Food Fight Restaurant Group in Madison, Wisconsin has managed to pump out yet another eatery that, based on what we experienced during it's Grand Opening, is sure to be a downtown fave.
Canteen, a Taqueria and Tequila Bar opened it's doors for the first time yesterday and is conveniently located on the Capitol Square where Nostrano Restaurant previously occupied the space.
As you can see, there wasn't an empty seat in the house, and all the standing pub-table areas were at max gathering capacity.
We arrived at precisely 6:21pm (with no reservations) and were seated immediately to what appeared to be the only available table left.
Everything on the food menu is under $15 with the Grilled Flank Steak and Ceviche at the top of the list, which we plan to try at another visit.
Tacos are à la carte so you can mix and match, and have as many as your heart (and bellies) desire.
So lets get right to it folks.
The reason why you're reading this.
We ate Freshly Fried Corn Tortilla Chips, Guacamole, & Duritos
The Tortilla Chips were served warm and fresh and the Guacamole was perfectly seasoned and topped with cotija cheese.
The Duritos are puffed wheat wagon wheels with chile, lime and tajín spice. Your first bag is on the house, and it's a $1 a bag after that.
We had 2 bags, but could have easily had a few more.
They were incredibly light and flavorful. The dusting of spice and tang from the lime complimented each other beautifully.
We dare you to only have 1 bag.
It'll be nearly impossible.
Check out how airy this puffed snack is!!
We ate the Street Corn side
Yellow corn with chile-lime butter, chile-lime aioli, cotija cheese, tajín spice, grilled scallion, and serrano chile.
This was served off-the-cob, making it much easier to eat so you don't end up with a face full of butter and seasoning.
We definitely recommend this as a must-eat side.
This one's a winner!
Just look at how amazingly tasty this looks!!!!
You know you want it!
We ate Pork Belly, Tecate Fish, Fried Cauliflower, & Carne Asada tacos.
Pork Bellly: guajillo chile sauce, cotija cheese, onion & cilantro
Tecate Fish: beer-battered cod, tajín spice, pickled morita crema, green cabbage, citrus salsa & cilantro
Fried Cauliflower: tecate-battered cauliflower, guajillo chile sauce, crema, tomatillo-radish-red onion slaw & cilantro
Carne Asada: morita salsa negra, avocado ad tomatillo purée, cotija cheese, onion & cilantro
We recommend the Fried Cauliflower Taco as a must-eat even if you're not a vegetarian. The flavor housed in this taco is outstanding!
We ate Churros!
These were only $3 a bag. All of their desserts were at this price point, so how could we turn them down?!
These were surprisingly light and airy, and not the typical soft and chewy ones that we've all grown accustomed to from our visits to several theme parks and music festivals.
We ate Choco Tacos!
We couldn't have been more excited about this.
This is made in house by Canteen and are served individually wrapped in case you want to take it to go and eat it on your way to the next bar, or to your car. Don't worry. You don't have to bite or rip the packages open. They've done that for you.
To our delight, the Choco Taco's bittersweet chocolate coating has a layer of sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds which gave this desert taco what it needed to be different, and quite frankly...
This is another must-eat off their menu. Eat one while you're there and take one for the road!
So our final verdict?
The quality of ingredients used, the flavor packed into every single taco and the incredibly reasonable price point is what makes Canteen an immediate contender in Madison's taqueria scene.
There's a new Taco master in town, and they're coming for you!
We will be back again for more!