Pepe’s Cantina: Your place for great guacamole and carne asada
Let me say this out loud: I love Mexican food and I don’t know why. Seriously. And I’m talking about Mexican food that has that homemade taste to it, that was made to order and not just one of those chains that you can see everywhere here in the US (we all know what I’m talking about). Don’t get me wrong, burritos are always good but that doesn’t have a real Mexican flavor to it and sometimes my tastebuds are asking for something real.
This time we went on another foodventure in Winter Park, and if you follow me on Instagram then you know we’ve been spending most of our days there. I saw Pepe’s Cantina on Instagram and their guacamole caught my eye, immediately I knew I had to try it.
So we went there and had some of it for ourselves. Frank, one of the owners, told us that table side guac is a people’s favorite, and since they make it right in front of you, there’s no way you can miss how fresh all the ingredients are. If you ask me, that’s the key to a great guacamole.
I personally loved how chunky it was. Whenever I make guac at home I try to make sure that there are some big onion and tomato chunks in it, and they do the same here so hey, I’m not alone on that ‘technique’. It’s one of the best guacamoles I’ve ever tried for sure. As I’m writing this I’m thinking about visiting them once again just to get more of it.
They also brought homemade salsa and chips to our table. Salsa was super rich in flavor, but the guacamole stole my heart. If you don’t believe me ask G, I didn’t give him much chance to get a taste of it. That’s how great it was.
After that, we had some tacos al pastor and some carne asada, both of them recommended by Frank. You know whenever I try a new restaurant I like to ask for recommendations from the owner or even the servers, it has never failed me!
I have to say I’m surprised of how quick everything came. Usually we have to wait a little longer for food, but thankfully this wasn’t the case because I was starving, and you know I get h-angry when I’m hungry, or at least G does.
Let’s start with the tacos: we ordered them ‘al pastor’ and they were really good. I was super curious because they mixed pineapple with pork and I’ve never tried anything like that. I must say, it didn’t disappoint me, although I do think it’s not for everyone.
Definitely, the pineapple gives it a citrusy flavor that’s nothing like I’ve tasted before. The pork on its own was really good as well.
Tacos were good, but my favorite was the carne asada. I don’t really know how they season it but tasted amazing and it was super tender, which made the whole experience even better. Loved the sautéed onions on top.
Also, I had to ask Frank how did they make it in order to have a crispy texture on the outside and the tenderness on the inside, but he wouldn’t share his secret.
It comes with some red beans refried with chorizo, which makes such a difference in taste. If you’re not vegan/vegetarian, these are great! And if you are, you can always get the regular black beans as well.
Lifehack: make yourself some carne asada tacos with the flour tortillas they give you, the refried beans and the guacamole. Seriously, this was the best idea I had. G loved it as well.
And because he’s such a fan of hot sauce, Frank gave him some homemade habanero sauce which, according to my dear hot sauce ninja, had a rich habanero flavor. Not that spicy, which is probably still too spicy for me. And the spice still lets you get a taste of the ingredients inside, which seems to be a good thing if you want to enjoy your meal.
He liked it so much that we brought a bottle home and to this day, he still uses it with almost everything he eats. That’s how good it was!
Before we left, I took a walk around and saw that they have a really cool bar at the back! They sell amazing cocktails, according to their team, and we’ll have to come another day to find it out! They also make a street party on 5 de mayo that you can’t miss! They close the street, set up a DJ both and even have a cash bar so you can enjoy the whole vibe while walking around and drinking some tequila. Definitely a must for us!
Finally, when we were about to leave I saw this huge sign talking about their taco Tuesday deals: $2.99 for beef or chicken tacos, and $1.99 tequila shots. I mean, what!? Sign me in! We missed this Taco Tuesday but we sure will be coming back for another one! And if you’re reading this, then you’re totally on time, pay them a visit today 😉
TL;DR: best guacamole ever. Seriously, da bomb. Get the carne asada and make your own tacos with the refried beans and guacamole, you won’t regret it. Also, their habanero sauce is really good. And they have $1.99 tequila shots on #TacoTuesday!
433 W New England Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
+1 (321) 972 4881