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“Great concept, need to work on the execution”

Catrinas Tacos and Tequila
Ranked #1,065 of 2,398 Restaurants in Tampa
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican, Seafood, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Bienvenidos a Catrinas SOUTH TAMPA! Catrinas showcases the TRADITIONAL FRESH Mexican gastronomic thematic and the Biggest Tequila selection in the Tampa Bay Area with higher fresh quality local and imported ingredients in an Upscale and artsy fare. From fresh delicious citrusy ceviches to homemade moles and salsas, Catrinas will bring you through the North Country of Mexico Guadalajara, Jalisco (origin of the Mariachi and Tequila) to Baja California. Our traditional cuisine showcases chiles en nogada originated in Puebla Mexico, delicious and fresh Mexican sea food, slow-rosted pibil from the Mayan Peninsula and huitlacoche (a delicacy blue corn truffle) with a touch of Chef Tisbeth Mejia's artsy and colorful unique elaboration. With our sea food selection we are committed to sourcing our fresh seafood proudly showcasing "The Catch of the Day" from local commercial fisherman, environmentally friendly and sustainable aquaculture farmers. Just the best of our clients from the sea at your plate, our seafood is brought in fresh and is hand cut on premises. Catrinas also has a fOLK and eclectic art gallery inside promoting the festive Day of the Dead theme (Dia de Los Muertos), local artists and Chef Mejia own private Art by Tisbeth painting collection. Chef Tisbeth Mejia is excited to stop by at our guest table and chat about our tradition, her food elaboration and family recipes.Visit us and experience the authentic Mexican cuisine at another level. Catrinas SOUTH TAMPA,Where Art and Food Mingle!
Tampa, Fl
Level Contributor
127 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Great concept, need to work on the execution”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

I am reluctant to grade this restaurant, because there are many things I really like about it, and some disappointing things. And, as a relatively new restaurant, they still have time to work out the kinks and make it a really, really good dining experience.
Having lived for 3 years in Texas I miss truly good, authentic, Mexican food. There is a void and a need for that in Tampa. None of the Mexican restaurants in town are particularly good or authentic.
I have been to Catrina's 4 times and was immediately attracted by their menu. They offered the hope of having, at last, a truly authentic Mexican restaurant in town. But, as much as I applaud the effort, at some point you have to deal with the reality of the food that is served. And the problem with Catrina's is that sometimes it can be really good, while other times is just blah. Inconsistency is preventing this place from being what it can potentially be.
Service needs to be improved: the servers, while friendly, lack proper training. The other big issue here is seasoning. In more than one occasion my food was under-seasoned and the result was bland flavors. C'mon, bland flavors is not what you expect in Mexican cousine!
I hope they can get their act together, improve their weak points, and continue to strive to be the most authentic Mexican restaurant in Tampa.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TampaDocFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
52 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Unique and outstanding”
Reviewed July 28, 2013 via mobile

Catrina's is a welcome exception to the usual Mexican restaurants. Dishes are creative and fresh. I had a wonderful medley of shrimp, steak, chicken, and cactus in a subtle and complex sauce that complemented each of them in a different way, but perfectly. The sauce had a long finish and I could taste the fresh herbs and interesting mix of spices. The guava mimosa was a delicious treat as well! My husband had huevos Mexicanos and refried beans, also freshly prepared and subtly seasoned. The corn tortillas had a great flavor and texture. Clearly, the chefs know how to prepare Mexican food authentically and with care and quality, unlike what you typically find at chain restaurants. The decor is bright, the restaurant was clean, and service was courteous and prompt. My only hesitation in writing this review is that the place will become too crowded and we'll never get in again. But it's okay, they deserve to succeed.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Carali_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
114 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Not Your Typical Mexican Restaurant”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

Catrinas was such a nice surprise! Expecting your typical Mexican restaurant, we were pleasantly surprised at the interesting and varied menu and the outstanding ambiance.

At the entrance we were greeted by two lifesize metal sculptures of Catrinas, the stylized skeletons representing the Mexican Day of the Dead. Upon entering the restaurant we were blown away by the amazing Mexican art everywhere -- on the walls, on the bar, even in the restrooms.

The menu at Catrinas has some very different offerings, ranging from many different types of tacos to very elaborate entrees of whole fish, steamed and prepared using authentic Mexican methods. My husband had the tacos lenguas, made with diced beef tongue; I ordered tacos of simmered Yucatan pork, cochinita pibil -- both selections were delicious. The margaritas, served in pottery crocks, were exceptionally good.

Prices are a little steep, from $10 for tacos to $26 for a fish entrée; a pitcher of margaritas was $26. Our server was pleasant and efficient.

I highly recommend Catrinas, and I am looking forward to our next visit.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank AJMF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Authentic Mexican cuisine just arrived to Tampa”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Being Mexican I must say this is the most Authentic Mexican restaurant I've ever been to so far. Catrinas Cocina y Galeria is an upscale Mexican Restaurant that showcases fresh ingredients and sea food. I had the 3L fish snapper with rice and salad and oh my! it reminds me of a hot sunny day in Acapulco and we cannot forget the cold and delicious beer on the side. They serve the sangrias and margaritas in clay pots and made me feel like back home. This place is colorful,vibrant and the art gallery inside makes it unique. If you want to taste the Authentic Mexican flavors stop by Catrinas. And to wrap it up they have live Mariachis every Friday which brings our culture to town! Excellent service and prices, well done chef Mejia!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Paulina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
220 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 340 helpful votes
“Not your run-of-the-mill Mexican food, a bit adventurous”
Reviewed May 10, 2013

This is Mexican with a bit of flair. Yes, you can order a basic burrito or quesadilla, but why would you when there are lobster tacos on the menu? Catrina's has a lot of personality and very good food to boot. I've tried three different meals, and they've all be great. The shrimp tacos were probably my favorite, but I wouldn't be afraid to try anything on the menu (except maybe the cow's tongue tacos). Their margaritas, served in little clay cups called "jarritos" are really good, and they have some interesting versions of the margarita without being ridiculously trendy or overpriced. The pitcher of margaritas is an amazing value if you have at least two people who would likely order two margaritas each. The pitcher costs less than 4 individual drinks, and filled about 6 or 7 jarritos.

The decor is a bit on the macabre side, since the Catrina is a skeleton-like figure. But the colors are bright and there is something to look at in every direction... even in the ladies room.

I'm not normally a fan of mariachi bands, but the one at Catrina's on Friday is really good, with lots of musicians and multiple horns.

If you're looking for some unique Mexican food in an atmosphere that is funkier than a chain restaurant, give Catrina's a try!

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Kleetampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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