The weather has taken a sharp downturn here in the Midwest. Typical temps this time of year in Omaha hover in the upper 30’s, but we’ve been in the 20’s lately which has also given our moods a bit of a downturn. But living in the Midwest, you learn not to lean on weather to make you happy. You turn to things like winter sports and hunting and crafts…but since we’ve never gotten into those things, we eat.

For our ‘C’ restaurant, we chose Cantina Loredo, located in the heart of the Midtown Crossing district. Midtown Crossing is a hip, metropolitan district at the crux between downtown and Blackstone, another trendy food and entertainment neighborhood. Midtown is anchored to Turner Park, a large open park area that holds multiple craft fairs, foodie gatherings, and concerts throughout the summer. The complex itself is a mix of higher end condos above, and restaurants and various shops below.

Cantina Loredo is located at the base of the Midtown Crossing condo complex. It’s decor is rich, warm, slightly high-end Mexican fare, but still casual enough to bring the kids. For us, we wanted to stop in on a Monday, where they served $5 top-shelf margaritas.

We got in right around six o’clock, but it wasn’t busy and we were seated right away. We started out by ordering some drinks (including the margarita), as well as the Queso and Guacamole Combination to start.

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The guacamole was just okay. One of my favorite parts about guacamole is the chunks of avocado, the saltiness of the dip, and the tang of the lime. This guacamole was more of the type where it was most likely blended together instead of mashed with a fork, and it tasted like it lacked enough lime, or it was left out completely. The salsa was a roasted tomato salsa that had a great smokey flavor. It was my favorite out of the two. I order my margaritas on the rocks and this one did not disappoint. Even though it was a $5 happy hour drink, it still had a good amount of alcohol and the overall flavor was very tasty.

Next came the main menu orders. I ordered the Puerto Vallarta Combination plate so that I could get a variety of items to try. It contained a taco al carbon (left), chicken enchilada with pablano sour cream sauce (right), and a cheese enchilada with chili con carne sauce (middle).

The taco al carbon (left) had a good sauce topping, almost like a thick mole, and the seasoning itself on the steak was good, but the tortilla it had been wrapped in was chewy, which made eating it a bit challenging. My least favorite was the cheese enchilada with chili con carne (middle). The cheese was just cheese. There was nothing special about it. No additional spices, or mixes of special cheeses to make me want to keep eating it. Overall, my favorite was probably the chicken with the  pablano sauce. The chicken was shredded and slightly dry, and didn’t have much for spices but the sauce made up for that. It was flavorful, creamy, and paired well with the chicken.

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The hubs ordered the steak fajita, which came with refried beans, a roasted poblano pepper and chipotle wine sauce, and chili con queso. The beans tasted canned, but the rice tasted homemade and flavorful. The burrito itself, again, was nothing crazy special. The meat was well seasoned, but the wine sauce didn’t really shine. In fact, he said he only noticed the cheese sauce.

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I think our conclusion was that Cantina Loredo is a good place for happy hour drinks, but I don’t think that it will blow you away when it comes to the food, especially for it’s price point.
I would be willing to try it again but I don’t feel like we went there on an “off day”. There was nothing off, or wrong, about our food. It was fine. Just don’t expect to be wowed. But do go there for some great happy hour margaritas. Maybe check out some additional appetizers, and call it a night.

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