By Glen Macnow

CANTINA LAREDO
690 W. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia

So you find yourself wandering around the endless empty corridors of the King of Prussia Mall/Plaza/Center on a Thursday evening (my God, this place is a ghost town), and there, right across from the nail salon and a bed store oddly named “Love Sac,” stands a sleek, antiseptic tribute to tacos.

“Cantina Laredo” looks more like an upscale juice bar than a taco joint, but, hey, our mission is to try them everywhere. Even in a monolith of a mall.

Our handlebar-mustachioed waiter, Oscar, recommended the Beef Barbacoa, so we ordered up those, along with Pescado (Mahi-Mahi) and a frosty Dos Equis lager. We also got a generous bowl of chips (hot and crunchy) and salsa (weak and runny).

Cantina Laredo

(Photo credit: Glen Macnow)

The Barbacoas featured certified Angus beef, which was tasty, but tougher than expected. They were nicely made up with cilantro, charred corn, marinated red onion, roasted tomatillo sauce and Monterey jack cheese. Tasty, yes, but more work than they should have been because of the stringy meat.

The Pescado was a chunk of sautéed Mahi Mahi, with cilantro, chipotle aioli, some overcooked veggies, mango-pineapple pico de gallo , roasted red pepper and queso fresco – which is a mild, unaged white cheese. On the plus – the fish was fresh and tasty. On the minus – this was a smaller piece than we’ve had on tacos at other spots.

And here comes the bottom line: At $15 per order of three, these were the most expensive tacos we’ve ordered on our first 10 stops on the “Clash of the Tacos.” That would have been okay if, a) they were outstanding, and, b) the atmosphere of the restaurant warranted the high price. Neither condition was true at Cantina Laredo.

Score: 71/100

Other reviews here.

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