Indulge in Tex Mex Delights at Wicked Cantina

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Indulge in Tex Mex Delights at Wicked Cantina

Austin-style Tex-Mex has landed in the Tyrone area of St. Petersburg by way of Wicked Cantina. The restaurant originated in the Sarasota area and has two locations in that vicinity – Anna Maria Island (Bradenton Beach) and downtown Sarasota. The restaurants are locally owned by some folks who are enthusiastic about sharing this cuisine from Austin with the area.

The entrance of Wicked Cantina
The entrance of Wicked Cantina

The restaurant sits off of an access road that runs parallel to Tyrone Blvd – right by Harold Seltzers, for those who are familiar. The space is quite large with an inviting bar area, vast dining room and plenty of seating space for hungry diners waiting on a table. The waiting space, as we noted, is essential. We visited Wicked Cantina on a bustling Friday night where the wait for a table was at least 20 minutes. They also have a thin standing bar behind the main bar where you can enjoy a drink to ease the pain of waiting.  The restaurant is very open and artfully decorated. The artistic feel also carries through to the outside space. Local St. Pete artist Derek Donnelly is to thank for the beautiful art that adorns the interior and exterior of the eatery.

A glimpse at some of the awesome art on the exterior of Wicked Cantina's space
A glimpse at some of the awesome art on the exterior of Wicked Cantina’s space

 

The Wicked Cantina - open daily
The Wicked Cantina – open daily

Another aspect that adds to the appeal of Wicked Cantina is the live music which occurs daily from 6:00PM until 9:00PM. In my opinion, live music always amplifies the environment of a dining establshment, especially when it’s as superbly executed as the music that we had the pleasure of listening to during our meal from Paul Cataldo.

Live music daily at Wicked Cantina
Live music daily at Wicked Cantina

When we arrived at Wicked Cantina, the wait was about 25 minutes. We couldn’t believe how many people were there. If you intend to visit, plan accordingly. The restaurant does not take reservations, however the bar area is first come, first served. We added our name to the list and then migrated over to the bar for a drink. We sipped our beverages in that area and then after about ten minutes, two bar seats became available and we bellied up to the bar for our meal and took our names off of the waitlist. We always prefer dining at the bar. To kick things off, I started with the Wicked House Margarita with premium silver tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice. It was everything that I hoped for and not too sweet – this turned out to be the theme for each of the four cocktails that we had throughout the duration of our visit.

The busy dining room at Wicked Cantina
The busy dining room at Wicked Cantina

 

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Bar area at Wicked Cantina
Bar area at Wicked Cantina

My husband started with the Mezcalita, which is something that I would usually gravitate towards. It’s comprised of mezcal, triple sec and freshly muddled orange. It’s refreshing, but carries notes of smoke, which we fully enjoyed. If you’re a fan of mezcal, I highly recommend giving this simple sipper a go.

Drinks to start - the house margarita and the mezcalita
Drinks to start – the house margarita and the mezcalita

As soon as you’re seated (at the bar and in the dining room), complimentary chips and salsa are soon to follow. I love this gesture, but it often gets me into trouble because I have a difficult time with self control – more often than not, I fill myself up before any other food arrives. The salsa was a delight. It’s thinner in consistency, with plenty of flavor and the slightest hint of heat.

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Complimentary chips and salsa
Complimentary chips and salsa

Wicked Cantina’s menu is quite large, which can make ordering a bit difficult because everything sounds appetizing. We wanted to try as much as possible so, per usual, we ordered strategically. Their menu boasts all of the Tex-Mex classics – tacos (street and crispy), burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, bowls, burgers, quesadillas and more – much more. We started things off with the Wicked Queso. This queso is topped with ground beef, pico and pico de gallo and is served with tortilla chips. The portion size is idyllic for a starter. It didn’t disappoint in the least, in fact, we couldn’t stop eating it. It was loaded with cheesy queso flavor and the amount of toppings were just right and added some welcomed flair.

