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Cantina Mexicana to open on South Park Street

Chris Curtis brings the healthy back to traditional.


“We’re not gonna have any freezers. No microwaves. Not even a single deep-fryer in the whole place,” says restaurant owner Chris Curtis. He gestures around the brightly lit dining area of Cantina Mexicana, opening May 19th, for emphasis. Instead of searing his food Tex-Mex style in heavy grease, he’s preparing his food using more traditional and healthy means.

“We have an oven for baking, burners for boiling, and a lot of the meats will be done through slow cooking,” he explains. His smile widens at the thought. “We’re gonna have Cochinita pibil, which is a Mayan dish for buried pork. We’re gonna cook it in banana leaves and shred it.”

The menu will also feature haddock, chicken, BBQ beef, vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free options. The point is, all the food is fresh and local. And though it’s true that his spices are imported, Curtis is also providing varying degrees of flavour to accommodate Haligonian taste.

“We’ll have a really mild salsa like pico de gallo,” he says, “but we’ll also have this sauce I picked up in Yucatan called Xnipeck, which is really hot.”

For such an exotic assortment of food, the place is affordable. Most of the menu items will be about seven dollars, perfect for a lunch out.

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