1423 Grandview Ave.
Grandview, OH 43212
Many of the newest Columbus focused bar concepts that people here have rallied behind tend to be a little bit upscale versions of classic kind of dives. So local Cantina could be thought of as a modern and upscale take on the taqueria. Replete with big-screen sports viewing, giant tables and patios, and serve-yourself chips and salsa, it’s not long after 5 p.m. that this bar gets crowded every night of the week. But the concept is very Columbus and the food is pretty good. So it’s a little wonder people like the place so much.
Your typical Tex-Mex menu awaits here, heavily focused on the tacos but a couple of other things worth a try, too.
- Chicken tacos: Topped with a nice, cool diced corn salsa. Kind of mild on the flavor, and really well rounded.
- Carne Asada tacos: A skirt steak taco topped with a chimichuri sauce, pickled onions and queso fresco. Just a tad of heat, steadily rising and matching the juiciness of the steak well.
- Margaritas: With or without salt, but either option is pretty good. Just a little bit of citrus flavor, but a very smooth drink. Good to whet your appetit e.
- Fajitas: chopped peppers and onions and meat of your choice that come sizzling. It doesn’t include soft tortilla as is the norm in other places, but you do have unlimited chips to pick from. Relative to the prices in other places these are a little bit high.
- Queso: extra thick cheese, but it only looks runny because it’s served extra hot. Again the unlimited chips are an asset here, definitely best when shared.
- BBQ Beef Brisket Taco: Plenty of meat on this one. A jalapeno slaw draws a little character, too.
- Veggie Taco: Corn salsa, cabbage and pico de gallo give everything else you need.
Either by accident or design, the food is often a wait here. Across two different weeknights it was pretty consistent, if there wasn’t a line that required a significant amount of waiting, then the food took a while to get to the table. Don’t get me wrong, the bar was full both times so it’s hard to blame them, it’s also possible that the place is just smaller than your average Tex-Mex Cantina. But the people are pretty nice, and being able to get your own appetizers also helps things.
This bar is sleek enough that it has added a couple of different locations in different Columbus suburbs. In each sense, I don’t see this is a place that competes against traditional dives. Rather, it’s a push to do something a little more upscale and specifically local. That certainly not to say that it doesn’t do good food, because it does.
So the place is pretty cool. Worth a try.
- The tacos are the best thing on the menu, you would be doing a disservice by not trying them first.
- Free chips and salsa. Take advantage of it, sometimes you end up having to wait for food.
- Many locations are dinner and nightlife only. Check hours.