Antojitos: From Mexico to Universal CityWalk
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Authentic Mexican food is always a comfort to me. Give me a bowl of guacamole, a perfectly cooked carne asada and freshly shaken margarita, and I am one happy lady. Now, with Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food open at Universal CityWalk, I have found my new foodie happy place here at Universal Orlando Resort.
It is a vibrant and comfortable new restaurant experience, not only because of the authentic food, but because the experience is modern, yet truly rooted in Mexico.
Immediately after walking through the traditional hacienda-like exterior, the neon lights mixed with clean decor give the feeling of a modern marketplace, all inspired by the CityWalk’s team trips to Mexico.
Modesto Alcala, Universal CityWalk’s VP of Revenue Operations, told me “Our team took many of the photos on the walls during our trip to Mexico. The team’s time there shaped the entire restaurant, from the surroundings to the food.”
But what makes the experience the most authentic for me is the food. Each menu item — including the guacamole prepared fresh table side, braised pork shoulder and just-made tortilla chips — is expertly prepared with a focus on authenticity.
In talking with Steve Jayson, Universal Orlando Resort’s Executive Chef, I found that many of the special kitchen ingredients are brought in from Mexico and prepared using authentic Mexican kitchen tools and equipment.
And, while “Tequila is not a food group” — as the restaurant’s house rules state — you may think it is when you get a look at Antojitos’ stunning bars stacked with bottles and bottles of the cherished clear liquid. The bars turn out cocktails ranging from the traditional margarita and custom cocktails, to the spicy Sriracha margarita.
Before you plan your night out at Antojitos, you can decide between one of the restaurant’s two floors, both featuring different menus. Downstairs is more casual, serving items like carnitas al pastor tacos (made with beer and chile braised pork, grilled pineapple and guajillo salsa) and oaxaca enchiladas (chicken tinga and house made mole sauce, queso fresco and lime crema).
Upstairs, called Antojitos Up, is more refined with a menu featuring items like carne asada brava (coffee crusted ribeye with fire roasted vegetables) and menonita shrimp (bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with menonita cheese, manchego corn pudding and a poblano chorizo sauce).
The authenticity of the experience is also found in the entertainment. The main stage downstairs features a mariachi band playing traditional Mexican music and versions of today’s top hits (think mariachi takes on Top 40). And every night, you can pick up a complimentary painted sugar Mexican mask from the artists onsite.
So, whether you are dressed up for a night out, or just need to refuel after a day in the parks, Antojitos has you covered.
To make reservations at Antojitos, click on over here and you’ll be on your way.