Made the 45 minute MRT trip from downtown Taipei again last night; I made sure to call this time and check their website for store hours
Remember, Tuesdays are closed!
The Cantina is well lit, air conditioned, and has a large flat-screen for sports (or soap operas) behind a small bar. Very comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
I'm happy to say that the freshness and quality of the food is still mouth-watering good since I last visited the stand with my girlfriend back in May. The added bonus is that they have an expanded menu at the Cantina! For those of you who haven't been to the Cantina yet, they now have soft tacos, Fajitas, chimichangas, nachos, etc. in addition to the burritos and quesadillas they had when operating the stand. Since I took two friends along with me and my girlfriend, the four of us were able to try a variety of dishes. The burritos and quesadillas have been reviewed in this forum already, so I'll go into the other things we ordered:
Nachos: hot and crispy, I would guess that they fresh cut the tortillas and fry them. Comes covered in ground beef, Mexican cheese, and jalapenos, with red and green salsa and sour cream on the side.
Soft Tacos: Fluffy flour tortillas (not the corn variety) with the traditional onions and cilantro toppings over the meat (or beans) of your choice. I got Carnitas, which was absolutely amazing... dripping with hearty flavor with just enough spice. Reminded me of eating in Ensenada. I later learned that Eddy uses a slow cooked recipe that takes hours so that the pork is extremely flavorful and tender.
Chimichangas: Packed with beans and meat (Carnitas). Delicious. I'm used to the thick, crunchy commercial tortillas used in Southern California that overwhelm the taste, but these had a thin, light, crispy skin that complemented all the flavors.
We got a pitcher of Horchata to wash it all down. The Horchata also tasted very fresh, with a distinct rice flavor, not overly sweet, and a dash of cinnamon on top.
Pricing: for around 200NT, you get a full meal that includes main dish, chips, beans and rice, and a soda. Will leave you very satisfied, if not stuffed! This is a great value in my opinion, for authentic homemade Mexican food in Taiwan, or elsewhere for that matter. I'll be back again soon! :notworthy:
Orders came rather staggered in terms of timing, although Eddy later came and apologized even though we never brought it up. They seem to be still working through the growing pains of opening a new restaurant.
Also, with regard to comments about getting more local Taiwanese customers by altering the dishes, I'd hate for Eddy to compromise the authenticity of the food for the sake of the local palate. There are literally dozens of true "local" eateries dotting the street near Eddy's place that can be chosen from; for Eddy to butcher his food by mutating the original recipes with sugar, noodles, canned corn or whatever, risks losing the established customers that love the current food. I doesn't seem worth it. Eddy isn't a Fusion chef. Obviously if Eddy and Jo went from a stand to opening a restaurant in such a short time, they must be doing something right. Or maybe I'm just selfish and need my authentic Mexican food fix!