Friday, February 1, 2008

Magnifico Mexican in Charlotte

Magnifico Mexican in Charlotte
Earlier this week the Godfather lunched at one of his favorite spots Big Daddy’s Burger Bar on East Blvd. On the way in I said hello to Frank Scibelli the owner of not only Big Daddy’s but also Mamma Ricotta and 2 locations of Cantina 1511.

Frank offered a nice hello and to my surprise knew I was the GFL and about my postings on Chow Hound.
So he asked – you don’t like my other two restaurants? Why? First I expressed my surprise that he read the postings on Chow Hound to which he replied of course its important to be aware of what people are thinking and saying. Straight away he won my respect and admiration! I explained that I thought the food was too Americanized. Frank asked me to give it another try; he explained he travels to Mexico and studies with Mexican Chefs and that he uses many authentic ingredients. They even use lard to make the house made tortillas. I thought his request was very reasonable and agreed to check it out soon.

The Godfather is a man of his word so the next day GFL and three other hungry hombres arrived at Cantina 1511 for lunch. To my delight my former feelings are out dated and we had a truly great meal.

The quality of the food and the authenticity of the ingredients were impressive.
The menu has a strong Oaxacan influence, which insures a more sophisticated and vibrant experience
My base line for checking out Mexican places is Taco’s. Not the fried yellow things but rather the soft tortillas served at countless Taqueria’s here and in Mexico. I had the corn tortillas rather than the flour but both are available. I had several taco’s the Taco al Pastor- slow cooked pork with shredded cabbage, habanero crema and fresh cilantro, the Guadalajara style- shrimp tacos with masa tempura batter, cabbage, radish, pico de gallo & lime, the Carnitas taco- braised Pork with avocado habanero salsa, and the barbacoa de puerco- Slow cooked, braised, shredded pork. Each was fantastic! Fresh, high quality ingredients prepared in an authentic and delicious manner. Accompanied by cilantro rice, charro beans, and tortilla slaw. The most spectacular was the Barbacoa de Puerco - so very tender, juicy and bursting with the flavor of Mexico. Lunch was exceptional and I plan to be back often.

I have leaned an important lesson. Before this lunch the last time I ate here was shortly after they opened. I will keep in mind that the best restaurants like the best people continue to grow and develop. This is the case at Cantina 1511 they have grown and developed into a authentic Mexican restaurant where you can experience both traditional street foods and genuine Mexican fine dining while enjoying both a great atmosphere and attentive first rate service. I strongly recommend you give it a try. The Godfather knows it’s the real deal!!!

No comments: