Put the napkin in your lap and pull up to the table with Eau Claire's Hungry Italian as he provides the area's only true Restaurant Review. Don't have another family night ruined by poor service. Find the perfect spot to take that special online someone on the third date that has romance commingled with value.
EATING ESTABLISHMENT Cancun Mexican Grill
DINING DATE Tuesday March 10th
MEAL TIME Dinner
ATTENDEES IN PARTY 2 adults, 2 children
TOTAL BILL -$53
MEAL: Dinner Combo Special
“Mexican cuisine” that is popular, especially in our region is the same foundational items arranged in different matters. Burritos, Tacos, Fajitas, Tamales and the list go on. Typically, there is a tortilla (sans the tamale) along with a heavily seasoned and spiced protein, cheeses, perhaps some shredded iceberg lettuce and maybe a thin spicy red sauce.
Yet, the basic elements are amazing. It’s like sending toddlers to a playground. It’s simple parenting but damn, you can kill an hour easily just sitting there and letting them run around. The same thing takes place with this type of cuisine. That is not to say it’s easy to make tasty Mexican fare as anyone who has put together homemade tacos can attest, you’re sensibilities prevent you from layering the level of seasonings on that they do at the restaurant so the flavors are never as strong or powerful.
So that brings us to Cancun, a popular stop for the Hungry Italian and a destination that has never disappointed. There are two locations in Eau Claire with the one-off Hastings (long ago, a Hardees) being the most frequented. Plus, a location in Chippewa Falls next too Micon Cinemas.
For this review, the one-off Hastings Way is the focus.
Upon entry, one quickly sees the old fast food layout, but it’s been covered up with a faux adobe color scheme. There is nothing noteworthy about the layout or physical appearance of the place except that its always busy. The Hungry Italian has never had to wait for a table, but the place always seems 80% full regardless of the time of day.
Once seated, the waiter brought our fresh chips, salsa and ranch which is the siren call for any hungry diner. On this visit, the basket was no match for two adults and two children.
The children ultimately ordered basic tacos with French fries and played with an imaginative children’s menu. They received good value and enjoyed their meal. As for the adults, the hardest part was opening the menu which was an odd 12-fold concoction. More like folding a map with a hard-exterior binder than a menu.
Regardless, nothing surprising is there with a variety of tacos, burritos, etc. There are also steaks and seafood along with some fried food offerings.
The Hungry Italian lived up to that name and ordered the “Dinner Combo Special” a meal so large it comes on two plates for $13. It includes a crispy taco, tamale, enchilada, tostado, Chile relleno and a hint of humility as multiple waiters bring your single portion.
The other adult ordered fried burritos.
Typically, the food is quick here, but on this visit it did take a little longer perhaps due to the size of the order. Regardless, once it arrived it went down quick.
The spices used by Cancun can be a little more pungent than those at other Mexican restaurants. If you’re not a fan of spice, you’ll be fine here but avoid adding any additional hot sauce and maybe have a glass of milk just in case. The “heat” of the meal will hit you towards the end, almost like a silent assassin to the stomach if you aren’t careful.
The tamale’s here are very dense and super filling. Finding tamales isn’t easy and there something one typically doesn’t make at home so do what you can to make sure they’re on your plate when you make a visit.
Overall and outstanding value from an establishment that has been entrenched in the area for years.
You bet! During the "stay-at-home" mandate, this is right up there as a place I miss.
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