Cantina 76

Cantina 76 Restaurant Review

Cantina 76 Restaurant Review Article

Cantina 76 in Columbia, South Carolina

Customers dine on Tex-Mex in Cantina 76 on Main Street in Columbia, S.C.

Cantina 76, Main Street Columbia, S.C.

Cantina 76 tortilla chips with queso, guacamole, and salsa are a good start.

The Cantina Margarita

The Cantina Margarita tasted refreshing and like a “Skinny Margarita. “

A group of friends from Columbia with a love for travel and food established Cantina 76 in Columbia, South Carolina. Currently, the restaurant has three locations, two in Columbia and one in Greenville.

 

Inside, customers can watch TV and dine at the high top and low top tables or sit at the bar. Small lights string around the perimeter; and stars and metal lights hang from the ceiling creating an uncontrived atmosphere. Outside, pansies flow from hanging baskets, and tables flank the restaurant on two sides. Though the tables are under a metal awning, customers can still enjoy the sun. Cantina 76 has a come-as-you-are atmosphere. Casual to dressy attire is acceptable.

 

Cantina 76 features signature margaritas, tacos, enchiladas, salads and more. They tout an atmosphere where customers can relax and dine on Mexican-influenced cuisine made with fresh ingredients. They pitch premium tequila and creative margaritas. The Cantina 76 menu offers a variety of soft tacos on flour tortillas, but hard corn tacos are also available. Chicken Pesto, Teriyaki Chicken, Peruvian Shrimp, Barbecue Brisket, and Fish are a sampling of their 12 taco creations. In addition, they offer weekly specials.

 

We sat outside where dogs lay under their owners’ tables, and we began with Tres Hombres Sampler. We dipped crispy salted tortilla chips in queso, salsa, and guacamole. The warm queso’s mild cheese tasted rich and creamy, and a touch of minced green pepper gave it a slight crunch and sweetness. The salsa had a tangy kick with a hint of lime. Small pieces of avocado, onion, tomato and garlic added flavor and interest to the guacamole. It was a great start.

 

I tried the Barbecue Shrimp Taco. Sautéed onions and feta accompanied perfectly seared shrimp topped with a Chipotle barbecue sauce. The sweet, spicy sauce and the feta’s saltiness added a welcoming punch.

 

The Barbecue Brisket Taco sweetened with honey barbecue tasted down-home. Pico de gallo lightened the sauce and balanced the sweetness. We loved it.

 

The Traditional Taco included chili-spiced-ground beef, melted cheese, lettuce, and tomato. There was no sauce. The ground beef tasted lean, and the taco was ordinary.

 

Everything was fresh and the tacos were not overstuffed which made them easy to handle and not too filling.

 

Instead of dessert, I tried the Cantina Margarita. Salt rimmed the glass that contained tequila, plenty of fresh lime juice, low-sugar-agave nectar, and a quartered-half lime. Agave nectar blended with lime tasted sweet and refreshing.

 

I would recommend Cantina 76 because they offer quality food and selection at reasonable prices.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Cantina 76

Location: 1301 Main St., Columbia

Hours: 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Monday – Wednesday; 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Thursday – Saturday; closed Sunday; no reservations

Cost: Tacos start at $2.99.

Info: 803-543-3279 http://www.cantina76.com

Healthy slow cooker eggplant Parmesan

Healthy Slow Cooker Eggplant Parmesan

Preparation: Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes (45minutes active)

Servings: 6

I love eggplant parmesan, but I don’t fry it in high-fat olive oil. To make a lighter, healthy eggplant parmesan recipe, I combined the two recipes below to create an easy baked version for the slow cooker. My husband loved it.

My Crock-Pot is 6 quarts so you may need to adapt your recipe for a smaller size. Also, when a recipe calls for marinara or spaghetti sauce, I usually triple the amount and use most of it, and freeze the remainder.

Prepare the eggplant by slicing it in 1-inch rings and salt on both sides placing it on paper towels for 15-30 minutes to draw out moisture and bitterness. Then rinse in a colander.

I used the following marinara sauce recipe, or you can buy premade.

Marinara sauce recipe (7 1/2 cups)

Two 28 oz. tomatoes crushed or chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 medium onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
pinch of sugar
pepper flakes to taste

Cook onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, for about five minutes, add tomatoes and seasonings and simmer for 20 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan

2 large eggplant sliced and prepared as above
2 eggs whisked and add a few tablespoons of water, to extend the eggs if necessary
2-4 cups Italian breadcrumbs, depending on eggplant size, I start with 2 cups and add more as needed
12 oz. grated-reduced-fat mozzarella
½ cup grated parmesan

Dip eggplant in eggs then Italian bread crumbs. Line baking sheets with eggplant. Bake for 12 minutes in a preheated 350 F oven, turning after 6 minutes or until browned.

Layer sauce, eggplant, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses three times. On final layer top with sauce. Cook on high in slow cooker for 3-4 hours or 6-8 on low.

The eggplant tastes lighter than the fried version and the tomato flavor is more intense.  I would love to know your thoughts. If you enjoy my “skinny” recipe, please click “like.”

http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50701/slow-cooker-eggplant-parm-recipe/

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/25321/eggplant-parmesan-ii/

Grammarly Editing Tool

Grammarly by Kevin Hodgson/Flickr

Kevin Hodgson/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/dogtrax/https:/ /creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

When I edit my published posts and find grammatical and punctuation errors, it embarrasses me. Therefore, when I received an email with 50 percent off of a yearly Grammarly subscription, I  purchased the app.

Grammarly bills themselves as “the world’s leading automated proofreader,” and I wish that I would have bought it years ago. The premium plan proposes a “7-day money-back guarantee” with 250+ grammar, spell checks, and words use corrections; and includes a free extension that edits writing on the internet.  In addition, they offer free plans.

The following are the premium plan’s pros and cons, that may help you decide if it’s worth the money.

Pros:

  • Easy to import documents: copy/paste or import from files
  • Spelling, grammar and style corrections with an explanation
  • Plagiarism detection
  • Synonym suggestions
  • Dictionary
  • Firefox, Safari, and Chrome may use the Grammarly extension to edit Facebook, Hotmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogger, Google, Gmail, Tumblr, Pinterest, Yahoo Mail and WordPress

Cons

  • The cost is expensive: yearly is $139.95, quarterly $59.95, and monthly $29.95
  • Support is online only
  • Grammarly add-in for Microsoft Office must be used with Windows. Add-ins are not available for Word or Pages on Mac
  • Safari extension isn’t always reliable, I had to reload it a few times and change  settings on my computer
  •  Not a substitution for a  live proofreader
  • Not mobile friendly

It works for me because I like to learn and understand the rationale behind my errors.  Depending on your confidence in your writing, you may not need it. If you do, check out their plans.

Also, please feel free to comment, if you catch my mistakes.