6.10.11 Dinner. Bel Air Cantina. (East Side. Milwaukee, Wi)

Tall Boy PBR and Water.
As I said in my 5.28.11 post on Bel Air Cantina, it's a place worth going back to.  And so I did.  Bryan had never been there and we were down for some grub on a Friday night.  Renee was going to meet up with us because she was in the mood for some Friday fun as well.  It was earlier in the night and it didn't take us long to get a table.  We ended up sitting at a booth.   Like the last time I was here, it was a bit drafty.  Who knows where it was coming from but it was tolerable.  We both ordered tall boy PBRs of course.  Any time Bryan and I hang out it's all hipster all the time.  Whether we're true hipsters or just posers is a discussion for another time and depends on who you ask.  As always, they bring their trio of salsas and chips.  Love me some chips and salsa.

The green tomatillo salsa is still my favorite and Bryan agreed with me on this one... I have pretty good taste in food. Check it out for yourself and challenge it if you wish.  We looked over the menu for a bit of time to try to figure out what we wanted to get.  I, myself, knew I need to try something different from the tacos to try and redeem the food from my previous experiences.  Don't get me wrong, it wasn't terrible, but it left me wanting more.  Renee wasn't going to join us for food.  Only drinks and chips and salsa so we ordered before she got there.  We both decided on getting a burrito.

Since we've already gone through the details for the location and the setting in my previous blog, let's get on to the more important topics of conversation, the food. 

Blog guest first...What Bryan ordered.

Carne Asada Burrito.
Details:   Carne Asada Burrito.  Grilled skirt steak with black beans, crema fresca, guacamole, rice, shredded lettuce, cilantro, onions and topped with queso fundido and salsa roja. $9.89.

Bryan's Thoughts:  Bryan gave his burrito a solid B+. It was pretty cheesy from the cheese sauce.  He really liked the flavor to his burrito. He didn't have complaints about his burrito and he was obviously digging it because he joined the clean plate club.  Winner! I tried a bite of his.  I thought the fact that it was refried black beans versus whole black beans made the burrito a little mushy for my palate.  Compared to mine, it didn't have as much flavor.  I rarely try other people's food in fear that I'll like their better than mine and be jealous but in this case, I didn't.  Phew.

Corona Lite.
A little side note away from the food.  Renee finally met up with us a little bit after we got our food.  She ordered a Corona Lite and enjoyed some of the delicious chips and salsa.  She asked me, "could you take a picture of my awesome corona lite?  It makes my night."  Who knew she was a poet in addition to a physical therapist? Now we do! Unlike Jamie from the previous visit, Renee really enjoyed the fact that her beer came in a can.  To each their own...to each their own.

My turn
Details:   Pollo Yucatan Burrito.  Grilled chicken with achiote (a ground spicy seed), pinto beans, avocado salsa, cotija queso, shredded lettuce, crema fresca, pineapple and topped with salsa roja.  $9.23

My Thoughts:   The burrito was soooooo flavorful.  Renee had a bite and agreed that it was tasty too (not just one opinion but two!).  The chicken had a smoky flavor to it (kinda like Qdoba and
Pollo Yucatan Burrito.
Chipotle chicken).   I found it a bit odd that there was peas in the burrito.  May have been from the rice as I do recall that their rice has carrots and peas, maybe?  Also, I often don't dig the idea of having lettuce in a burrito as it gets warm and wilts but that's just a personal preference.  There was some spice to it but wasn't anything that really called for spice alert for readers.  Just enough spice to add some good flavor and possibly the sweet and tart pineapple countered the spice factor.  Overall, it was a very enjoyable dish and I would even rate it ten times better than my previous taco experiences.  From what I've learned the chicken dishes are my favorites... so far. 

Other things to consider:
-Fun group of servers and tenders.  Looked over at one point and the servers and bartenders were enjoying a shot together.  That's what I call teamwork.  (Hope this doesn't get them into trouble.  Service was very good during this visit). 
-As always, it's on the East Side and only street parking available.  Not difficult to find parking when you get there early.
-Corona in a can is definitely relative to the person who is enjoying the beverage.  Renee was just a happy little duck with her can of corona lite. 
-Great atmosphere to hang with friends.  

I definitely enjoyed the food much more during this round at the Cantina.  The place itself is always fun and I'll definitely consider it when I'm craving some Mexican.  There are a number of items that I want to try out (brunch, nachos, tostadas and burrito bowls). 

Bel Air Cantina
1935 N Water St
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Weekdays: 11am-2am
 Weekends: 10am-2am
Happy Hour: Regular M-F 3pm-7pm
Late night: 11pm-1am (except Tues)

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