March 15, 2013

Playa Cabana

We celebrated Mel's birthday at Playa Cabana this year for some good Mexican eats. The restaurant is very small and popular so reservations are a must!
We had some drinks to start off the night- from left to right:
Playa Paloma ($9) - a traditional Mexican margarita with Grapefruit infused Tromba blanco
Amber agave ($8) - secret house margarita made with El Jimador reposado 100% de agave, sweetened with raw organic agave nectar from the tequila plant and a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice
Mexican iced tea ($10) - Tromba blanco tequila, los Arango reposado tequila. Cazadores añeja tequila, triple sec, freshly squeeze lime, and Coca Cola
I had the Amber agave and it was, hands down, the best margarita I've had!  I really wanted to order another one, but unfortunately couldn't because I had to drive later that night. 
Mel and I started off with the guaca fresca ($8), which was absolutely delicious! It was so fresh and creamy, I just wanted to eat this all night long!
The guaca fresca comes in mild, medium, and hot. We asked for mild and they gave us two types of hot sauce on the side. I enjoyed both of them, but the habanero one (on the left) was really quite spicy, even for me. The other one- a roasted chile arboles salsa- was just perfect!
James ordered the tacos de pescado ($13) Baja-style with catch of the day, fresh battered with Tecate-cerveza. I can't recall what the catch of the day was, but I didn't particularly care for it. The fish wasn't as flaky and light as I'd like it to be. 
Between Mel and I, we ordered the Ancho braised short rib-brisket crispy tacos ($14)- AAA Ontario Beef short rib braised in ancho chiles wrapped in fresh corn tortillas and griddled to a golden crispiness, served with pico de gallo, guacamole and homemade crema. This was definitely a heavier taco, and the flavours were also a lot bolder. The short rib-brisket combination was extremely juicy, resulting in an incredibly messy eating process (not that I'm complaining). All in all, I enjoyed the crispy taco, but it was so filling that I wouldn't be able to eat more than one. 
Mel and I also shared the Playa burrito with pork carnitas ($14), served with fresh guac, pico de gallo, crema, green tomatillo sauce and red tomato sauce. I'm not a big fan of  burritos in general, but I've read so many great reviews about the ones here that I was sorely tempted to try one. First of all, I thought the presentation was so pretty with the two contrasting sauces. Secondly, the portion was huge- our eyes were definitely bigger than our stomach! I was intimidated by the sheer massiveness of all the that pork, rice and beans- it was almost like a brick. In the end, Mel and I struggled to finish the whole burrito, and neither of us liked the green tomatillo sauce that much. To be fair, this was probably a very good burrito, but it was just not for me.
Because it was a birthday celebration, we obviously had to have dessert! First up, an order churros ($6). Unfortunately, I didn't love this version, as the dough was a little too dense and   the flavours were lacking a punch because they ran out of the cajeta dipping sauce.
The second dessert was a traditional Mexican flan ($7), and while it didn't look very pretty, the flavours certainly made up its looks. The flan was velvety smooth and rich, and even the side of whipped cream was delectable!
I really enjoyed dinner at Playa Cabana. The drinks were excellent, and I'd come back just for the guaca fresca! Though next time, I'd probably stay away from the burrito.
Playa Cabana on Urbanspoon

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