F&D, the food stuff and drink restaurant group, has opened its 2nd, or probably 3rd, Mexican/Tex-Mex brand, F&D Cantina, in Thornton Park. The restaurant moved in to the area that was Jax Thornton Park considering that 2017. Prior to that in was Baoery and extra famously Cityfish. It began its daily life, in the early 2000s, as Central Town Sector when the mixed-use creating was new.
I reviewed the other current F&D Cantina, in Lake Mary, in 2018 and appreciated it. If there was some surprise in my tone it was for the reason that the primary Cantina, in Waterford Lakes, was a jumbled mess. It no extended exists simply because evidently there is a god. At minimum just one who procedures in excess of Mexican places to eat.
Thankfully, the most recent F&D Cantina is additional in line with its Lake Mary cousin, at least in conditions of food items high quality. Authenticity sticklers may well deduct factors but for the most part the foods is superior, relatively priced and served in generous portions.
On a modern lunch pay a visit to, my companions and I started off with trio of dips that integrated queso, guacamole and a decision of salsa (we went inexperienced). The guac was properly chunked and had a great limey trace. The queso was probably a tad slim, but it coated the chips, which were being high-quality but needed some salt to my taste.
For my main system I chose the chile relleno, a huge poblano pepper stuffed with black beans, corn and quinoa, an fascinating alternate to the typical rice. It was topped with excellent bit of chihuahua cheese that had melted but was commencing to coalesce. But it was all wonderfully gloppy and it was not until eventually later on I understood I experienced inadvertently requested a vegetarian item.
There was loads of meat in the steak and plantains quesadilla that 1 of my lunch companions requested. The beef tenderloin recommendations had been nicely marinated and tender and stuffed the toasted flour tortillas. Served with the Mexican food stuff holy trinity of sour product, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo (this review has taken on a spiritual concept for some explanation). The pico was a little bit too piquant for the reason that of a surfeit of uncooked onions.
The steak quesadilla was significant enough for an entree but the chihuahua cheese model was additional of an appetizer.
The interior of the cafe has been considerably redecorated. The three-sided bar is still the concentration of the dining room but the decor has been brightened from Jax’s moody blues ambience with Mexican star lights and wrought iron lanterns. Tequila and mezcal bottles are offered sites of, um, reverence and there are the occasional working day-of-the-dead visuals.
Tunes – nonthemed up to date – performs loudly and it would seem not possible to obtain a seat that does not have a speaker instantly in excess of it. In actuality, my guests and I, who ended up the only diners seated on the patio when we arrived, requested if the songs could be turned down and twice we had been advised that the owners forbade the team from adjusting the quantity. (Proprietor Charly Robinson wrote later on in an electronic mail that “our team can of training course transform down the new music if an situation.” He also said he was at the cafe the very same time I was and discovered the music to be as well loud. Fortunately, he experienced the power to reduced it.) Despite those complete refusals, the workers granted all other wishes, and meals came out at a impressive rate.
F&D Cantina is most likely making an attempt to draw in a younger group, which is of class sensible – the demographics of Thornton Park skew put up-Boomer. I’d say that there are a great deal of people today, younger and outdated, who appreciate dining out and currently being in a position to have a discussion devoid of shouting, but I know I’d just be preaching to the choir.
F&D Cantina is at 617 E. Central Blvd., Orlando (map). It is open up for lunch Friday by way of Sunday and dinner daily. The telephone number is 407-759-5785.