Friday, May 25, 2018

Just a Few of my Favorite Things at Cantina 18

To be honest, there are a few basic things in life that consistently bring me happiness.
Here are FOURGuacamole. Tacos. Margaritas. Dining Outside.

All four of these things and more converge in a delicious and refreshing way at Cantina 18 in Cameron Village. Chef Jason Smith uses locally sourced, fresh ingredients to make some delicious food and drink offerings right here in Raleigh. You may know him from Seaboard 18, an amazing restaurant in downtown Raleigh’s "Shops at Seaboard Station"- a re-purposed, historic coastal train depot in Raleigh. Cantina 18 is located in Raleigh's historic Cameron Village. If you love Southwestern food and guacamole, tacos and margaritas much as I do, you should make plans for lunch or dinner at Cantina 18.

GUACAMOLE. Cantina 18 always uses the freshest seasonal ingredients and sources other ingredients from local farms including the goat cheese in this guacamole! Tomatoes, pickled jalapeƱos, black beans, cilantro and of course, avocados. SO good.

TACOS. I honestly think I could (and sometimes do) eat tacos every day. I literally never get tired of eating tacos! I love the fish tacos at Cantina 18. The fish taco is crispy and blackened and the fish is locally sourced and combined with Lunazul tequila slaw, and a delicious chile-lime aioli. This taco has just the right amount of crunch and flavor. I also love the grilled chicken tacos with goat cheese, cranberries and apple. Really nice and a good healthy taco option! Along with chicken and fish, you can also choose beef, short rib, shrimp, chickpea masala, pork belly carnitas and BBQ duck confit for your taco platter.

Chicken + Fish Taco plate

MARGARITAS. I don't drink cocktails on a regular basis (although I'm getting more interested in craft cocktails), But I do LOVE a great house margarita on the rocks with salt! This house margarita at Cantina 18 is A M A Z I N G. Fresh and flavorful, made with Blanco tequila, triple sec, house-made sweet & sour, it's a win! On Mondays, they are on special for $6.50! While I was there, I also tried the JalapeƱo mule. Really nice lime flavor with a spicy bite! Ingredients include fresh jalapenos, Social House Vodka, ginger beer, and fresh limes. If you like a little heat, this is a wonderful drink to add to your Raleigh cocktail list!

House Margarita

Jalapeno Mule

AL FRESCO DINING. Lastly, who doesn't love dining outdoors? Cantina 18 has a nice patio for dining outside but if it gets a little too hot and humid for you or if there's the threat of a NC summer thunderstorm, try dining upstairs where the Juliette windows open up for a wonderful open-air dining experience in the Cantina without getting wet or over-heated!

Also, a side note, if you are looking to host an event, Cantina 18 features a private dining room for corporate and social gatherings from 15 to 150!

Juliette windows upstairs dining room

Patio dining at Cameron Village

I hope after reading this you feel inspired and I hope you can visit Cantina 18 and try all these tasty items out for yourself. Summer is here and it is a great time to enjoy patio dining with friends and/or family. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

It's important to eat local, support the local community and take some time to get to know the amazing folks who put their time and effort, sweat, tears and passion into creating cool dining experiences for us here in Raleigh. I highly suggest putting Cantina 18 on your outdoor dining plans soon!!

HOURS: Monday – Thursday: 11:00am – 10:00pm,  Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

LOCATION:433 Daniels Street, Raleigh, NC 27605 (919) 835-9463

#CVTRENDREPORT: I'm excited to partner again with Cameron Village and Jaguar Land Rover Cary again this Spring to feature some of the great merchants in the Village and highlight some 2018 Spring trends and great "hidden gems". I love shopping, dining, drinking, exploring local and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to know these merchants, their stories and their passion for what they do!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Dillon Raleigh - Sneak Peek on the Sky Terrace

Last night we got a sneak peek at The Dillon in the Raleigh Warehouse District. We joined several others on the 9th floor lobby of the new Dillon building and enjoyed a fabulous night on the stunning sky terrace. We had the opportunity to do a self-guided tour of the amazing fitness center, conference rooms, sky bridge to apartments and a peek at one of the corner apartment units. We sampled flavors from O-Ku Sushi and Heirloom Brew Shop, both of which will be opening in the Dillon this Summer/Fall sometime. I posted a few photos of my sneak peek to enjoy.  The terrace will eventually be open to the public space with stunning views of the Oak City.

I've also linked a great neighborhood map that The Dillon has shared on their website:

PHOTOSET (If viewing on a mobile phone, click here)

The Dillon is the first mixed-use development of its kind in downtown Raleigh’s rapidly expanding, vibrant Warehouse District. The 18-story project includes 220,000 square feet of Class A office space, two seven-story apartment buildings with an adjoining parking deck, and dynamic street-level retail space. With a nod to its 100-year-old history, parts of the original Dillon Supply warehouse building have been preserved and reused in its new life. Learn more about The Dillon at