Cantina Laredo is an upscale Mexican eatery in Gilbert's SanTan Mall with some choices for the under $10 budget.
The interior is clean and sophisticated, modern but not too "southwest". Our
server immediately put a basket a chips with two bowls of house-made salsa on the table. One salsa was cold in temperature, and mild in heat; and the other was warm with a medium heat. Both were tasty, but we could not stop eating the warm one, with its golden hue and smoky flavor.
Although not everything on the menu was under $10, there were plenty of choices, including combination platters, that fit our budget. We tried a bowl of Sopa de Tortilla ($8.99, and available in a cup for $5.99) and the Enchilada de Avocado ($8.79). The menu offered many creative vegetarian choices, unusual for Mexican restaurants, and had a guide at the bottom signaling which options were not only vegetarian, but also gluten-free.
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The Sopa de Tortilla ($8.99 for the bowl) arrived at the table in a metal carafe with a bowl of crispy tortilla strips and sliced fresh avocado. The server poured the chicken soup over the tortilla strips at the table to help keep them crisp as long as possible -- a nice touch.
The soup was a nice blend of spice and textures, generous with the chicken. We thought $9 was a bit much for a bowl of soup, but it was satisfying and we had leftovers to bring home.
The Enchilada Avocado ($8.79) was an unexpected mix of avocado and artichoke wrapped in a corn tortilla, placed on a bed of spinach and smothered with a tangy tomatillo sauce. The plate also included a fresh slaw of jicama and mango. Like the soup, the combination of textures and flavors are unexpected and well balanced. At less than $9, this dish was well priced.
Other items (barely) under $10 included three separate combination plates, each including a mix of enchiladas, tacos, and rice and beans; as well as the Enchiladas Vera Cruz, a mix of chicken and spinach with the tomatillo sauce, veggies, and queso fresco. The spinach enchiladas and the chicken flauta plate also fit into our budget.
With its upscale feel, free chips, and several choices coming in just under $10, the food at Cantina Laredo feels like a bargain. Cantina Laredo is located at 2150 E. Williams Field Road, Building 16, Suite 123.