REVIEW: No Mas Cantina, Downtown Atlanta
We chose No Mas Cantina because July 18th marks the beginning of Atlanta Downtown Restaurant Week. Normally, we use our very scientific selection process about how we choose restaurants to review. You probably use some similar with your significant other:
First person: Where do you want to go?
Second Person: I don’t know, where do you want to go?
First Person: I really don’t care, whatever you want is fine with me.
Second Person: It’s up to you. I’m fine either way.
This continues until you both are either loading shells into magazines and inserting them into the handguns of your choosing or you are googling “atlanta divorce attorneys”. Somehow, in the midst of chaos, consensus arrives without bloodshed or matrimonial disruption.
When you arrive at No Mas Catina there is ample valet parking but very limited street parking. The valet charge is $2 plus tip. Hey, the way the weather is in Atlanta, it’s a tough way to earn a living so throw the guys a few bucks when you leave. No Mas Cantina has the look of a authentic Mexican restaurant like I would imagine a restaurant would look like in Mexico.
You walk through a really awesome covered, outdoor patio and through the double glass doors to be seated. Checking in, we were told that it would be a 20 minute wait for a booth downstairs. They took my phone number and said that they would text when our table was available. I don’t think it wasn’t even 10 minutes and our text arrived. We were soon seated and met our server.
Our server took our drink orders and was able to answer all of our questions about the menu. Melanie ordered a cheese quesadilla with a soft beef taco and a side order of refried beans. I ordered the Playa Del Carmen which consists of a fish taco and two shrimp enchiladas.
For starters, we decided to enjoy some plain queso along with the chips and salsa. I thought the salsa was really great and probably homemade. Melanie thought the queso wasn’t hot enough and I had to agree with her. Little did we know, this was a harbinger of things to come. Our food arrived a short time later and Melanie was disappointed that her food was not hot. In fact it really wasn’t even warm.
Let me tell you something, this is my pet peeve. You can do a lot of things wrong to food, but there’s no excuse for not serving food hot. Personally, I prefer “scalding the roof of my mouth hot” but many times I can’t even get everything to the table in time. Still, food that’s cold or lukewarm? No bueno!
Now I know a lot of people would just go ahead and eat The food. However, whenever food is not to your exact liking you should always notify your server and have them make it right. The restaurant cannot fix something that they don’t know is wrong. Likewise it isn’t fair to you to have to eat food that is not prepared to your liking. This also applies if you don’t like the taste or flavor of things. Simply say to your server “I really don’t care for this” and ask if it can be replaced with a substitute. Any restaurant should be happy to do this for you. And in this case, the server returned with Melanie’s food completely prepared over again. And guess what? It really wasn’t that much warmer anyway.
Melanie also complained that the food was bland and lacked flavor. When the server left our table, I looked over at Melanie and said “what is that smell?”. I couldn’t put my finger on it until the server came back one more time. Jesus God in heaven – it was his breath!
People, please. If you are in any kind of service industry where you meet with the general public or have any contact with another human being, for Christ’s sake… brush your teeth. If you are somehow averse to oral hygiene, get some gum, use mouthwash, anything, but do something before you knock people over with your nasty breath.
My fish taco was fine with the exception that it was fried and not grilled as I had expected. Since it was not noted as to how the fish was prepared and I should have asked. On the other hand, the menu should accurately describe how food is prepared, especially if its fried or grilled.
The shrimp enchiladas were fine but once again I had the expectation that we are using real shrimp – you know normal size shrimp. I was really disappointed to find baby shrimp, “out of the can” sized shrimp, like you would accent a salad with. Had I known that they were using this type of shrimp I would not have ordered this selection.
No Mas Cantina is a fun place to go. It has a great atmosphere and reaches a broad clientele. This makes it fun and exciting to go there and it is a great place to enjoy lunch with coworkers or clients and dinner on the evening with friends or family.
One of the things we really enjoy is browsing in the shop after the meal. There is some nice quality art and jewelry and a ton of things to browse through. You could spend hours just looking through all of the cool stuff they have on display.
No Mas Cantina is a lot of fun, but don’t expect the food to blow you away. For great Mexican food, look for our upcoming review on Pablano’s.