La Desagradable Cantina

I book flights based on what’s cheapest and as a result, direct flights are rare events for me. I always figure I would be able to handle the long layovers which I typically go through during such flights on the day of the flight. Inevitably, the consequence is irritation on the day of the flight.

This past Sunday was no exception. I was flying back from East Lansing, after a great time with my mother’s side of the family celebrating the occasion of Jillala (my grandfather)’s 80th birthday. My flight was from Detroit to Houston via Dallas – a much more manageable connection and a far cry from the geographical nightmares I’m more accustomed to (“New York to Houston via Minneapolis?!”). It was a two-hour layover in Dallas with a flight delay extending it to close to three.

I figured I’d get some dinner while I was at it. I looked around for options and ended up going to Cantina Laredo, a Mexican chain – I’ve always been impressed by how the restaurant looks from the outside, there being one close to home, and have wanted to try it for a while.

What followed ended up being one of the most abhorrent meals, Mexican or otherwise, I’ve ever had the misfortune of consuming.

I usually don’t write Yelp reviews but given my experience, I was forced a hard hand. The meal and the delay left me irritated, as is tradition. Also, I wanted to kill time. I’m publishing the review here for posterity’s sake.

I’m not one for writing a Yelp review. I’m also not one for not finishing my meal. Tonight, both those things happened.

Quite possibly the worst Mexican meal I’ve had in the country. I felt like Gordon Ramsay on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares in that all I wanted to do was look across toward a non-existent camera calling attention to all the things that were off in my dish, and then head over to the kitchen to yell at the chef. Couldn’t do that, so this will have to suffice.

I ordered the avocado enchiladas, which consists of two enchiladas in tomatillo sauce, Mexican rice and zucchini.

Let’s start with the positives.

1. There was classic rock playing on the radio.
2. There were some good games being telecast.

Now for the negatives.

1. The salsa that came with the chips was cold, clearly having just come out of the refrigerator.
2. The glass that my water came in was dirty. As was the plate that my dish came in.
3. The tortillas for my enchilada were cold and smelt old.
4. The dish was basically some avocados thrown in flour tortilla and smothered in tomatillo sauce. The waitress said the sauce would be spicy and tasty. Spoiler alert: it was neither of those things. The enchiladas were served over what seemed to be a bed of spinach and uncooked purple cabbage.
5. Everything was sour. So, so sour.
6. The less said about the zucchini, the better. Suffice to say it follows point number 5.
7. It costs an exorbitant $14.50 (including tax).

No idea what this dish is supposed to represent. I sincerely hope nobody looks to this to have a measure of what enchiladas (or avocados) are supposed to taste like.

Tip: Get a burger at McDonald’s. Eat some wings at Wingstop. Munch on a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s.

Just don’t make the same mistake I did and order avocado enchiladas at Cantina Laredo.

I rated the place one star.

It’s been two days. I still cringe thinking about that meal.


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