Some Spice in the Village! Villa Cantina.

12235105_903694773047550_5002756193070421012_nIn our family there is and has always been a quest to find what qualifies as “good Mexican food” for my mother. She can eat Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She will try hole-in-the-wall Tacquerias and taco bars in the rear of grocery stores. She has even been known to purchase and eat off taco wagons in Mexico.

So it is with great relief that I can say we welcome
to the Village of Arroyo Grande. With a lengthy remodel the much-anticipated restaurant opened last December in one-half of the previous “Taco Loco” location. With exposed brick and enormous black-and-white photos depicting the running of the bulls in Spain we immediately enjoyed the atmosphere. One long bar skirts the side of the room with a significant scattering of my favorite pub-height tables seating two or four in the center and some lower tables around the edges it offers something for everyone. There are even a couple of TVs for the sports enthusiasts. Possibly my favorite are the three or four tables on the outside veranda that afford you a great view of the Village and all that pass by.

Villa Cantina

106 E Branch St

Arroyo Grande, CA

(805) 668-2226

Our search for Mexican food that meets mom’s expectations is now, thankfully, satisfied. The Chile Relleno and the enchilada with spicy red sauce are her favorites — and she is NOT easy to please. My favorites are the appetizer size Street Taco Trio. Delicious Carne Asada topped with just the right amount of a crema-style sauce. Fresh pico de gallo. Yum! I have also tried their full plate tacos and they are good as well — but the trio is a perfect lunch size. My son is a Taquito critic and loves these fresh-made taquitos. I found them to be moist and delicious when I stole one from his plate.

12308202_913671465383214_5172819534247306092_oDespite not having a full liquor license Villa Cantina’s mixologist has managed to make some very interesting and tasty concoctions with rice wine. Their regular rocks margarita with salt fits the bill — during Strawberry Festival their strawberry mojito was perfect for sipping and noshing chips and ridiculously tasty house-made salsa. The beer menu also satisfies my picky hubby. His favorite dish being the Carne Asada platter — no carbs if you omit the rice.

Did I mention the cilantro-lime rice? My favorite as I am not particularly a Spanish Rice fan — so fresh and light. A perfect side dish.

I would highly recommend popping in and seeing for yourself — the service has always been friendly and timely. Even when it appears it will be a bit of a wait for seating it has not — and even during the Festival we were served and attended to swiftly. Visit the “Cantina” and see if mom is right!

Ashlea Boyer

Ashlea Boyer: Is a native of Pismo Beach, having moved here from South Lake Tahoe when she was just four years old. An Alumni of Arroyo Grande High School, she then attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, graduating with a degree in English Literature. After college, she spent 5 successful years working her way up to Management Editor of a national fitness magazine in Southern California, working for two of the three largest West Coast publishing houses. Ashlea return to the Central Coast for her wedding and stayed raise her family. She joined the family business in 2004 and began leading the Pismo Beach Homes Team with her Mother, Kathi Foster in real estate. Ashlea has been a leading real estate agent in the Pismo Beach area for 10 years, and has developed a strong client following in the area based on her dedication to our community and outstanding customer service. Our team, The Pismo Beach Homes Team, has been awarded the Quadruple Gold level awards consistently over the past 5 years with Keller Williams Realty. She has been named more than once as the "Agent of the Quarter". In 2011, Ashlea was presented with the "Top 20 Under 40" award by the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation for my professional excellence and profound commitment to the community. Ashlea lives in Arroyo Grande, California with her husband and son and she enjoy running on the beach, volunteering, pilates, snowboarding and the occasional scuba diving. She's active in many industry, community service and non-profit organizations and serves on the board of the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach, the Clark Center for the Performing Arts, and other community non-profit organizations. 

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