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Sep 18, 2017

Mexican Fusion at Fresco’s Cantina

The We Heart Astoria team was invited to Westoria to check out neighborhood newcomer Fresco’s Cantina (they occupy the old Bear Restaurant space). We had a full fusion Fiesta, seriously (…)

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The We Heart Astoria team was invited to Westoria to check out neighborhood newcomer Fresco’s Cantina (they occupy the old Bear Restaurant space). We had a full fusion Fiesta, seriously we were beyond full, but here are five standout dishes, drinks, and tasting favorites. Lets dive in.

Guys you know I love margaritas and all tropical drink varietals. We started the night right with three of Fresco’s most popular drinks. From left to right you’ve got the Strawberry Margarita, Coconut Mojito, and a Passion Fruit Mojito on the end. These reminded me of the drinks I downed in my youth (alright youth is too strong of a word, I was 23) in Cancun. I sipped on the Strawberry Margarita and thought it had just the right smack of strawberry without being overly sweet. Marielle enjoyed the Passion Fruit Mojito, and she reported that you got the tart and smack of passion fruit without being too sour. We split the middle Coconut Mojito and had no complaints.

Okay I know what you’re thinking. Wings at a Mexican restaurant? It’s the same question I asked of owner Brian Martinez,

“You may be familiar with one of our dishes but we might introduce it prepared in a different way or fuse with the flavors or ingredients another country, creating an amazing dish that surpasses expectations. Think of us as ‘Mexican reinvented.’”

So think of this as the reinvented aspect, a play on the idea of Cantina where you go have drinks and bar food. It’s not traditional but Marielle and I really enjoyed them. Crispy crunchy exterior, good texture on the inside. These babies were smothered in a Sriracha BBQ sauce. Don’t ask me how I know this…but these were also good served cold, out of the fridge, at like around Midnight.

Tacos are the name of the game at Fresco’s Cantina. They have 12 different types for you to enjoy. Marielle and I disagreed on a favorite here. She preferred the Cazumel made with a beer battered Mahi-mahi with a jalapeño slaw.

I liked the Phuket featuring grilled shrimp with chili sauce topped with a cilantro crema.

The overwhelming favorite dish of the night was the Chuleta al Caballo. To be fair this dish does err on the more Latin side of cuisine, okay it’s all Latin. Black beans, sweet plantains, and an egg a top of the pork chop. Again I think this dish reflects owner Brian Martinez’s past restaurant experience, he runs a Latin fusion spot in the Bronx, so unsurprising that some of that expertise would show up in this new space. Back to the dish at hand. The pork chop was downright buttery with a nice seared crust. The sides were also a home run, I love (love) sweet plantains, and the cilantro rice was fragrant and very yummy.

Last but certainly not least. We finished our meal with a sweet treat. When these initially were placed in front of us, I thought it was fried ice cream, in fact, these are a churro style egg roll with a banana caramel cheesecake filling. Called the Mexico City this dessert was excellent as we called it a night.

There is no way I could take these photos, big shout out to our resident food photographer Marielle Solan. (Did you catch her awesome fashion spread in the latest issue of our Paper?)

If you find yourself on the West side, give Fresco’s a try.

Fresco’s Cantina 12-14 31st Avenue, Astoria. 347-808-7338
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This post was sponsored by Fresco’s Cantina. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support We Heart Astoria!


About Emily Rios

Emily Rios manages special events, sponsored content and advertising clients as WHA's Business Development Director. She is a passionate and dedicated youth developer with a strong background in non-profit management, and works as Senior Manager of Youth Leadership at generationOn.

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