Monday, January 7, 2013

Two Senoritas: Mexican Cuisine hits Sarasota

Mexican food has arrived in Sarasota and Two Senoritas, recently renovated by owner Cheryl Woodruff, and looking quite festive over the Christmas holidays, was a fun spot to nibble on nachos, savour pitchers of Sangria and settle in for a hearty meal of Mexican and Southwestern favourites, like enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos and fajitas. Popular with local residents and tourists looking for a fun fiesta experience, Two Senoritas is a casual family-run restaurant nestled away on Main Street in downtown Sarasota. Not exactly fine authentic Mexican cuisine, the crazy atmosphere makes up for lack-lustre flavours and quirky service.

A crazy theme park hacienda-styled interior with stone and wrought iron brought in 
from Mexico by owner Cheryl Woodruff who worked with Designer Kurt Lucas, 
to create an authentic ambiance

Authentic Mexican wrought iron sconces decked out for Christmas

A charming vintage tin Christmas tree

Apparently the only restaurant open in town on Christmas Eve, Two Senoritas was doing a booming business, as hungry shoppers making a last minute dash for stocking stuffers, kept arriving one after another. However, many were taking a chair at the bar! A complimentary bowl of salsa and warm tortilla chips arrived as we perused the enormous fold-out menu and considered the multitude of Mexican-inspired dishes. One of the restaurants signature cocktails, Red Sangria, can be ordered by the glass or pitcher, but at $25 a pop, it was a seasonal indulgence that we decided to embrace.

Two Senoritas signature Sangria at $25 a pitcher!

Salsa and warm crispy corn tortillas homemade daily

The Two Senoritas menu features a combination of Mexican 
and Southwestern inspired dishes

Our table of four sampled a selection of dishes, including Grilled Tilapia Tacos which came with shredded lettuce, tomato, pico de gallo, cheese and white sauce, and served with rice and charro beans; The Juarez - chicken, beef and cheese enchiladas served with rice and beans; The Presidentechicken and beef fajitas, served with rice, beans, sour cream, pico de gallo, lettuce and cheddar cheese; and Ancho and Cumin Crusted Salmon Salad with mixed greens, tomato, roasted pablano peppers, avocado, queso fresco and honey jalapeno dressing.

Grilled Tilapia Tacos with shredded lettuce, tomato, 
pico de gallo, cheese and white sauce, served with rice and charro beans

The Juarez Platter - chicken, beef and cheese enchiladas served with rice and beans

The Presidente Platter - Chicken and Beef Fajitas, served with rice, beans, sour cream, 
pico de gallo, lettuce and cheddar cheese

Ancho & Cumin Crusted Salmon Salad with mixed greens, tomato, 
roasted pablano peppers, avocado, queso fresco and honey jalapeno dressing

An unwavering fan of salmon, I'm usually sceptical about ordering it when I eat out because restaurants have a tendency to overcook fish, however the Ancho and Cumin Crusted Salmon was very good, with a flavourful spiced crust and moist flesh. The Fish Tacos were rather disappointing however, with the tilapia a little 'thin on the ground.' Having enjoyed great Mexican cuisine in Texas and NYC in the past, Two Senoritas is more of a casual eatery catering to 'gringos' who don't mind trading culinary authenticity for a taste of Tijuana while visiting the Sarasota area. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

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