Sushi in Japan.

Friday, April 29, 2011

BelAir Cantina

BelAir Cantina (Milwaukee, WI)

I remember a long time ago I went to a restaurant called the Good Life which served pretty awesome Caribbean style food. A few years ago I found out that it was no longer and was fairly disappointed because I wanted to try it once again. Awhile back though, I did learn that a new place had taken over the spot and that new place was Belair Cantina. Located right after you get off the Humboldt bridge, Belair is a pretty easy place to locate. The building itself is very unique by having huge front windows mostly taking over the wooden building and a unique rounded top, it stands out from any of the other places in the area. The inside continues the unique look by having a kind of California surf feel to it with surfboards and a mural on the wall. It has a very contemporary look to it, a decent amount of seats and overall had a very inviting and fun style to it. This will definantly not feel like a Mexican place when you walk in, which isn't a bad thing at all. Even though the look of the place is cool, the important part is the food.


Right off the bat the waiter came to us with 3 different kinds of salsa and some chips, which I went at the very second that they were put down. The three different kinds of salsa were a tomitillo, arbol chilis, and a roasted jalepeno. All of them were pretty good but the arbol one was a little bit spicy for me since I don't handle spice well. When it came to choose my meel it was a difficult choice, they have a lot of options but they all seemed to be a little pricey with the tacos starting at $2.59 and ending around $3.89 for just one Taco. One thing that stood out on the menu was all of the different things that they put into these tacos be it beef with orange soda and coco cola in the Barbacoa taco to the Tilapia Yucatan with pineapple and tomatillo avacado salsa, each one was very unique. This sort of style I guess is called California tacos, which I have never heard of before. I was a little scared to spend that much on a taco, because their generally small and I'm big, and even though you get rice and beans if you buy 3 I knew that it wouldn't be what I'd be getting.

I ended up looking at the burritos, which are my favorites, and even though the selection was small and the prices high, they all seemed pretty good. With a starting price of $7.29 and going up to $9.89, you gotta hope that you're getting your moneys worth with the burrito you pick and I ended up choosing the Polo Yucatan which was a burrito with chicken, pinto beans, pineapple, queso, lettuce, avocado salsa, and topped with salsa roja. One of the main reasons I decided to get this was because of the pineapple, I've never had a burrito with pineapple before so it interested me. My order did take awhile, and even though the waiters were friendly and were playing Tom Waits (which made me happy,) it still was a bit frustarating
that it took so long to arrive. When I got the burrito I realized why the price tag was $8.19, the thing was HUGE, I would say at least a little smaller than my face and once I saw it, I was ready to eat. The flavor was something different thats for sure. The pineapple made it very sweet which I wasn't really expecting them to make that much of an impact on the flavor. This sweetness mixed with a little spice from a seed that they added into the burrito and the rest was kind of just there and not really adding much to the flavor. I must say though that the chicken in the burrito was perfectly cooked and seasoned. Besides the sweetness of the pineapple, the chickens flavor really stood out and made up for the other incredibly being kind of bland. Even though the thing was huge, I ended up eating it all and even though I was initially a little disappointed by it, I ended up really enjoying it.


With a west coast inspired Mexican menu you will be trying something different while still sticking close to food that you are familar to. The Tom Waits playing in the background, the surf inspired decor, and the unique architecture also added to my enjoyment here. While the prices are a bit high and the food was a little above average, I would still say give Belair a try. They have taco tuesdays, margaritas, a huge list of tequilas (I'm not a drinker so I didn't have any interest) and a few nachos and salads to choose from. If your looking to explore something a little different but not looking to go far away from your comfort zone, Belair is a great place to check out.

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