Are you in the mood for Mexican? Think twice before stopping at the same old place that you’ve been going to for years. Cantina Feliz in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, aims to give their customers an exceptional Mexican experience along with fresh delicious food. Whether you’re a Mexican lover or not, Cantina Feliz provides fresh, high-quality ingredients that everyone can enjoy. Chef Tim Spinner crafted a menu that includes contemporary Mexican dishes using authentic ingredients and modern cooking techniques. Chef Spinner spoke to me about using only the finest seasonal ingredients to create Cantina Feliz’s unique authentic dishes.
AH: How did you learn to create dishes with authentic ingredients as well as modern cooking technique?
CS: I was inspired by working with fellow cooks who grew up in Mexico. Their influence has had a tremendous impact on my cooking. Along with working with these talented cooks and my mentor, Jose Garces, I was able to develop my personal style to create the modern spin on what I’m doing at the restaurants.
AH: What is your favorite dish that is currently be served on the menu?
CS: My favorite dish is our New York Strip steak with bone marrow creamed spinach. The combination of the perfectly cooked steak with the adobo marinade and the tanginess of the chimichurri along with the chipotle creamed spinach just tastes fantastic.
AH: What are some of the seasonal ingredients that you are currently using?
CS: I’m currently using brussels sprouts, Kabocha squash, and gala apples, to name a few of my favorites.
AH: Have you created any special menu items that highlight the local produce?
CS: We do a ceviche verde at La Calaca Feliz which features gala apples from Green Meadow farms.
AH: Do you work with any farms in particular?
CS: We get certain items from Blue Moon Acres Farms and Maple Acre Farms.
AH: What makes your restaurant unique?
CS: We have taken Mexican food to another level by elevating the ingredients that we use to create fantastic flavors. We also place a tremendous emphasis on creating dishes that are designed for our guests’ tastes. We will go out of our way to accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies that our diners may have.
(Photo credit: Jason Varney)