November 18, 2017
Arts & Entertainment
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  • The enchilada chatas, served with beans and rice, comprised corn tortillas layered with chicken and green tomatillo sauce, topped with sour cream and a perfectly ripe avocado.
    Sharon Mager
    The enchilada chatas, served with beans and rice, comprised corn tortillas layered with chicken and green tomatillo sauce, topped with sour cream and a perfectly ripe avocado.
  • The zucchini enchiladas were filled with spicy chicken, tomato-based sauce and melted, bubbly cheese.
    Sharon Mager
    The zucchini enchiladas were filled with spicy chicken, tomato-based sauce and melted, bubbly cheese.
  • The Broadneck sampler appetizer platter boasted beef nachos, cheese quesadillas and chicken-stuffed jalapenos.
    Sharon Mager
    The Broadneck sampler appetizer platter boasted beef nachos, cheese quesadillas and chicken-stuffed jalapenos.
  • A traditional vanilla cake soaked in three types of milk, the irresistible tres leches cake was dense and not overly sweet.
    Sharon Mager
    A traditional vanilla cake soaked in three types of milk, the irresistible tres leches cake was dense and not overly sweet.

Broadneck Grill & Cantina Offers High-End Food In A Neighborhood Setting

Sharon Mager
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May 3, 2017

I’ve done a lot of restaurant reviews now for the Voice, and that means I’ve dined at some great places. None of them to date, however, have provided quite the level of outstanding customer service I received when I dined at the Broadneck Grill & Cantina in Cape St. Claire recently. And the Mexican food is certainly the best I’ve tried north of the border.

I decided to go to the Broadneck Grill & Cantina with a friend and her 3-year-old son in the late afternoon on a Tuesday. My friend’s son has Celiac disease and she asked whether there was a way we could find out in advance about any potential gluten-free options the restaurant may offer. The employee, who answered the phone cheerfully, outlined the numerous gluten-free choices, really going the extra mile to make sure I understood the options.

The restaurant is in a strip center in Cape St. Claire with two entrances — one for the cantina and one for the restaurant. Being the klutz that I am, I of course entered the wrong door first and walked into the bar, but the bartender warmly greeted me and personally escorted me and my dining companions to a quiet corner of the restaurant. Casual and comfortable, the restaurant has wood floors and tables; a soothing, earthy color scheme; and great music playing lightly in the background (Sam Cooke, Barry White, Smokey Robinson - how can you go wrong with that?)

Our waiter, Poncho, brought crayons and a coloring menu to the little one and went on to detail some popular dishes the restaurant offered. The restaurant boasts a mix of Mexican and American dishes, but much of the menu is Mexican.

Poncho rattled off several recommendations, suggesting the Broadneck sampler to start us off. What a treat! This huge, delicious masterpiece of an appetizer boasted beef nachos and cheese quesadillas topped with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo and cheese. Alongside that were scrumptious, large jalapenos stuffed with spicy chicken. I’m going to remember those for future catering needs!

For our main courses, my dining companion chose Poncho’s suggestion, enchiladas chatas, and I chose a zucchini enchilada listed on the “specials” chalkboard. Poncho brought out both generous portions on hot plates with sides of black beans and rice, just as we licked our fingers of the enormous appetizer.

Of course, we tasted each other’s food, and I admit, I liked the chatas the best, though my zucchini enchilada was good.

The enchilada chatas were corn tortillas layered with chicken, green tomatillo sauce and sour cream, topped with perfectly ripe avocado. That plate was consumed quickly! The chicken was spicy, the tortillas soft and the sauce was delectable — slightly tangy, tasting of fresh cilantro. My dining companion, who lived for several years in New Mexico, said, “This is definitely authentic Mexican food!”

My zucchini enchiladas were more like zucchini boats filled with spicy chicken, tomato-based sauce and melted, bubbly cheese. It really was the marriage of virtuous eating (vegetables) with spicy delicious flavor. I would have preferred the zucchini to be slightly more tender, but my dining companion thought they were just right and would have been on the verge of mushy if they were any softer.

A sign on the front of the building advertised that Broadneck offered the best margaritas in town, a boast that my dining companion insisted on putting to the test. She found that her frozen mango margarita complemented her meal perfectly. It was fruity with the right balance of sweetness and alcohol.

We were already excited about dessert even before we finished our meals because we had walked past a glass case full of sumptuous desserts, like a multilayered strawberry shortcake, chocolate mousse parfaits in fancy glasses, key lime pies and more. We wanted to go for the full Mexican experience, so we chose the tres leches cake (a traditional vanilla cake soaked in three types of milk). My dining companion had enjoyed this dessert before but it was new to me, and wow, I’m pretty sure I’ve dreamed about this cake since eating there. Poncho told us that they had just finished making the cake in-house, so it should be fresh. He was right. It was incredibly fresh, with a beautiful flavor — not overly sweet but dense, with a strong, creamy vanilla taste. My “I’ll just take a bite to taste it” didn’t hold at all. I savored every bite and have no regrets.

There are many tantalizing offerings on the menu that I want to try on the next visit. Poncho said the crab cakes are great. They also had scallops, shrimp, burgers, pasta, and a create-your-own-Mexican-dish choosing two or three items — enchiladas, tacos, taquitos, with Mexican beans and rice for $12.99 to $15.99. The desserts are all homemade and include Magothy mud pie and a sensational strawberry shortcake.

An appetizer, two entrees, a small side of chicken and fruit, iced teas, the margarita and dessert came to about $70, which is really a great price!

The food could easily be served in a fancy, expensive high-end restaurant, but this treasure is in a strip center. It’s a neighborhood gem, relaxed and low key — grab a seat when you can and experience the warm welcome and great food. And save room for desert.


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