ORLANDO, Fla. - Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food welcomed the media to an exclusive event and officially opened to the public on Wednesday, February 5th 2014. This south of the border inspired restaurant is located at Universal CityWalk. Before you put on your sombrero and give it a try, we've got some details that you may want to know before you go. This isn't your Abuela's ordinary Mexican restaurant.
As you approach the building, the bright, bold colors and expansive patio will welcome you to sit and relax. The not-so-typical mariachi band will serenade you with contemporary hits such as Human League's "Don't you want me" from 1982, as well as more modern songs from this year. Know before you go tip #1 - don't deny yourself the fun of singing along. The Mariachi band travels inside the restaurant too - and it can get pretty loud - so don't worry too much about talking with your friends...just sing!
» IMAGE GALLERY: Inside the new Antojitos
In addition to the beautiful patio, we also found a VW Bus, ready to serve the very same cocktails and cervesas found inside the restaurant. Know before you go tip #2 - don't expect to find any pre-made mixes. Everything is made with fresh ingredients and muddled to perfection…which leads us to know before you go tip #3. Taste some of Antojito's specialty cocktails and embrace your chance to drink like a celebrity because, believe it or not, you can do both at some pretty decent prices. Examples include The Handsome George cocktail, which is made with agave nectar, fresh lime juice and George Clooney's very own Casamigos Tequila.
Universal spoiled us (the media) with free samples, but I did check the menus for pricing. The Handsome George was listed at $12.50. Another specialty cocktail called The Big Apple in Mexico, was $9.50. The Horse You Rode In On was a strong and tasty drink with a clever name. Even so, members of the media sitting near me said that the best part was the amarena black cherry at the bottom of each glass. This cocktail had a price point of $10.00. The Repo Man was another crowd favorite. Made with Patron Reposado tequilla, strawberry puree, ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice and apples - it would probably make actual repo men really proud. This wonderful libation was priced at $12.00.
Once inside, we were given a tour. Downstairs, we observed the open kitchen and a more casual dining experience. Menu items include 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, we sampled a more refined dining experience including menu options 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).
We especially enjoyed sampling the fresh guacamole, which can be customized any way you like it. Menu pricing is $13.95 for your table-side guacamole, and it is prepared for you with care on stations that are affectionately called guac "cubes" by the servers.
Antojitos has a guac cube to match the themeing upstairs, and an additional one that is decorated to match the themeing downstairs. Know before you go tip #4 - the only difference between the upper and lower level of the restaurant is some of the menu items - and the "feeling" of the atmosphere. Both floors are awesome; you just choose what you want based on your mood.
Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is now open nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight and is the most recent venue to debut as part of Universal CityWalk’s historic expansion. We hope these know before you go tips will help you get the most enjoyment possible out of your first visit! Above all - have fun at the fiesta, Amigos!