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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Catrina's Cocina y Galeria, Tampa, FL

I'll start out by being fair...Mexican cuisine is not my fave and seldom sends me spiraling into the throes of blissful nirvana.  That said, I think Catrina's delivered some decent dishes.  Let's take a peek at the cute interior first (and duly note that we were there at 3:00 PM...that awkward hour just after lunch and just before dinner, ergo the "ghost town" ambience).  Colorful and cozy.
















While I didn't have a hangover on this particular occasion, I filed away the fact that cures for said ailment are available here for future reference...it's only a matter of time.



















We received prompt and friendly service at Catrina's, which began with a couple of ice-cold Mich Ultras and an interesting amuse bouche of chile-spiced jicama, cucumber and orange bits. 











The Queso Fundido (melted Mexican cheese, crumbled chorizo, poblano peppers and onions served with really divine, hand-made tender corn tortillas) was spicy and uber-meaty-and-cheesy...my favorite taste of the afternoon. 


UD's combo of Tacos al Pastor (savory, marinated pork with fresh cilantro, onions and green salsa) coupled with nicely spicy Tacos de Chorizo were fresh tasting and had a pleasing level of heat (dialed down to a subtle level, but still zippy enough to make us appreciate our cold brewskis).  Both were served with more of the delightful corn tortillas.  Having lived and worked in Mexico City for a few years in the '90s, he deemed them "muy autentico".
















I stayed on the safe side and ordered the shrimp quesadilla, which was fine but failed to leave me in a state of "OMG...how soon can I come back to Catrina's Cocina????".  Flanked by the same ubiquitous and utterly forgettable rice and beans you get at every chain Mexican resto in the North America, it did little (okay...nothing) to inspire raves. I lost the photo of the entire plate, but did manage to salvage a pic of the quesadilla interior (which somehow brings to mind a nasty infection of some kind). Sorry about that...looked prettier from the outside.
















Overall, this was an okay experience...acceptable, yet rather unmemorable as far as I'm concerned (Fundido aside).  I think some aspects need work.  I sit on the fence with this one.

http://www.catrinascocinaygaleria.com/

Catrinas Cocina y Galeria on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

  1. Gotta try la Casa del tio on drew in clearwater...best lengua tacos ever

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  2. Thanks for the rec...always looking for new places to try!

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  3. Oh Sweet Polly! We ate there and it was a disaster! The chips were raw in the middle, the steak was over-cooked and rubbery and without taste.... the entire meal was inedible! When the cook/owner asked us how our meal was we were honest, but polite. She told us never to come back!! I will NEVER go back! There are MANY better options for good mexican food and this isn't it!

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  4. Excellent and the best Mexican food in town! For those that really know about food this is the real thing!! Atmosphere, servers and owners are great!! Delicious food!

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  5. THANKS SWEET POLLY THIS IS THE BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN TOWN! FYI: THEIR LENGUA TACOS ARE EXCELLENT..GREAT ATMOSPHERE, MUSIC, DECORATION AND SERVICE..A MUST TRY! WELL RECOMMENDED!!

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