Full disclosure: I was invited for a tasting to Nueva Cantina. Opinions expressed are my own and do not represent the restaurant.
Nueva Cantina is a relaxed, affordable neighborhood spot that also serves delicious contemporary Mexican cuisine. Tortillas are hand-pressed, the guacamole is made to order, and it shows in the quality of the food. I visited the South St. Pete location at 1625 4th St. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 for a taste of the menu.
We started off with the Mexican Street Corn ($6.95) made with four sweet lollies dusted with queso fresco, fresh cilantro, and chili powder. The first thing I noticed was that each flavor was perfectly layered on the corn, sometimes in the rush to add corn to menus restaurants have overdone or underdone this dish that should be quite simple. Nueva Cantina made it just right though.
Then came the Platanos Maduros ($8.95) which is fried sweet plantains served with queso fresco and sour cream. This is an easy shareable that you don’t see on enough menus in Tampa Bay despite the ease of making it. I love the contrast always of the sweetness of the plantains and the sour cream.
The Nueva Sampler ($10.95) comes with guacamole, queso, and salsa. All 3 were incredible fresh and delicious. I would definitely order this and share it with a group. Regular chips and salsa are $4.95 so you might go all the way if you’re going to enjoy these.
The Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos ($9.95) made with (4) Jalapeños stuffed with chicken, onions, and cream cheese, wrapped in Applewood smoked bacon, served with mango
chutney did not disappoint. In fact, it was probably my second favorite thing that I ordered. The contrast of flavors and the mango chutney finish is just superb. Try this!
For my main course I ordered the Pollo Serrano Enchiladas ($11.95) which is flour tortillas filled with shredded chicken, cheese and baked in a serrano creme sauce topped with jalapeños. Choice of rice and beans. These are some of the best enchiladas I have ever had a Mexican restaurant, especially in Tampa. The serrano sauce was perfection. My favorite item for sure!
We, of course, had to try the birria tacos and they were great.
Finally it wouldn’t be a neighborhood Mexican spot without good margaritas and these did not disappoint. Cheers!
Restaurant Name: Nueva Cantina
Address: 1625 4th St. St. Petersburg, FL 33701