommended to me by one of the servers as a “smooth drink with A LOT of liquor.” The smooth part was debatable, but she wasn’t kidding about the lots of liquor. Tequila wimp that I am, I ended up having the bartender add more orange juice to the glass just so I could finish it. Needless to say, if you love tequila, this is your drink. If, like me, you still have your tequila training wheels on, stick with the Gimlet or Blood Orange.

I didn’t have any of the food, but my friend ordered the quesadilla and if the size of it was any indication of the portion sizes, you’ll certainly get bang for your buck. The prices for both the food and drinks are easy on the wallet, with most things hovering around the $6-10 mark. The free nacho bar is also a nice touch that allows you to refill and dress up your nachos as often as you like without having to flag down a server.

Local Cantina
1423 Grandview Ave.
Columbus OH, 43212

With its large tables and booths throughout the room, Local Cantina’s very casual atmosphere encourages large groups of friends to come unwind after work or on the weekends, and the busy crowd proved the message got through loud and clear.

For more information about Local Cantina, click here to visit the CU Messageboard.

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  • buckette13

    Just as a historical geographical point of reference – this is located in the former location of Aladdin’s before it moved into Caribou Coffee’s spot.

  • I just made a visit here the other day for lunch. I had a quesadilla, tacos, chips and salsa, a few margaritas, and a deep fried chocolate chip cookie. Over all it was good the salsa has a very different flavor then most carry, I think its chili oil. It is good personally; I prefer the fresh tomato and cilantro salsa. I also think the margaritas are a tad on the small size other then that the food was good.

  • FWIW, a $6 tequila gimlet in a mini Mason jar made with a good brand like Cazadores – one of my favorites – is the ideal size considering the alcohol content, and still easy on the wallet. Tequila has a tendency to creep up on you, don’t forget!

  • leftovers

    We must have driven by there a dozen times and never knew this had opened.

  • ricospaz

    I went there a couple weeks ago. The fish tacos were excellent and the drinks well made. Not really a family place as the music was loud, but a good happy hour spot.

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