• Antojitos has Mexican covered, both with food and mood

    By: Shelly Caran/OntheGoinMCO.com


    Universal CityWalk’s newest restaurant, Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, officially opened in early February as the second restaurant to debut as part of this year’s historic expansion to Universal’s CityWalk entertainment complex.

    Antojitos is an extremely vibrant two-story restaurant that features authentic cuisine, more than 200 different tequilas, unique cocktails, a Mariachi band playing traditional favorites to Miley Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball', and walls adorned with authentic Mexican folk art.

    A visit to Antojitos takes diners on a journey through the cantinas, street carts, and markets of Mexico City for Mexican fare that is unlike any other with a menu that combines traditional Mexican dishes with new favorites using the freshest ingredients possible.

    What sets Antojitos apart from your 'normal' Mexican restaurant is that they have created two distinct dining experiences that make you want to stay all night for the fun!

    The downstairs of Antojitos is a much more casual experience where the fiesta begins!

    There is a huge tequila bar, a large stage for the Mariachi Band to play, graffiti, neon, and an open kitchen that brings the hustle and bustle of the streets all around you.

    The downstairs menu is more casual, and has some pretty amazing items!

    First things first, is that the salsa and chips at Antojitos are really tasty! The salsa is very chunky and full of fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and the chips are served warm with a great salty crunch.

    My favorite dish that I tried was the Chicken Tinga Tacos, with a lovely pineapple salsa to cut the spice from chipotle peppers these tacos definitely don't disappoint. The tacos had just enough of each item, but not too much that everything went spilling out of the tortilla.

    In addition to the extensive cocktail and tequila menus at Antojitos, you are also able to sample a variety of specialty beverages that include authentic Mexican soda, beers, regional wines, and aquas frescas.

    And for an extra special touch, on certain nights of the week guests will have the chance to take home a custom created mask for free as a souvenier from their visit to Antojitos.

    Upstairs at Antojitos has a totally different vibe that is more refined and comfortable with artwork and pictures, some of the families of employees of the restaurant, lining the walls.

    It reminds me of the feeling you get when you step out of a busy city street and into a friend's house. While it is not quiet upstairs, it is still a great place to have great conversation over dinner.

    I love good guacamole, and the table side service at Antojitos is delicious and full of fresh ingredients made to order. At $13.95 it is a pricey indulgence, but it is a nice way to kick off your meal upstairs.

    My favorite Plato Principal upstairs was the Carne Asada Brava, a coffee crusted ribeye with fire roasted vegetables and expresso butter. If I could eat this steak every night I would! Cooked in a special wood fired oven, this steak is smoky and wonderful with a slight bitter taste from the expresso butter. It is a little pricey at $28.95, but the large portion size and taste would make me order it again on my next visit.

    The desserts at Antojitos are really delicious, and a great way to end a meal!

    I suggest trying the Molten Cajeta De Leche which is a warm cake filled with cajeta de leche served with a sour cream ice cream that will make you dance at your table!

    I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Antojitos, and that while I personally wished that the food was a bit spicier I will definitely be back again with my family!

    Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is now open in Universal's CityWalk nightly from 5 pm to midnight, and is located next to The Groove nightclub.

    For more information about Universal CityWalk, visit: https://www.universalorlando.com.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shelley Caran recently moved to Celebration, Florida from Virginia, but has had a passion for Disney World and SeaWorld since her first visit in 1986.  She is a wife and stay-at-home Mom, who never seems to stay at home! She loves to take pictures, talk about her adventures, and what is important to know as you are on the go in the Orlando and Tampa attractions.  In addition to her own site, On the Go in MCO (www.onthegoinmco.com) she is a contributor for Touring Plans (www.touringplans.com).