“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child
Beautiful Thornton Park in downtown Orlando is getting a new culinary tenant. We’re always amped about new places to eat, and we were recently invited for a special preview of F&D Cantina (it is now officially open for business). Formerly occupied by Jax, which closed in 2020 due to COVID, F&D is located at the very end of the strip just a few doors down from SoCo on Central. This Mexican-inspired place is both charming and a breath of fresh air.
After finding a place to park on a nearby street or parking garage, guests will enter to find a very festive interior. Check it out:
The bar is huge and is certainly the focal point of the restaurant. There are televisions mounted on top (𝘕𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘰 𝘓𝘪𝘣𝘳𝘦 was playing while we were there), and traditional Mexican decor throughout.
With regard to food, during our visit our guest and we enjoyed a sampling of items from F&D’s menu. Included were: The Barbecoa Taco (braised shredded beef topped with pickled red onion and cotija); Steak & Sweet Plantains Quesadilla (house marinated steak, chihuahua cheese, and plantains); and Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos (stuffed jalapenos with chihuahua cheese and glazed with jalapeno jelly). Now we have to be totally upfront and honest – we are not huge fans of pickled anything so we actually took them off. It seems like many of the items on the F&D menu contain pickled things…mainly onions. That said, both the taco and the quesadilla are very tasty (we preferred the quesadilla over the taco. We do not care for jalapenos but our dining companion does and the report is this item–found on the “Appetizer” section of the menu–was yummy!
And we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the delicious margaritas we were offered (and accepted!). The House Double is their traditional margarita, consisting of tequila, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar. And the F&D Ultimate–which was by far our favorite of the two–is made up of Patron Anejo, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar. Doesn’t that just sound like it would quench any thirst?
The lighting inside isn’t terribly conducive to appealing photos–at least not during the evening–so we borrowed several from F&D’s Instagram to better show you how good the food looks:
After spending copious amounts of time perusing the menu, there are most definitely a handful of items we’re interested in checking out on a future visit:
- Mexican Street Corn (off the cob roasted corn, crema, tajin & cotija cheese)
- The Puffy Taco (juicy Mexican stewed chicken, pico, lettuce, and queso on a fluffy flour tortilla)
- Barbacoa Chimichanga (savory shredded beef, lettuce, roasted vegetables, chihuahua cheese topped with colorado sauce, salsa, cotija, and cilantro)
- Mexican Caesar Salad (chopped romaine, pepita Caesar dressing, roasted pepitas, cotija, tortilla strips & grilled marinated fajita chicken)
- Steak Bowl
If you’re not yet ready to dine in the restaurant you can always place an order online and pick it up or have it delivered.
We sure do hope this new establishment, which joins a sister location in Lake Mary, makes it. It’s a ton of fun inside and based on what we tried the food is very promising. It’s a fantastic addition to this area of town.
F&D Cantina 617 East Central Blvd. Orlando, FL 32801
Are you eager to check out F&D Cantina sometime in the near future?