Yesterday night, believe it or not, was one of my bi-annual date nights. (We don’t have childcare, and the Chef doesn’t have the time off for us to get out much). When we finally manage to venture out, we always run into the same dilemma. I find it difficult to pay top dollar for food that I truly believe the Chef can prepare the same, if not better. It is hard not to glance at the flow of the waitstaff, the quality of the food, etc, etc. But, we do get out and give it a go every so often.
704.971.VIDA (8432) : 210 East Trade Street : Suite 104A : Charlotte, NC 28202
This time we opted for Vida Cantina in Charlotte, NC. We are the early birds. I know, its embarrassing, but I like to be back for bathtime for the kids, and I hate crowds and all the hoopla that goes with uptown evenings. We managed to actually get there before the dinner time menu started. But that worked out good for us, since we had a more relaxing time to look around and speak with the waitress, Yakira.
Usually, in my experience, having a front of the house that is as good as the back is hard to find. This place was outrageous. Yakira was possibly the politest, yet funniest waitress I have had in a long time. Contrary to my style of waitressing (when I was younger), she seemed to really like her job. She knew the margaritas, the dishes, and described them well. She was honest, and very easy to talk to. I would hire her in a heartbeat. So to the management, watch out for that one. If I had my say in a restaurant, she would be coming with me.
First thing to come was the chips and salsa. The salsa was different. The tomatoes were charred first, and I thought I may have tasted chipotle, but like the chef says my palate is as delicate as a dump-truck. We ordered the table side guacamole. It was prepared table side using a molcajete, which I put on my list to purchase this coming week. The chef prepared it to our preference, which is good, since I am a firm believer in my amounts of cilantro and lime. My entree was the carne asada with green chile rice. The meat was seared in the right areas, and served medium-rare, just as it was ordered. The spices and flavors were perfect.
My suggestion, if you ever wanted to know what upscale Mexican should taste like. This is the place. The decor is not the tacky stained glass windows with hideous sombrero’s (but they did have these long bong looking lights that were…..odd). The place was very clean….and of course I mean clean as in not dirty, but the decor was clean. Not tacky, gaudy, and busy. It was very clean and uncluttered.
Best part, the skinny margarita. It was delicious. I could’ve sucked down 5 of those, but I had to drive. They were light, and citrus-y, and the tequila wasn’t overpowering. But it wasn’t a fruity, girly margarita either.
In all, try it. I had a wonderful experience, and would recommend it to all of my friends.