Editor's note: Warren and I went back without the kids a little later on a Friday night and got a peek at the night life. Men, wear your cowboy hat! Ladies are free before 10:30pm. After 10:30pm there is a $25 cover charge. (If you go for dinner and stay, there is no cover.) They have their liquor license now and stay open til 3:30am. I also learned that the space used to be a Walgreens and that the owners have spent almost three years sprucing it up.
Bucanas Mexican Restaurant
4522 Summer Avenue, Ste 1
Summer Avenue is home to another amazing restaurant!
At the September Rock-n-Romp, one of the moms asked if I'd taken the monkeys to Bucanas yet. I hadn't ever heard of it, but when she told me it was next door to Aldi on Summer, one of Warren's favorite grocery stops, I knew it would just be a matter of time. I was craving Mexican food on Friday night and suggested we go to Elena's, but Warren said it was probably too late. "How can 7:00pm on a Friday be late?" I argued. A phone call later I learned that they closed at 7:30pm. Boo. Since we were already on Sam Cooper, I suggested Bucanas.
When we pulled up, I was actually a little worried about going in. It's in a strip mall and has no windows.
Warren was actually trying to sway us towards the nearby Middle Eastern restaurant, but I held fast. Once we stepped inside, I was no longer worried. The restaurant is HUGE, and very well-lit. 100% not sketchy. It's actually amazing. I felt like we were in a Tarantino movie or something--huge dance floor, stage, disco ball, nice bar, huge cushy booths. It was obvious that this place has an after hours deal going on. (This seems to be the trend--Margaritas and Los Compadres both turn into dance clubs after dinner on weekends.)
You can see the bar, stage, and dance floor behind Warren.
Here you can see the booths lining the back wall. (The windows open to the foyer, not the outdoors.)
We had a very nice waiter who came over right away and gave us menus and took our drink order. They don't have their liquor license yet (it's just a matter of days now), so I couldn't try a margarita. There have several beers, homemade horchata, soft drinks, and Mexican sodas. I thought about getting a beer, but ended up just getting water. Warren also got water, as did Satchel (10). Jiro (8), who was in a mood, said he didn't want to eat, he just wanted a Fanta. He didn't even want cheese dip. Whatever.
The menu was quite extensive and Warren's first remark was, "Since when did all Mexican restaurants get so expensive?" I didn't think the prices looked too out of line from Los Compadres or Margaritas, but I don't really pay close attention.
Satchel wanted taquitos but the last few times I've ordered them at other places he has found some reason not to eat them--i.e. tiny minced onions mixed with the chicken--so I refused. Warren really wanted a whole fish, which was $11.99, and offered to share it with Satchel. He agreed. I decided to get the molcajete because I never got to order one at Margaritas.
Sounds awesome, right? I figured it would be enough to share with Jiro in case he perked up. I offered him something from the kids menu, but he refused.
Chips and dip came right out as did the cheese dip I ordered. The salsa is made fresh and has a nice kick. The cheese dip is pretty standard, maybe a tad on the thick side.
Our waiter later informed us that there were several other homemade salsas available by request. I forgot to ask if the chips were made in house, but the tortillas are, so it's a good possibility.
The food came out very fast. Warren was pleased with the fish. (It came with a side of rice and beans, tortillas, and fixings.)
He and Satchel had a great time polishing it off.
And my molcajete exceeded all expectations. It was huge! (Yes, I know, that's what she said.)
Warren was jealous.
The molcajete also came with rice, beans, tortillas, and fixings. It was a LOT of food. All four of us could have split it.
I made Jiro a chicken taco, but he refused. (Seriously, getting the monkeys to go out in the first place these days is an ordeal and then to get both of them to be pleasant and eat is nearly impossible.)
Let's get a closer look at the awesome.
I focused on the shrimp and the cheese, and then had some chicken. Warren and Satchel helped with the cactus and beef. Warren told Satchel that the cactus tasted like artichoke in order to get him to try it. Then later, it said the cheese tasted like artichoke to get him to try it. Funny, that he was more apt to try the cactus! At the very bottom was chorizo dip and we all had a few chips full of it. And then there was still tons leftover.
I would totally order it again, but I would make Warren split it.
All in all, we really enjoyed our meal. The waiter told us that on weekends they have live bands play and I can totally see how fun it would be after hours. Girls night anyone? I almost think we could have a Rock-n-Romp there! I predict that they'll be packed once they get their liquor license.
Our visit was very mellow and there were several other families. All of the employees were nice and helpful. The bathrooms are huge with four stalls, but no changing table. Our bill was $34 plus tip.
Check it out!
p.s. Anybody know what this place used to be?