Wicked queso with beef, pico and guacamole
Wicked queso with beef, pico and guacamole

We also ordered the Bar Taco Trio from the menu which comes with three crispy 4″ tacos of your choice. You can choose from chicken, shrimp, carnitas and grouper. We selected carnitas, chicken and blackened shrimp and instead of crispy, we opted to have them served as street style tacos served on small tortillas. Each taco was unique in character and the shrimp was the unanimous favorite. It was served with a delicious chipotle aioli which is what truly set it apart from the others. I highly recommend this appetizer as it is a fantastic way to experience a few different taco variations.

The taco trio with chicken, carnitas and blackened shrimp
The taco trio with chicken, carnitas and blackened shrimp

 

The taco trio street style
The taco trio street style

After the salsa, queso and taco trio were devoured, we were ready for our next cocktails. I opted for the Wicked Paloma with Don Julio silver tequila, grapefruit soda and fresh lime and my husband selected the Boss Margarita Don Julio blanco tequila, triple sec, fresh lime and a floater of Grand Marnier. We absolutely loved both drinks. They weren’t fussy nor sweet and you could taste the essence of the liquors in both, which we welcome.

The Paloma & the Boss Margarita
The Paloma & the Boss Margarita

We asked the bartender to guide us when it came time to order our mains. She informed us that the Cowboy Brisket Bowl was an item that we shouldn’t overlook, so of course, we ordered it. I am the utmost happy that she suggested this because it ended up being my favorite thing that we ordered (not to discredit anything else that we had, because it was all wonderful). The flavor notes that came through in the brisket were phenomenal and it was cooked to absolute perfection. Had it been served alone it would’ve shredded with just a spoon. The other ingredients in the bowl only amplified it – they all acted as a brilliant supporting cast. The bowl is comprised of rice, a tasty jalapeño slaw, house cheese blend, pickled onions, sliced avocado, chipotle aioli, pico and cilantro. It’s everything that I want in a bowl. The portion is healthy and the leftovers were fantastic the next day.

The Cowboy Brisket Bowl
The Cowboy Brisket Bowl

Our bartender pointed us to the combos and dinners for our next entree. She suggested the Mix & Match Enchilada dinner because it’s customizable and also comes with a crispy beef or chicken taco. Perhaps the best part about this menu item is that you can select two different enchiladas if you’d like. And that’s precisely what we did. You can choose from cheese, chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and seafood. She highly recommended the pork, so we ordered one of those along with a chicken enchilada and a crispy beef taco. All of the combos and dinner options come with Mexican rice and your choice of refried, charro or black beans. We went with refried and the bartender nodded and smiled with approval for our selection. I won’t lie, it’s a large plate of food, but each item exceeded our expectations. The chicken enchilada was my favorite and the pork was my husband’s. The crispy beef taco was an absolute hit too. Next time we visit, I will definitely be ordering some more crispy tacos as the texture of the crisp shell is a great contrast with the soft and savory filling.

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Mix & match enchiladas with a crispy taco
Mix & match enchiladas with a crispy taco

 

The crispy beef taco that was served with the mix. and match enchilada dinner
The crispy beef taco that was served with the mix and match enchilada dinner

Wicked Cantina opened just recently and it was awesome seeing the number of folks out to support them on a Friday evening. With exceptional Tex-Mex food, stellar live music, premium staff and solid atmosphere, it’s hard not to enjoy what this spot has to offer. Not only are they open for dinner, but they also are available for lunch as well. In addition to that, they offer daily happy hour from 12:00PM – 5:00PM and all day Sunday which includes $7.00 house margaritas and select $1.75 beers. It’s easy to see why this spot is a perfect addition to the Tyrone area of St. Pete. Good food, great drinks, excellent vibes – what’s not to love?

Wicked Cantina
  • Readers Rating
  • Rated 4.9 stars
    4.9 / 5 (11 )
$$
  • Your Rating


  • Wicked Cantina
  • 727-287-2794
  • Tex-Mex, Mexican, American
    • Sun - Sat 11:00am - 10:00pm
  • View menu
  • 3650 Tyrone Blvd N, St. Petersburg, Florida 33710, United States

Tacos, burgers and seafood hand made daily.

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey & Mahika do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner. We do not include any large national or regional chains in our ratings and reviews. We focus on independent locally owned eateries exclusively.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies, ownership, etc. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.
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