Visibly situated front and center in the Centro Ybor complex, Centro Cantina definitely seems like a kitschy tourist trap at first, but we went to see if there was anything more to this Ybor City bar and restaurant with lunch earlier this week.
Centro Cantina's main draw is its expansive outdoor patio bar setting adorned with wooden tables and fixtures, rustic wares lining the walls, and a long, colorful row of alcoholic smoothie machines behind the bar.
Speaking of said machines, it feels nearly impossible to visit the Cantina and not give one a shot if you've never tried one. With flavors like Electric Lemonade and Rum Runner, each come in a more-than-ample styrofoam cup.
As if 20 or so ounces of sugar and alchohol isn't enough, you get a test tube shot plopped right in the middle of the drink as well. Overall, these things are delicious, but deceptive. Two of 'em will have you feeling pretty fine.
When it comes to food, Centro Cantina offers a pretty standard assortment of appetizers, Mexican entrees, sandwiches, burgers, and more.
Nachos, loaded with an assortment of cheese, jalapenos, chili, sour cream, and chicken came out in a HUGE portion, but failed to do anything besides fill the stomach. Bland, pre-cooked, and packaged chicken sitting atop canned nacho cheese sauce; chili straight from the microwave; nachos right out of the bag, the list goes on....
The service at Centro Cantina was nothing short of fantastic, but I just wonder, do they even try with a dish like the nachos? Are they hoping you drink yourself into a hungry oblivion then order the food so it won't even really matter?
Stay at Centro Cantina for the awesome frozen drinks, but stumble elsewhere if you're looking for a great meal. With a restaurant scene like Ybor City's, it shouldn't take that long.