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Take a closer look at Universal Orlando CityWalk's new Antojitos restaurant

Written by
Published: February 6, 2014 at 8:37 PM

Universal Orlando invited a select group of media to sample the food, entertainment and specialty drinks Wednesday night for the official grand opening of Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food at CityWalk. As we approached the building, the bright, bold colors on the outside coupled with a roaming mariachi band playing contemporary pop hits, immediately signified to me that this wasn't my Abuela's ordinary Mexican restaurant.

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These elements of the restaurant could be all be a separate posts on their own. But for now we will just focus on the REALLY important stuff - the food, drinks and pricing. All prices that I will mention here are subject to change and do not include tax or gratuity. Also please keep in mind that this restaurant is very new, so adjustments and menu changes can happen at any time.

Let's start with the specialty margaritas. You won't find pre-made mixes at Antojitos. It's all fresh or muddled and concoctions you won't find anywhere else. Modesto Alcala, vice president of revenue operations at Universal CityWalk has his favorite drink already picked out. "I have to go with our signature drink, which is the Antorita," Alcala said. "It has blanco tequila, Grand Marnier, Gran Gala. We squeeze fresh lime and oranges and lemon in it, and we make it fresh."

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Here is a photo of the Antorita that I got to sample. Isn't the glass beautiful?  I am not an expert by any means, but even I could tell everything in this drink was fresh. It had a wonderful flavor, and I would not hesitate to go back and get another one for the $9.50 price tag.

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Don't adjust your screen! What you are seeing here is actually an outdoor VW Bus, ready to serve you the very same Antojitos cocktalis and cervesas you can find inside the restaurant. I've never seen anything like it. Imagine yourself relaxing outside and enjoying the patio on a beautiful Orlando evening, sipping your drink from the VW van! I don't know of another place in town where you can do that.

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If you enjoy a good tequila, there's no shortage of them at Antojitos! The list was extensive so I have only showcased a portion of it here. Check out the celebrity brands!

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Look for specialty cocktails like the Handsome George made with agave nectar, fresh lime juice and of course George Clooney's Casamigos Tequila! Not surprisingly, those good looks come with a price, so this drink will set you back about $12.50.

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You can also order a Big Apple in Mexico for $9.50.

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The Horse You Rode In On was a strong and tasty drink. Members of the media sitting near me said that the best part  was the  amarena black cherry at the bottom. This cocktail has a price point of $10.00.

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I didn't taste this one, but The Repo Man really looked appealing! Made with Patron Reposado tequilla, strawberry puree, ginger syrup, fresh lemon juice and apples - it would make actual repo men really proud. This one is priced at $12.00.

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Thirsty for something non-alcoholic? Check out the Auguas Frescas in flavors like Horchata and Hibiscus. These are light and refreshing with a touch of sugar. Universal executives visited Mexico and were inspired by these infusions sold by street vendors, bodegas and restaurants, so they made sure to feature them at Antojitos. These will run you about $3.50 each.

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Crowd favorites also include Hecho En Mexico - Coke, Sprite and Orange Fanta. These are glass bottled in Mexico with pure cane sugar. A gentleman I spoke with said the Coke made him feel like he was in heaven. Not a bad deal for $3.50. Your standard American formulated Coke products are also available with free refills for $3.19.

Are you hungry yet? Well, there's great news. Guests can choose to dine downstairs and enjoy a more casual dining experience that includes items like carnitas al pastor tacos (made with beer and chile braised pork, grilled pineapple and guajillo salsa) and oaxaca enchiladas (chicken tinga and house made mole sauce, queso fresco and lime crema). Upstairs, guests can enjoy a more refined dining experience that includes menu options like carne asada brava (coffee crusted ribeye with fire roasted vegetables) and menonita shrimp (bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with menonita cheese, manchego corn pudding and a poblano chorizo sauce). No matter which level you choose, diners can watch as fresh guacamole is prepared table-side for $13.95. The stations are called guac "cubes", and you will notice they have one to match the themeing upstairs, and one to match the themeing downstairs. 

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Here comes dessert!

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Finally, we have the downstairs menu:

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And a portion of the upstairs menu:

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Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is now open nightly from 5 p.m. to midnight.  Antojitos is the next venue to debut as part of Universal CityWalk’s historic expansion, which will include the addition of eight new venues to the complex’s already popular collection of national brands.  Other venues to join Antojitos this year include Hot Dog Hall of Fame, VIVO Italian Kitchen, Cold Stone Creamery, Menchie’s, and The CowFish.

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on February 7, 2014 at 3:58 AM
Wow! Yummy!

We have a restaurant here in the midwest, down by Silver Dollar City, called Cantina Laredo that serves food that looks astonishingly similar to what Antojitos is serving. Right down to the table-side guac and its presentation. It is what I call "gourmet Mexican" and while good, it is on the same side of expensive as this new Universal joint. I generally visit Cantina Laredo only once a season, because it ain't cheap for a family of five, but the food is generally worth it. Looks like Antojitos may be in the same boat.

Thanks for all the photos!

From Annette Forrest on February 7, 2014 at 4:35 AM
The prices are really reasonable. I'm surprised. They're actually about what it would cost, even a little less, than a nice Mexican restaurant near where I live in Illinois. I was surprised this was so upscale looking in terms of the food and presentation...the outside is so gaudy looking that I thought it was going to be Chi Chi's kind of level of Mexican inside. But this is alike an upscale Mexican the way PF Chang's is an upscale Chinese restaurant. It looks very tasty.

I still think the building is hideous, though.

I loved Krista Joy's write-up. She does the best columns!

From Brian Emery on February 7, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Nice Job... Love the Pictures..
Thx..
From 98.21.98.126 on February 7, 2014 at 11:37 PM
Thanks for all the great food and drink pictures!!
From 76.18.200.179 on February 8, 2014 at 4:47 PM
Did this replace Latin Quarter? It looks like the LQ from the outside. Of course I could easily Google that, but no, I figured asking here somehow was the way to go.
From 97.100.17.86 on February 10, 2014 at 6:02 PM
Does anyone knows the phone number
From Robert Niles on February 10, 2014 at 8:17 PM
Use (407) 224-2691.

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