Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cancun: Authentic Mexican Restaurant & Grill

While scouting about in the Smith Mountain Lake Area the other day, I came across quite a jewel. Cancun Restaurant is located in a plaza with some other professional buildings and businesses. 
 The restaurant itself was decorated in a wonderful Latin theme with brilliant colors similar to that of a summer's sunset in the desert. The festive music was in harmony with the bold and decadent aromas wafting from the kitchen. The staff was amiable and service was prompt. The bar was stocked with a myriad of beers and wines, both foreign and domestic, along with a vast array of mixed Latin style drinks like 5 flavors of Margaritas, 7 types of Tequila, and 25 oz. Micheladas, which are a popular Mexican beer beverage said to be good for hangovers! 
 The menu is extensive and numbered for ease, in case your Spanish is a little rusty! There are numerous lunch specials and items offered a la carte for building your own combination plates. 
 I ordered from the mixed section or recipes offering more than one type of protein in the dish, like chicken and/or beef or shrimp. I also ordered from the a la carte menu. For the main entree, I ordered the Enchiladas Rancheras, which is 2 beef and 2 chicken enchiladas topped with a Poblano Mole sauce, and garnished with cheese and onions. I also ordered a chicken tamale and a Chile Relleno.
The tamale was supple and delicious in it's simplicity. The spices were as not to overwhelm the palate and the flavors of the meat filling and the corn meal casing meshed very well. The tangy sauce covering the tamale was a brilliant red and enough to dip each forkful into the savory deliciousness. 
 The Enchiladas Rancheras was my least favorite item, but I did prefer the chicken portion more than the beef. I feel that I would have enjoyed it more if the Mole Poblano was a little spicier and the spices more pronounced, instead of somewhat dull and muted. 
 Overall, I did not dislike the dish, but I think I could recreate it at home more to my own personal flavor profile. Last but not least, was the Chile Relleno. After one bite, I instantly wished I had ordered 3 more minimum! The flavors were alive and robust. The chile was stuffed with shredded beef and cheese, dipped in egg, fried, and covered with a glorious red sauce. The spicy filling and the Poblanos were chock full of smoky flavor components and the tastes that to me showcase Mexican cuisine at it's best. Every order comes with super fresh salsa, with lots of garlic and cilantro, and fresh tortillas for dipping.
 If you happen to be in the Smith Mountain Lake area and want some Authentic Mexican fare, especially a dynamite Chile Relleno, stop by Cancun, feel the love!
Cancun Mexican Restaurant and Grill
13383 Booker T. Washington Hwy.
Hardy, Va 24101-3945
540) 719-2884

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