Cantina Laredo…more like Cantina Estupido

On Sunday night, The Wife and I were looking for somewhere new to try. The kids were out of town with the grandparents, so we were unencumbered and ready for adventure. Since we’ve visited most of the local mexican food establishments, we thought we’d give the relatively new Cantina Laredo location downtown a try.

I wasn’t expecting too much. It’s a chain and I’d been to the location in Dallas many years ago. The reviews on Yelp and Austin360 are pretty likewarm. I had heard that the tableside guacamole was worth experiencing and I was looking forward to a margarita.

We parked at the free City Hall parking (which ends in a few days on June 4th btw) and wallked over to 3rd and Colorado. The outside patio was mostly full, as was the restaurant when we walked in. There was no host/hostess at the stand when we entered. A woman behind the bar looked up and informed us that they were understaffed and that they were closing. It was 8:45pm on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. She lamely explained that Sundays are usually quiet. We turned around, extremely annoyed and passed the 8-10 other confused people who thought they were going to eat there. While I appreciate them not seating me and making me wait hours for my food, it’s colossally stupid to understaff on a holiday weekend.

We ended up at Malaga, who aren’t usually open on Sundays, but opened to take advantage of the increased business on a holiday weekend. Imagine that! They were, of course, packed. We’d been there once before and enjoyed. This time was also good. Despite the high volume, our server was attentive and one of the kitchen staff even brought out our last order to ensure we got it while it was still hot.

So, the moral of this story, kids, is to visit Malaga and avoid Cantina Laredo like the plague. They blew their chance to make a good impression on me.

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