Wednesday, February 13, 2013

BelAir Cantina- Milwaukee

I’ve been trying to find a place that made me feel like I was back home in Louisville up here in Milwaukee.  You know, that place where you step inside and think “Oh my goodness, I have found it, no I have found YOU.  I have found you and I am home.”  Well, took me a few months (mainly because of work being so crazy) but I think I finally found my spot.  BelAir Cantina reminds me of everything I loved about Louisville.  First off it was packed, at 8pm on a Tuesday night.  Always a good sign.  Second, I’m not one to classify people into groups or stereotype, but this was my kind of crowd.  Mid to late 20s, cheap but good beer in hand, what most I suppose would call hipsters if you had to pigeon hole.  When we arrived there was a 45 minute to hour long wait (It was $2 taco Tuesday after all), but the hostess took our name and number, told us she would txt us and that we were more than welcome to try and find a spot at the bar, or walk across the street to the bar there.  This setup is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.  Fink’s gets the customers who are waiting for a table, BelAir doesn’t end up with angry people waiting, and the customer get’s to enjoy a nice beverage in an invitingly small bar and then enjoy tacos next door.  Win, win, win. Side note, the two are owned by the same people.  So anyways, we had a few beers and then received that glorious txt.  It’s like the new age dinner bell, ringing to let you know that you may now come and get your grub on.  Still packed, we sat down, ordered some Tecates and then went over the menu.  Not all of the tacos on Tuesday are $2, but a good selection are.  When our waiter returned with our beers we were ready to order.  3 tacos meant a side of rice and beans, so that’s what I did.  Ordering Carnitas, Zihuatanejo Shrimp, and Pollo Verde tacos and choosing the pinto beans I was ready to enjoy.  I don’t think it took that long, even though the place was packed.  It could have been long, but if you have good conversation, and a beer, really time is all fairly relative at that point.  When the food arrived I took a bite of each taco.  I prefer to eat things like this in order from least enjoyed to most, so that the most enjoyed is the last taste I have.  So I went shrimp, carnitas, pollo.  The shrimp tasted a little too overdone for me, the slightly rubbery way shrimp gets when you cook it that extra minute too long.  The carnitas were a bit dry, good flavor, but needing some of the salsa on the table.  The pollo had a good flavor and I added a bit more salsa verde to them as well (by this time I couldn’t eat the corn tortillas anymore, so I just ate the meat so I didn’t explode from being full).  I’m not normally a pinto bean eater, but I have to say these were extremely tasty.  Overall it was a good cheap meal, great environment, and a little bit of the Louisville scene up here in the cold.
BelAir Cantina on Urbanspoon

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