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Maria's Cantina in Wilton Manors is a tribute to owner's parents

Correspondent

 

Maria's Cantina

2400 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, 954-314-7703, Facebook.com/MariasCantinaWiltonManors

Maria Flores opened this Mexican eatery this spring in the former Cupcake Sushi in memory of her parents.

“My mother always had restaurants in Mexico,” she says. “My father built a barbacoa oven by the highway. I remember my parents waking up at 4 a.m. to ground the boiled corn for tortillas, my mother making three salsas and the rooster singing at 5 a.m. We would open at 6 a.m. and be sold out by noon. Cars would line up to buy our slowly cooked lamb, blue-corn tortillas, avocado salad, fresh salsas and coffee made with cinnamon sticks.”

Avocado salad tossed in olive oil and lemon juice ($8.25) reappears on her menu, and the mole recipe for beef or chicken enchiladas ($12.95) is handed down from her grandmother. Other highlights include beef flautas ($7.95); chicken or steak burrito with chili sauce ($10.95); beef or chicken tostadas with green sauce ($11.95) ;and chicken- or beef-stuffed grilled poblano peppers, called cheese chile rellenos ($12.95).

Frozen margarita and pina coladas are ready from machines, alongside red sangria (all $6.95).

Lunch and dinner are served daily amid homey, rustic Mexican decor with yellow walls, red floor, wood-tiled tables and pendant lighting wrapped around suspended wood beams.

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