Nashville Eats | Chago’s Cantina
Nashville Eats | Chago’s Cantina
Nashville Restaurant Week is something that occurs twice a year where Nashville Original restaurants offer special menu items and deals that are far too good to pass up! Nashville Originals is dedicated to sustaining the independent restaurants in Nashville and this is a great week to try out some new Nashville restaurants for a cheaper price. Nashville has become a huge foodie city; therefore, what we eat and where we eat is part of what defines the city. As part of Nashville’s Restaurant Week, I decided to go out to try some restaurants I hadn’t been to yet in the area.
While I have eaten at several of the Nashville Original restaurants outside of restaurant week, I decided we should try out some that we have not been to before. First up, was Chago’s Cantina.
I won’t try and hide it. When I think about Nashville, I don’t immediately think of Mexican food. When readers or friends ask me for restaurant recommendations, I don’t immediately think of Mexican. So, visiting Chago’s Cantina wasn’t necessarily on the highest of my lists, but I figured they were part of restaurant week for a reason.
Chago’s Cantina is located on Belmont Blvd which as you may have guessed is located by Belmont University. In fact, it is directly across from Belmont University making it a very popular restaurant for college students. Belmont University is a very pretty campus as well so go walk around and soak it up. I love being on a college campus – just something about it makes me happy!
Chago, the owner, is a Californian who had the opportunity to open up a restaurant in Nashville. While Chago is from San Diego, he also spent a lot of time in New Orleans growing up and really fell in love with their food. He combines his love of tacos, New Orleans flavor and Belmont’s historic neighborhood into one lovely restaurant.
Chago’s uses only locally sourced and grass fed meat and all of them decor is from local antique and consignment stores.
While all of that is interesting and exciting, what you really want to know about is the food though, right?
We both grabbed some chips, salsa, queso and a couple beers while we perused over the menu. Kaleb even grabbed a shot of their habanero infused tequila. Neither of us can do tequila very well (we aren’t young anymore!) but Kaleb loves habaneros and had to try it. He said it actually was very smooth for what it was – habanero, tequila, and smooth – not exactly three words you put together all the time! A Mexican restaurant MUST have a good salsa and queso or I won’t even think of going there. I mean, come on, they are the staples. Chago’s didn’t disappoint in either category.
I decided to order the pork belly tacos. Best decision I’ve ever made. Okay, that might be exaggerating it, but these tacos were so unbelievably good. I had asked the manager his opinion on what to order and this was one of his suggestions. He said he believed it was the best taco in the city. I believe he was correct.
So, whats on the taco? braised pork belly, topped with local honey, chili oil, + a jalapeno cilantro slaw. That’s like 5 of my favorite things. Melt in your mouth, juices dripping down your arm good.
Kaleb went with the Chago roll. Being the presumptuous people we apparently are, we were thinking roll as in like burrito. So, we were both surprised when this dish came out. It’s like Mexican Sushi! That’s a movement I can get behind.
The Chago roll is fajita peppers, onions, guacamole, + rice wrapped in carne asada on a bed of black beans topped with poblano cream. I despise beans but I loved this dish. And, look how pretty it is.
As we were finishing up our meal, I realized their margarita of the day was a mango margarita so, of course, I needed one. We got mine frozen because I like my alcohol in ICEE form and Kaleb got his on the rocks because he’s no fun.
So, would I recommend Chago’s Cantina on your next visit to Nashville? Definitely!
What we Ordered | Pork Belly Tacos, Chago Roll, Two Beers, Two Margaritas, One Habanero Tequila
Meal Price | $40 + tax + tip
Location | 2015 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN
Other Nashville Original restaurants I’ve written about | Puckett’s Boat House