To say that Playa Cabana has been highly recommended would be an understatement. I have heard from numerous friends and family that this tiny Mexican joint is a must-try. You would never guess that among a residential area on Dupont just East of Davenport sits this hidden gem. On any given night, this place is packed from open until close. Somehow, Jonty and I called around 6:00 PM on a Saturday night and got a reservation inside for 9:00 PM. We did want to sit outside however, but figured we would take what we could get. We have tried multiple times to get a reservation but have never been lucky, so I’m sure you could guess how excited we were.
When we arrived at the booming restaurant, we asked if there was any way we could sit on the back patio. The hostess said she would see what she could do, and before you knew it, we were seated outside. I absolutely loved the ambiance back there. I felt like I was in someone’s backyard. Although it was pretty cramped, the warm summer night and candlelit table made for the perfect backdrop to this highly anticipated dinner.
The staff were incredibly friendly and accommodating, regardless of their busyness.
All of the food is fresh, local and made from scratch, which truly allows for the full flavour to shine through. We started with drinks, and I ordered red wine sangria, and Jonty chose a Mexican beer, Dos Equis. As for the food, we were so overwhelmed by the menu. The fish tacos, as well as chips and guacamole have been recommended to us, which are right up our alley. For appetizers, we ordered the homemade guacamole and tortilla chips made from simply corn and water. The guacamole was incredible smooth and creamy, and I think it is the best I have ever had. The chips also had a wonderful crunch to them and weren’t too oily. The “Cubeta de camaron” also caught our eye. It was a bucket of shrimp tossed in an arbol-garlic butter. Arbol is a type of chili pepper, which added a tiny bit of heat to the buttery shrimp. These shrimp come with the shell and legs on in order to preserve the flavour. We couldn’t take our hands off of these and can’t wait to go back for more.
As for the main course, we shared the fish tacos. The fish of the day was Atlantic cod, and we chose them battered instead of grilled. It was pretty dark outside so I could barely see what I was eating, but all I know is that it tasted pretty darn good!
We are already planning on making another reservation at this goldmine in the very near future!