is a wondrous place. Really, it is.
I spent some high-quality hours there last week as my daughter and I shopped for her future dorm room. But all I could think about was, "What if I lived in a tiny apartment again? Would I do this to my kitchen? Or this?" I love my kitchen, but I'm a bit of a kitchen slut . . . always looking for the next best trick. You store your knives on a magnetic strip? I'm gonna store MY knives like that!
Anywho . . . After battling with the girl over bedspeads and whether or not I should be purchasing a bottle opener for her, I was a little exhausted.
But we made one more stop at Cantina #1! While Dave Ryan was conducting some sort of dance competition in the rotunda, the kiddos and I ascended to MOA's newest theme restaurant from the relaxed guys at Corona beer.
The place is cavernous and unexpectedly spare. Don't get me wrong, there are thatched huts and surfboards and a conveniently located gift shop selling all sorts of Corona-ware at the entrance, but the walls themselves are the color of sand, and the huts and bamboo are more accents than fantasyland. Keeping with their theme, it's all very laid-back and relaxed. Which can be good if you're sick of the hectic MOA vibe.
And yet, it can be bad if you're in need. I'm generally forgiving during that first month of operation, but here's a small tip: Don't pass out a coloring place mat to a five-year-old with no crayons. Because when the tired mommy has to make her way back to the podium, only to find out that the crayons aren't arriving until 3 p.m., I'm not so relaxed. (Plus, you're in the MALL of FREAKIN' AMERICA! Don't you think someone might be able to find some crayons within fifty feet of your front door?)
We sat at a big booth and downed the complimentary chips and salsa, ordering some guac with the next basket. It came in a fried tortilla "bowl" but was no more than maybe a cup of guac. Sadly, there was no flavor, and I wondered if I was supposed to mix in the other ingredients on the plate myself.
The fiver got a quesadilla, to which we added chicken. The teens each ordered a different torta, and I had the chicken diablo. My dish was fine, the chicken was tender, but with a name like diablo, don't you think it should carry a little heat? My Michelada was spicier. The teens each liked their sandwich, but they were the same sandwich. When I asked the server about the difference between the Original Torta and the Fajita Torta, she had to check with the kitchen: The difference is how the chicken is prepared: One has shredded chicken, the other has chicken breast. Well, they both had shredded and breast on each sandwich. Whatever. They ate it; it was good. The best dish on the table was the fiver's quesadilla, which we all kept snatching bites of while he was trying to color in his place mat with a manky pen from the far reaches of my purse.
All in all, it's better than freaky singing apes. I'll give them another shot.