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SPICE CANTINA

by Britt Chester

Much anticipated eatery opens on South Side

editor@yesweekly.com | @awfully_brittish

The formula for creating a Mexican eatery just doesn’t seem too complicated: Decorate the place with a southwestern feel, fill your menu with the usual items peppered with some specialties and keep the cervezas coming. Spice Cantina, Greensboro’s latest addition to the restaurant community, is already holding a royal flush in the restaurant game of poker.

To start, the restaurant can brag that it has a very well-curated interior. Approaching the building, a trio of underlit bubbling pots sitting in a rock garden immediately set the ambiance for an across-the-border dining experience. Massive doors welcome you into a dimly lit room that seems well suited for family-style dining. Such is not the case, though, and a few sporadically placed seating arrangements actually inhibit intimate conversation.

The curved-corner bar area offers couch seating that, for all intents and purposes, fits the idea of what a cantina is, which is a bar. The triple-staffed bar keeps everyone from getting too thirsty, and the steady flow of chips and salsa keep the mouths watering “” a lethal combination if you were planning on having one beverage.

The bar staff is incredibly nice, even if they were fumbling about trying to find their bearings in the new office.

You can’t really fault a staff that has only been working with actual customers for less than two weeks. It takes time to find your rhythm at any new job, so that can be chalked up to new surroundings. Also, there is a television that looks like it was just sort slammed on the wall for a football-fan owner. Whether that is true, this place isn’t really suited for the avid sports watcher, but more the guy/girl more interested in the sports scores than the company of others.

The enchiladas, a regular on nearly every single menu of restaurants of this type, were not suitable for the environment. Exploding hues of blue and yellow mix in the atmosphere of the whole place, but the color pallet of the plate was, quite simply, brown and yellow. Given that we eat with our eyes first, there wasn’t much to anticipate.

The enchiladas did provide a surprising flavor, but it was definitely necessary to add some of the complimentary salsa to the dish. Again, new restaurants have kinks to work out: Kitchen staffs are still breaking in the stovetops and figuring out the exact process and times for each dish.

The good news for Spice Cantina is that opening up is never easy, and new restaurants are often just the awkward kid at school trying to find his or her place in social hierarchy of grubbing. Spice seems to be fitting in quite nicely, though, and with its prime location in the downtown of Greensboro, it surely won’t struggle making friends and loyal patrons.

Another upside is that Spice Cantina is now serving Gibb’s Hundred brews, which does show that it is embracing the local scene, and vice versa.

As the place continues business, and hopefully listens to its patrons, it will be exciting to watch Spice Cantina become the Mexican restaurant that we all want and crave. !

WANNA go?

Spice Cantina is located at 108 Barnhardt Street in Greensboro and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Visit their Facebook page for more information or call 336-907-7955.

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