Ever felt like your brunches are starting to get more basic than the girls in line at Starbucks wearing Uggz and discussing last night’s episode of Pretty Little Liars? Well here’s one way to put a twist on brunch – Go Mexican! One of the best places I’ve found to do this is Cantina Laredo in Hallandale Beach. In my opinion, brunch is the most important meal of the week (besides Happy Hour drinks), so you want to make it count, so if you haven’t discovered brunch at Cantina Laredo yet, now is the time.
Let’s start with the fact that at brunch, you’re immediately greeted by chips and salsa. Which is the gift that keeps on giving, because anyone who ever says no to refills of chips is clearly a robot that must be destroyed. One thing in this life is for sure, and that’s that you keep those tortilla chips coming until the Earth runs out of corn. At which point you ask NASA why they haven’t discovered corn on other planets yet.
Why start a brunch with a mimosa when Cantina has so many different, indulgent margarita options to offer?? Especially because tequila is the healthiest alcohol that you can drink (heard it on the internet, must be true). I was immediately intrigued by the Salted Watermelon Margarita, made with Casa Noble Crystal Tequila, fresh watermelon puree, Grand Marnier liqueur, lemon and lime juices. My EPIC, Shaina, opted for the Strawberry Mint, made with Olmeca Altos Tequila, fresh strawberries, mint, Cointreau orange liqueur, agave and fresh lime juice. Both were so refreshing and delicious, it made it hard not to gulp it down in one slurp!! Cantina has roughly 10 different options to choose from, so there is a taste for every palette.
Obviously, when you’re going Mexican, tacos have to come in to the mix, so we started with the Ahi Tuna Tacos, topped with jicama-ginger slaw and drizzled with chipotle aioli, and accompanied by a side of guacamole and pickled red onions. The combined flavors were a perfect A+, and it’s definitely the type of dish that will wake you right up. If only all alarm clocks worked this way…
This isn’t your typical brunch, so once again it was time for something unexpected – this time in the form of ceviche. Cantina’s ceviche is a mix of marinated fish and shrimp with a fresh vegetable blend in lime juice and a touch of Cholula, and topped with sliced avocado. If the presentation was any indication, we knew that this was going to be something special – and it was. When it comes to mornings, clearly fish is the new bacon.
Because it IS brunch, a second drink is pretty much mandatory. This time I went after the Ginger Mint Mango Rita, because ummmm… Ginger. And Mint. And Mango. Good job, Rita. This concoction consisted of Milagro Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice, mint leaves and mango puree topped with ginger beer. It was just as, if not more, satisfying than the first drink. Seriously, the day that a man makes me happier than margaritas and endless chips is the day I’ll believe that love actually exists.
Now to get to the meat of things, pun intended. Although Cantina has plenty of great brunch options, I had to swipe left on all of them, because only one was calling my name, and that was the Asada Y Huevos. Grilled steak with marinated onions and chimichurri sauce, served with two eggs with ranchera sauce. It was time to show brunch who was boss, and I attacked this dish with no mercy. Let me tell you, both sauces were so incredible that I came close to licking the plate dry. One more margarita and I may have. The steak was tender and cooked perfectly and I couldn’t help but go savage on it. Even just staring at this picture and reliving it, it’s hard to not jump through my computer screen and take a bite.
As you can imagine, at this point I was counting on a wheelbarrow to cart me out of there while in my brunch coma. So unfortunately I had to skip dessert. But I did manage to grab a picture of the Mango Tres Leches, which I will definitely be back for. Creamy mango vanilla cake with mango cream sauce – every drippy inch of it is calling my name!
I’m pretty sure that living in South Florida, brunch is something we all plan our week around. So make it count. Because after all, it doesn’t have to be Margarita Monday or Taco Tuesday to indulge in great Mexican food!
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.