If you’re craving fresh, delicious Pacific-style Mexican food and you think you’ll drive over to that little place in Lutz with the butterfly door handles—STOP, get back on the highway and head over to Seminole Heights instead. After building a loyal fan base and steady following since opening Mekenita in Lutz in 2007, owners Rand and Tiffani Parker have re-opened their doors in Seminole Heights, and fans are thrilled to find everything they love and more.

Mekenita Cantina joins neighbors The Revolution Ice Cream Co. and Seminole Heights City Wine Bar in the red brick Graham Building at 6707 N. Florida Ave. It’s a larger venue with a covered, pet-friendly patio dining area. The new venue offers tableside service and a full cocktail bar.

That cocktail bar is a great place to get a feel for the deliciousness that is the new Mekenita Cantina. Maybe you’d like to try the Oaxacan Bath Bomb, made with Corralejo Reposado Tequila, rosemary sugar water, muddled lemon and bubbly and served with a rosemary sugared rim. Or if you want something with a local twist, check out the Florida Ave. Punch, made with Monkey Spiced Rum, toasted coconut rum, fresh guava and tomatillo gooseberry. Delicious mixtas and horchatas offer a non-alcoholic punch.

The Packers, both California natives, have infused their food with their passion for the food prepared by the Oaxacan chefs of Mexico, with whom they cooked and traveled before beginning to experiment with their own menus. The appetizers, tacos, burritos, salads and large plates all feature fresh Pacific ingredients, and it can be hard to resist the chili garlic rubbed smoked pork tacos with habanero taki crumbles, or the Rustic Ancho Chili Grilled Half Farm Raised Chicken with garlic habanero aioli and mole negro. And don’t forget to ask for the seasonal flavor of the day when you order your homemade Mexican flan at the end of your meal.

For the Packers, family comes first—their own and their employees. So while you can enjoy lunch and dinner at Mekenita Cantina from Monday through Saturday, on Sundays, the restaurant is closed.

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Photo from 813area.