Festive fajitas and oversized margaritas await in Miramar...
Dining at the Cancun Grill, we had to wonder: Is everyone in Miramar here celebrating a birthday? Big, happy groups are in abundance at the city's new Mexican restaurant, feasting on sizzling fajitas and oversize margaritas served by young, accommodating staffers who can belt out a bilingual birthday tune. Open since July, the 200-seat offshoot of Miami Lakes' two-decade-old Cancun Grill is relentlessly cheerful. Chef and co-owner Martin Cardenas, a native of the small Mexican town of San Jose, even has the motto “We Cook With Love” scrawled above the colorful bar. Cancun offers a huge, reasonably priced menu (food tabs average $15 at dinner). There's much to like … and disappoint. The food doesn't always match the lively atmosphere.
Ambiance: The decor is festive yet tasteful, with an elegant blue Dale Chihuly Venetian glass chandelier at the entrance and Guadalajara-made pottery and stained glass throughout. Even the mariachis are a cut above … the three guys can sing, and they're not intrusive.
- Delicious Vuelve a La Vida Cocktail de Mariscos – a bracing sea-salty medley of shrimp, octopus and scallops served in a large cocktail glass and “returned to life” with a splash of lime and Clamato juice, red onions, cilantro, cucumber and jalapenos
- Homey sopa Azteca chock-full of shredded chicken, Oaxaca cheese, avocado and tortilla chips
- Enchiladas filled with chicken and shredded barbacoa-style beef (slow-cooked in a banana leaf with chipotle peppers, onions, tomatoes and garlic)
- Pork tamales made from fresh ground corn and refried beans and rice
- Light, house-made soft tacos filled with tender pork carnita seasoned with ginger, garlic and citrus
- Plump, perfectly cooked shrimp
- Moist pan-seared mahi mahi topped with a perky mango chutney and served with jicama spiked with jalapenos and cilantro
- Saucy, flavorful charro beans
- Impressive mole sauce - a rich combination of roasted chiles, tomatoes, sesame seeds, peanuts, garlic, unsweetened chocolate and other seasonings
- Silky flan
- Puffy sopapillas (fried dough dusted with cinnamon sugar)
- Custard-like crème brule with sliced bananas and a hint of Mexican chocolate
What Didn’t Work
- Just mashed, but bland guacamole
- Flavor-lacking wine-spiked jalapeno-mushroom cream sauce
- Chewy Angus skirt steak Marinero marinated in Dos Equis Amber, lime juice and seasonings
- Fresh, but overcooked julienne veggies
- Overcooked grilled chicken
14395 Miramar Pkwy, Miramar
Hours: 11:30am-10pm, Sunday-Thursday, 11:30am-11pm Friday, noon-11pm Saturday
Prices: $7-$21 (serves four), ceviches $11-$13, soups and salads $5.25-$13.50, entrees $9.50-$18, sides $2.50-$6, desserts $5-$7.
FYI: Free parking lot. Full bar; no corkage. Mariachis 7-8 and 9-10pm
Friday-Saturday. AX, DN, MC, VS, DS.
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