No Mas! Cantina
It had been years since I had been to No Mas! Cantina. I think it was back when I was working in the restaurant and nightclub industry. So I had forgotten just how cool the place is.
My son and his wife were in Atlanta for a couple of days, and my Dad and I met them for brunch.
Normally, I wouldn’t suggest meeting downtown at around noon when Georgia Tech is playing…. Especially when it happens to be the Clean Old Fashioned Hate game between Tech and the Georgia Bulldogs. But for some reason, I thought they were playing in Athens. I was wrong, but we met at 11 and wound up leaving while the game was still going on, so we avoided the football traffic.
I picked up my dad in Covington and we made really good time going to the restaurant, so we checked out the place. The outside and inside of the restaurant are a feast for the eyes! It was as if we had gone into a Mexican folk art museum with trinkets, statues, and other pieces on display everywhere you looked.
Since we were pretty early, we went to find their ADios Cafe (it is spelled that way, with A and Dios capitalized). The cafe wasn’t exactly one spot, but rather seemed to run through along the sides of the Artisan Market (more on that later).
The Atlanta United fan in me was pretty thrilled that we found a table directly across the street from one of the city’s murals of Josef Martinez – a prolific scorer and the heart and soul of Atlanta’s side.
They serve food at the cafe, as well… I’m not sure if it is the same menu as the restaurant, but the selection was good enough to stand on its own.
I’m not usually a fan of gift shops for restaurants. Whenever I think of them, I think of Hard Rock Cafe’s bars with the swag, or Cracker Barrel’s country store stocked with things you didn’t know existed, but had to have immediately (and in case you didn’t see anything you want, your kids want everything in the store).
No Mas! Cantina’s Artisan Market was completely different.
The market was filled with all sorts of artwork and furniture (who doesn’t need a crescent-shaped hammock for the living room?)… beautiful sculptures, mantlepieces, high-end candles, traditional pieces, and much more. I could spend at least an hour in there taking it all in.
They have a ginormous parking lot with signs posted to scan a QR code and pay to park… and that No Mas! would validate your parking for while eating and shopping. It was hassle-free… just wait to get your validation code before putting your card information in… they’ve got it well handled (and that’s as much detail as I’ll go into).
Oh yeah… this is a restaurant, right?
Cross the patio and enter through the double doors and enter a really cool dining room. We went upstairs so we could enjoy the place with a view from above.
Our server, Dacari (I hope I spelled his name correctly) was impressive. He made sure that we had everything we needed, and was super-friendly. The rest of the staff we met upstairs were a fun team to chat with.
Dacari guided us through some selections, and his suggestions were excellent.
Between the chorizos, fajitas, and burritos, I think each of us were so well fed that we couldn’t think of food the rest of the day.
Personally, I had the chorizo tacos… yes… just yes.
I’m not so much of a connoisseur (I had to spell check that) or Mexican food snob to know if it was the most authentic flavor… but I know this: It’s the only Mexican restaurant I’ve eaten at besides La Carreta in Marietta that didn’t taste Americanized. (La Carreta is definitely worth a visit, too!).