With new ownership and a revamped, simplified menu, Crab Island Cantina is open for business just in time for Cinco de Mayo.
Margarita pitchers and high-quality ingredients are just a few of the new things you’ll see at the Crab Island Cantina in the HarborWalk Village.
Jimmy McManus, head chef and director of food and beverage for the Emerald Grande, has been working on the new menu for the past few weeks.
“There was nothing wrong with the old menu, it was just all over the place,” he said. “I’ve narrowed it down to a more featured, authentic menu. At least as authentic as you get in the United States.”
The Mexican staples such as tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas are featured, as well as some new additions including a chef specialties section that has six items that come straight from the chef.
One of those items is a carne asada that features “the best outside skirt steak I could buy,” according to McManus. An Aspen Ridge logo is prominently featured next to the skirt steak option, which is something McManus worked hard to get.
“It’s from Aspen Ridge, Colorado,” he said. “It’s from humanely treated cattle with no hormones, no GMOs and no additives.”
For the seafood options, McManus calls in his order daily and buys the majority of it from Destin Ice. A self-proclaimed “hater of farm-grown shrimp,” McManus only serves gulf or ocean-run shrimp.
For those who prefer breakfast for dinner or are getting a late start to their day, huevos rancheros – a tostada with chorizo sausage, frijoles charros, two fried eggs, queso cotija, sliced avocado, crema and salsa – are available on the regular menu.
During Happy Hour, customers will see an option to order chips and salsa for 20 pesos, which equals to one U.S. dollar. McManus said he likes to include some humor and surprises in his menus when he can.
The margarita pitchers are one of the new items that McManus is most excited about.
“I think we’re the only place in the area doing that,” he said. “It’s not new to our industry and I had seen it in another town, but I haven’t seen anybody else here doing it.”
For Cinco de Mayo, the Cantina will offer half-price house margaritas, nachos and quesadillas to the general public. During the evening, HarborWalk Village will host a Cinco de Mayo pub crawl with live music and prizes. Food and drink specials will be available to participants at all restaurants including the Crab Island Cantina. Tickets are available at eventliveus.com.
The Crab Island Cantina is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for food service. The bar is open until midnight.