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Craving Mexican and Al Fresco Dining? Try Sergio's Cantina in Geneva

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Craving Mexican and Al Fresco Dining? Try Sergio's Cantina in Geneva

A lovely Mexican lunch on a beautiful summer's day.

A colleague at Fox Valley Magazine and I recently found ourselves craving Mexican food.  Our slave-driver boss was out of the office for the day, so we had the freedom to enjoy a relaxing (and alcohol-enhanced) lunch at one of the many outstanding Mexican restaurants in Geneva.  Given how nice the day was, and the downtown Geneva location of our dungeon...er, offices, we decided to take a stroll to Sergio's Cantina, which is located on the corner of State and First.  Good choice.

From the moment we arrived we were greeted with smiles and attentive service. The atmosphere was casual, relaxed, and very friendly. As it was 85 degrees and sunny, it was far too nice a day to sit inside, so we opted to sit upstairs on the patio. We were a bit worried that the heat would overwhelm us, but each table had a large umbrella to shade us from the sun, so no worries.

Sergio's salsas have spice, but not overwhelmingly so, and the chips are light and crispy. An excellent combination. Made more excellent, of course, by booze - in this case, a refreshing Mojito.

The complimentary chips and salsa were delicious. Sergio's salsas have spice, but not overwhelmingly so, and the chips are light and crispy. An excellent combination. Made more excellent, of course, by booze - in this case, a refreshing Mojito. Being a Mojito lover, I was excited to see how many flavor options (at least 10 if memory and sobriety serves) they had on the menu.  Hmmm, go classic with the signature mojito, or choose something fresh and fruity like the pomegranate or pineapple Mojito?  While I realized that this would hardly be the most important decision of the day (that would be reserved for the shoes I would be wearing that evening), it was still tough to decide between so many luscious options. However, the mango Mojito I finally chose was right on the money - refreshing, very tasty, and only $6.99. (Can you say "expense account?" I thought you could. H/T Mr. Rogers.)

Sergio’s food menu was simple and easy to follow. I particularly liked the fact that the menu was small enough not to overwhelm, but also thoughtful enough to have options based on your mood and taste preferences. I was very pleased to see they had lunch specials that included “lite” options, which are always available until 4pm Monday through Friday, and priced at $7.50. I ordered the Shrimp Avocado Tostada (on the left), which included two tostadas topped with marinated shrimp, pico de gallo and large yummy slices of avocado. Served along side were Mexican rice and beans. My favorite part of the dish was how thin and crispy the tostadas were - like no other tostada I have ever had. This was exactly what I was craving for lunch on a hot day! Light, but filling - only to the point of being satisfied, not uncomfortable. My coworker ordered the Lite Chicken Tacos (on the right) which consisted of marinated chicken topped with pico de gallo, wrapped up in real authentic corn tortillas. Served with a black bean corn pico on the side.

It was easy to notice how much passion the owner, Sergio De Los Santos, has for his business and for pleasing his customers. He came over to say hello and asked us how we enjoyed the meal. He was overjoyed to tell us about his recently-opened “Daiquiri Deck,” which sits right below and to the side of the patio. It’s an innovative concept that I sense will be very popular this summer. The Daiquiri Deck "feature" is the concept of fresh ingredients being brought out your table in order for you create your own personalized daiquiri, after which your drink is made-to-order and muddled right in front of you. You may also, of course, order classic or blended margaritas, beers and other specialty deck cocktails. To go along with your drinks, “street food snacks” are also served on the deck. Enjoy tastings of coconut shrimp skewers, indulge in the mango pecan guacamole or try the mini street fish tacos. Daiquiri Deck hours open at 5pm on Thursdays and open throughout the weekend. Half price side street food from 9pm-11pm. Needless to say, I know what we’re doing this weekend…

All-in-all, our experience was two thumbs up. The lovely outdoor seating mixed with a light and tasty lunch, felt like a mini-getaway. Keep up the great work Sergio, we will be seeing you at the Daiquiri Deck!

Sergio’s Cantina, Authentic Mexican Grille - 30 W. State Street, Geneva, Illinois 60134

Hours:  Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 2:00 am

Sun: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

 

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