One of the most popular cuisines here in South Florida is Mexican. In virtually every strip mall and almost every major intersection, you can find a taco truck, Mexican restaurant, or a grocery store that sells food with a south of the border flair. For this reason, if you find somewhere special that feautures locally sourced ingredients in a fun, relaxed atmosphere, you have to check it out. Calaveras Cantina is such a place.
Located in beautiful Harbourside Place in Jupiter, Calaveras Cantina features a large menu with an authentic Mexican feel. Recently, Palm Beach Happening was invited to try out some of their wares, and see if they match up to our previous culinary adventures in the Palm Beaches. Fortunately, they did!
We began the evening with a choice of two appetizers; Queso Fundido, and Shrimp and Calamari Diablo. Now, if you haven’t had Queso Fundido, you’ve been missing out! Their take on this classic appetizer hits all the right buttons, and is a great way to start the night. The Shrimp and Calamari Diablo is made up of sauteed calamari, shrimp, cilantro, tequila, red chili butter and chipotle crema. It was good, and definitely a different was to enjoy squid.
We also ordered their Famous Street Corn, because corn! This starter seems to be on almost every sort of dining menu nowadays, and the simple, cheesy goodness of the grilled corn makes it a definite maybe for any meal. It is also one of the few gluten free options, so that helps for some of you discerning diners out there.
For the main course, we ordered the Barbacoa Rice Bowl and Carnitas Enchiladas. Honestly, the enchiladas were amazing, as the pork was juicy and tasty throughout without being greasy. The rice and beans were also above average in flavor and texture. The rice bowl, however, was nothing special. It was good, to be sure, but there are so many other options on the menu, it might not get a repeat try.
However, we have to commend the staff for recommending the Ancho Chipotle Hot Sauce. This “Mexican BBQ Sauce” is the sort of thing you could douse your leather shoes with and make them yummy! It is sold for $10, and might be worth buying one or more on your next trip.
For dessert, we ordered the cinnamon corn ice cream. This exotic corn ice cream was served with cinnamon, candied pecans and caramel, and was the highlight of the meal. We kept going back for more, even though the ice cream had the flavor of a sweet corn. Very odd, but pretty darn good!
Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the amazing Watermelon Margarita, as well as the yummy watermelon lemonade. Watermelon has been the in thing for a couple years, and Calaveras Cantina has an expert touch when it comes to melons.
Located at 125 Dockside Drive along the Intracoastal Waterway, Calaveras Cantina is open from 11:30 a.m. until midnight Monday through Thursday and until 1:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Enjoy brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends with live music until 3 p.m. Indoor and open-air seating areas offer lots of space to relax with friends. Plenty of street, garage and valet parking is available. Happy Hour is every evening from 4:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. with a second Late Night Happy Hour from 10 p.m. until close with a full menu available until 11:00 pm.
Don’t miss Margarita Mondays with $5 specialty margaritas, $2 Taco Tuesdays (àl a carte, dine-in only), Guac Down Wednesdays featuring half-priced table side guacamole all day long, and ThursdayLadies Night, which offers Happy Hour specials all night long. Enjoy a Lunch Special featuring two select tacos, soup of the day and soft drink ($9.99) Monday through Friday. Nightly music begins with a DJ at10 p.m. Follow the restaurant on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ for all the updates.
We’d like to thank Calaveras Cantina, as well as Amy Junk of JLM Communications, for their hospitality. For more info, visit www.calaverascantinas.com.