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Showing posts with label margarita. Show all posts
Showing posts with label margarita. Show all posts

Pepe's Cantina

120 West Church St
Orlando, FL 32801
407-730-2341


Pepe’s Cantina in Winter Park took over a space that used to be Mi Tomatina, a place that specialized in Paella in late 2015. Ever since then, Pepe’s has been a great success at the Hannibal Square location and has become a staple of good eats in Winter Park.

Pepe’s has done so well in fact, that the owners decided to open a second location in Downtown Orlando at 120 W. Church street, adjacent to Hamburger Mary’s.

Sure, they have Tex-Mex classics like enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos and burritos, but Pepe’s strives to be innovative with a menu that puts a new twist on traditional Mexican cuisine. Table side guacamole, tacos with authentic fillings and fresh homemade tortillas are great for lunch or dinner, but ordering off of the dinner menu is where the difference is. Pepe is a real person by the way, as in Chef Jose "Pepe" Baranneko.

For dinner they serve entrees like Pollo Pepe’s a grilled chicken breast served with onions, peppers, tomatoes and bacon and is topped off with a signature red sauce and queso, or the Pacific Salmon topped with a sweet and sour mango jalapeno sauce. An interesting appetizer on the menu is the Shrimp Dip which is grilled shrimp with cheese dip, topped with pickled onions and cilantro.

Of course any good Tex-Mexery should have plenty Tequila and Margarita specials on hand, and Pepe’s certainly delivers in that category. Guests can try a Spicy Mango Margarita, a Jalapeno Margarita, a Mezcal-Rita or just go straight for the good stuff and slam a shot of Avion Reserva 44 extra anejo for $26.00/shot.

I haven't got to try out all there is at the new Church Street location, but we did stop by for lunch one day, and it was really good.

Chips and Salsa are standard fare at any Mexican restaurant these days, but this salsa is made in house as well as the chips, and that’s what really makes Pepe’s so good. They focus on fresh.

These Grilled Chicken Tacos were topped with radicchio, pickled red onions and cilantro then topped with a chive aioli sauce and are served with black beans and Mexican rice. You can choose flour or corn and soft or hard for your taco, and all tortillas are made in house.

This is a Mexican Pizza. It’s totally not what you would expect, but that’s what Pepe’s really strives for...classic dishes, or even not so classic, like a Mexican Pizza, made with different ingredients, flavors and styles that you are not accustomed to. You can choose shredded chicken or ground beef, and they top it with red sauce, cheese, jalapenos, sour cream and cilantro and serve it atop a lightly baked tortilla.

Stop by the new location and say Hola to Pepe. Chef Pepe and his team are doing a great job at both locations offering his signature blend of authentic Mexican ingredients with innovative culinary techniques.


Pepe's Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Don Julio Mexican Grill & Tequila Bar

551 S Chickasaw Trl
Orlando, FL 32825
(407) 930-3735


Say hello to the newest tenant to occupy the space at 551 South Chickasaw Trail in Orlando.

I say newest tenant simply because, the last business there was Oyster Bay, a place which I reviewed some time ago. Oyster Bay, as its name would imply, specialized in raw oysters and seafood, but more importantly...wings. 

I must admit, I still miss my Caribbean breaded wings, and have yet to find a replacement for them, but I am happy to report that after four visits to Don Julio’s, I really like this place. Don Julio’s is literally in my backyard. I could ride my bike there if I wanted to, and that's why I am so excited that the folks here seem to be getting it right and business is going good for them.

The menu at Don Julio’s is your basic Tex-Mex fare with some authentic Mexican fare on the menu, as well as some house favorites and specialty dishes. You can find a variety of tacos, quesadillas, flautas, enchiladas and burritos for your basic Tex-Mex options. If you want something more authentic, opt for Mexican street tacos with a variety of proteins available.


My personal favorite is the ChoriPollo, which is essentially chicken breasts smothered in chorizo and queso. The ChoriPollo is under the Parrilladas section of the menu, which features various steaks, chicken, pork and seafood all served up in a variety of ways from the grill. Parrillada in spanish means to grill or barbeque.

After four visits, I have been impressed with the consistency and the quality of the food. The service has been exceptional, and the house margarita has never disappointed.


All meals come with complimentary chips and salsa. It's always been good, but sometimes it can be a little on the spicier side.

The table side Guacamole is always a great starter. You can have it made as spicy as you like and have at least six different ingredients you can have added to the mix.

Our Guacamole ready to eat. We like it spicy and full of flavor.

Queso Fundido is a mix of chorizo sausage and melted Mexican cheeses served with sour cream, pico de gallo and flour tortillas. This is a must have appetizer at Don Julio’s.

We have ordered a pitcher of the house made Margarita on at least three occasions, and have never been disappointed. They make these bad boys strong and tasty. Don't say I didn't warn you.

The Carnitas were outstanding chunks of Pork deep fried until crispy, but tender on the inside. Carnitas are served with Mexican rice, sour cream, pico de gallo, rice and beans, and flour tortillas.

For something on the lighter side, Don Julio’s Chef Salad was pretty tasty as well. You can add grilled rib eye steak, chicken or fish to top off your salad.

As I mentioned earlier, the ChoriPollo is delicious, and has become my favorite dish. You can't go wrong by smothering chicken cutlets in chorizo and queso sauce. This meal is served with Mexican rice and flour tortillas so you can make your own ChoriPollo tacos.

The ambiance here is very casual and laid back with plenty of seating inside and outside and a decent sized bar at the front of the house. There are a few T.V’s scattered throughout so you can stay on top of all your sports action. Don Julio Mexican Grill is quickly becoming one of my favorite go to spots for local cuisine, and I would suggest you to stop by and see them soon as well. You will not regret it. 

They do not have a website up yet, but you can check them out on Facebook by clicking here. The restaurant is open from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm most nights.

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