When horse shows are far from school, we stay overnight at a hotel. After over two hours in the car, four of us were ready for some comfort food. In such a small suburban town, we were lucky to find a decent Mexican restaurant.
Complimentary Chips and Salsa are always great. In this case, however, Cactus Taverna gave us semi-warm chips, not ones fresh out of the fryer. They were crunchy but not exactly warm, and seem more like toasted tortilla chips from the grocery store. The salsa was quite watery and very salty. There were also lots of scallions inside, which gave it a strong kick. There was not enough acidity from the tomatoes and aroma from the cilantro.
My Mariscos Saltados was excellent, though. The large prawns and scallops were extremely tender. There were so many of them, too – a lot more than I expected for around $16. They were nicely sautéed in a tasty, savory sauce with large chunks of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and fries. The menu said potatoes, but I guess they ran out or something, because there were crinkle cut fries, those frozen ones from grocery stores that comes in a bag. I left those alone as they were soggy and not my favorite to begin with. I did enjoy all the vegetables and seafood, though. The refried beans were not very mushy but the rice was decent enough.
Finally, our coach ordered Fried Ice Cream for everyone to share. It was good, creamy, and dense ice cream, rich with vanilla flavor. The batter was not very thick and slightly soggy after being drenched in caramel and chocolate sauce. The mix of sweet flavors, though, was addicting and absolutely delicious.
The restaurant was quite cute, actually, and the servers were all extremely friendly – one of the benefits of a small town. It was quite large and the menu was extensive. Its Mexican/Spanish food is actually quite popular, more so apparently than its pastas and other Mediterranean dishes. For such a place, it is definitely a great place for a ladies’ night out.