Antojitos at Universal Orlando City Walk – Media Preview
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is a new restaurant at Universal Orlando City Walk. I was delighted to check it out last week as part of their media preview. Here’s what I think of this vibrant new spot.
Last week I attended the media preview for Antojitos, a new Mexican restaurant at Universal Orlando’s City Walk. Antojitos is part of the historic City Walk expansion that’s bringing all kinds of new and exciting dining concepts to us throughout 2014. If my evening at Antojitos is indicative of what Universal has planned, this expansion is going to be an amazing addition to Orlando for both residents and tourists alike.
Antojitos has lovely al fresco dining spots with a balcony on the second floor and a patio at ground level where I snacked on salsa and sipped a marvelous margarita from a hefty hand-painted glass.
This was the first of several drinks that I tried while at Antojitos. They’re really doing tasty things with tequila, like in this surprisingly smokey yet refreshing cocktail, The Handsome George:
They also have a variety of non-alcoholic beverages. I became addicted to the Tamarind Aqua Fresca and sipped on one (two or three) throughout the evening.
For indoor dining, there are two options. The downstairs is funky, colorful and fun.
The downstairs at Antojitos has a very approachable and affordable menu. My favorites were the Seafood Cocktail, the Tempura BBQ Shrimp Tacos (mango salsa, BBQ, salsa verde, queso fresco) and the Duck Tacos (duck confit, napa slaw, salsa verde and queso fresco).
Upstairs (known as Antojitos Up) is a bit more sophisticated. I loved sitting up there with a view of the bar (and of a lot of tequila bottles) and of the room below.
The menu at Antojitos Up has some really innovative yet still authentically Mexican dishes. My favorite upstairs dish was the Carne Asada Brava with the most unusual and delicious butter accompaniment. It had ground espresso in it. That may sound a bit odd, and granular, but it was fantastic. I found the chef and asked him what was in it. He told me. I’m going to make it. Soon. Today. Right now. I seriously can’t get it out of my head.
Both the upstairs and downstairs of Antojitos have open kitchens. This is one of my favorite things in a restaurant, seeing the buzz and bustle of the kitchen. It adds the feeling of interaction, the feeling that you’re part of the cooking, part of the food.
The upstairs and downstairs also have two of my favorite mouthfuls from the evening: Both the Esquites Asados (nobody at my table could get enough of this) and the Guacamole (made tableside) are found on both menus.
Oh wow. That guac was the best I’ve ever had. Ever. The guacamole-maker who came to our table personalized the guacamole to our taste asking if we like it spicy, salty, etc. Then, as he made it, he explained his technique. I learned something revolutionary as he talked. I’ve posted it on my Facebook Page. Go here to find out about The Best. Guacamole Technique. Ever. I can’t wait to try it out. The flavor he smooshed into that guacamole was so so good.
I had a fun and tasty time at Antojitos. I can’t wait to go back. The next time we’re at Universal, Antojitos will be the place we hit before heading home. It’s the perfect spot to sit back, relax, eat, drink and chat about the fun day we had at the theme parks. And I think I’m addicted to that guac so I need to make it soon!
Thanks to Universal Studios and their wonderful staff for putting on such a delicious event. And thank you to my friends Katie from Katie’s Cucina and Kristin from Yellow Bliss Road for being my sparkling dates for the evening. I had a blast, ladies!