untimely demise of one restaurant and the birth of a new one to take it's place, but it was Good Eats and Meets Charlotte's great pleasure to help celebrate the recent arrival of San Antonio's Modern Mexican at SouthPark Mall. Located where Morton's was, San Antonio's is brought to us by the restaurant group who blessed the Queen City with Manzetti's Tavern for 25 years before it was laid to rest back in April (word has it that Paco's Tacos and Tequila will breathe new life into that space very soon.)
If you're looking for traditional and authentic Mexican food, let the words "Modern Mexican" be a clue that San Antonio's is not your place. Their self-proclaimed description of serving an "upscale fusion of Mexican, Tex-Mex, Southwestern and classic American" is dead-on accurate. And if that's not enough to get you in the door, perhaps the $1 margaritas served all day every day will get you stumbling out their door.
The reason for our group's visit was to attend "Agave: The Art of Tequila" sponsored by the Herradura brand of tequila. This was the first tasting that San Antonio's has hosted and I certainly hope it won't be their last. Advertised as three courses for $15 plus tax and gratuity, I was smart enough to know that it would only be a small flight of tequila and I naturally assumed it would only be a small tasting of food as well. And boy, was I wrong and ever so sorry that I loaded up on cheese and crackers before I left home!
We were greeted by a tasty margarita (I'm not sure if this is the size of the advertised $1 'ritas) and chips and salsa and seated in front an oh-so-tempting flight of 3 Herradura expressions of tequila. Our Herradura host, Jesus Ostos, gave us an in-depth review of the history of Herradura and very soon the insane amount of food started flowing.
The first course consisted of Campo de Ensalada Verde, or what we gringos recognize as a garden salad topped with fresh mango and candied pecans. It was served with a yummy freshly baked jalapeno cornbread dolloped with creamy jalapeno butter. It was at this time that I showed my lack of tequila sipping manners by slugging the Premium Blanco Herradura tequila in one gulp and chasing it with a lime.
And if I weren't already sorry that I had gorged myself on a preemptive snack, I was certainly sorry enough when the waiter placed the Brontosaurus Rex rib in front of me! Actually, it was three slightly spicy U-15 bacon wrapped jalapeno stuffed shrimp (called U-15 because they're so large it only takes 15 of them to make a pound) and half of a tender-fall-off-the-bone BBQ beef rib (I think a whole rib would be akin to John Candy's Old 96er experience) served with Southwestern creamed corn. I was so sorry to have to ask for a to-go box that I slammed the Premium Reposado Herradura tequila and took another lime for the Good Eats team.
It's always funny how people complain about being sooo full they couldn't eat another bite until dessert comes to the table. And I am one of those people. Put a bowl of strawberry churros lightly dusted with confectioner's sugar and a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream in front of me and I'm soooo digging in like I've never eaten before. Just like I'm soooo gonna chase it with the Premium Anejo Herradura tequila served up in the complimentary souvenir glass.
Thank you, San Antonio's, for a lovely dining and drinking experience and for inviting Good Eats and Meets to be a part of your entry into the Charlotte culinary scene!
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