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Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

About a month ago I visited Mex 1 located at 817 St Andrews Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407 (West Ashley). I was so overwhelmed by the awesomeness of this place I went again and ordered just about everything off the menu. Usually I try to get a blog out pretty quickly after visiting a place I truly enjoy, but Mex 1 took some extra special time. There are currently three Mex 1 locations; West Ashley (the original), Sullivan’s Island, and Mount Pleasant. In 2012 Dave and Chrissy Lorenz partnered up with Morgan Hurley to open the very first Mex 1. After doing some research, I found the inspiration behind Mex 1 Coastal Cantina was by the owners surf trips down to the Baja Peninsula. According to their website, “the goal has been to serve fresh, flavorful Baja Mexican fare and premium tequilas in a friendly, laidback, ‘come as you are’ atmosphere – a vibe that embodies the surfing and coastal lifestyle paralleled to the Baja Peninsula culture.” Well I must say these guys have accomplished that and so much more. As soon as you step into Mex 1 it is just like stepping into a surf shop, but better because it has fantastic food and the perfect margaritas! Surf boards everywhere, bright neon signs, surfing stickers scattered about, a cool horse shoe designed tiki bar, authentic Baja décor, Rasta music playing in the background, and so much more! I love the beach, and my husband is a surfer, so when we stepped into this place for the first time it was like magic. We felt like we had stepped right off the beach and into this laid back restaurant where we could cool off with some creative cocktails or a local draft beer, and enjoy some fresh food with some great people. This is going to be a restaurant we will be returning to over and over!

Honestly, its hard to narrow down what food is the best. I have written and written, and no words seem to be able to portray how amazing this food is! I am going to attempt it with all my writing strength, but your best bet is to just take my word for it and go try it yourself!

First off I could do an entire blog just on the Roasted Street Corn alone. This is a must order side item! I have had Roasted Street Corn before, but not like this. Never like this! Mex 1s’ Roasted Street Corn is served off the cob in a unique little side dish. The corn itself is tender and sweet. The mix is creamy and soft. It is served with a dash of paprika, a fresh lime slice to squeeze over the corn, and topped off with cilantro. I could taste what seemed to be honey which made this side dish nothing less than perfection. It is food heaven! I was supposed to be sharing my smorgasbord of food, and I did give my husband one very reluctant bite, but this little piggy ate the rest all up! It was too good to share! I don’t 100% know what all was in their Roasted Street Corn, but it was better than any I have ever had hands down! It deserves an award! Nope, it deserves all the awards!

When it comes to your main dish you can not go wrong with the Bangin’ Shrimp. You can eat the Bangin’ Shrimp a few different ways but my favorite is in the Bangin’ Shrimp Baja Bowl, and the Bangin’ Shrimp Taco. The Bangin’ Shrimp itself is perfectly fried in this slightly sweet puffy flouring and drizzled with the Bangin’ Sauce. The Bangin’ Sauce is a flawless combination of sweet and spicy, and is so good I could lick it off the plate! Which I may have, a little. If you get it in the bowl the shrimp is served atop brown rice, and seasoned black beans. Then topped with shredded jack cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, crunchy tortilla strips, and queso fresco. To finish it off they give you a sprinkle of green onions, fresh lime, and cilantro. Everything about this bowl is extraordinarily fresh. When I say “fresh”, I mean it taste like they went out back and hand picked the vegetables then made all the toppings on the fly for my order. I can’t even find the words to describe how delicious a fresh tasting meal is, compared to a meal that was made from vegetables that have been frozen or sat on your counter for a while! The difference is remarkable, and if you don’t know what that’s like go to Mex 1 right now! You have been deprived and your taste buds need educating. Now if you get the shrimp in a taco you will enjoy the Bangin’ Shrimp in a warm soft tortilla with shredded cabbage and cilantro then drizzled with the Mex 1 Sweet Heat sauce. Now this Sweet Heat sauce I feel has honey in it (though I don’t know for sure) and is what I believe is on the Roasted Street Corn as well. It is fantastic! A simple crafted taco bursting with so many mouth watering flavors you will want more! The next thing you should try is one of their quesadillas, and I highly recommend the Cantina Chicken Quesadilla. This quesadilla is stuffed with well seasoned smoky shredded chicken, a thick layer of melted jack cheese, an ancho chile spread, and corn & black bean salsa. Then it is topped with a chipotle crema and green onion. On the side you get guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and a lime wedge. I am not a huge fan of a smoky chicken, but Mex 1 has altered my opinion with their Cantina Chicken. I have never tasted chicken this good in a restaurant. I will generally shy away from chicken dishes because it is always under seasoned, or way to smoky, or dry but Mex 1 has yet again blown my mind! The smoky chicken mixed with the rich ancho chile spread and the cheese that strings for days will have you “hhhmmming” with every bite! Then you catch the flavors of the black bean & corn salsa and a hint of the chipotle crema, your taste buds will be asking, “Why have you not eaten here before?”!

Though I could go on, I definitely want to leave you wanting more on this one!

If I haven’t already convinced you that you must try Mex 1, I seriously don’t know what will! This place is phenomenal and I hope I did them justice!


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