Well-versed Staff Accompanies Well-made Food   Leave a comment

A wait staff that actually knows its restaurant’s food is nothing to dismiss. This is
true whether the fare is extraordinary or not. The Crystal Park Cantina has a
knowledgeable, friendly staff that complements its twist on exceptional Mexican food.

Margaritas, chips and salsa give the impression this is a standard Mexican restaurant;
however, after perusing the menu this is quickly dispelled.

Asking a server for his or her favorite menu item is nothing new; sometimes it seems
like a crap shoot. I asked my server at the Cantina what sauce she recommended for
the Chile Relleno: pork green chile or tomatillo Alfredo? Her face lit up and, without
hesitation, she said half and half. The green chile has a depth of flavor that has no-
thing to do with being too spicy. An Alfredo sauce is not something necessarily asso-
ciated with anything south of the border, but this rich cream base is augmented by
the green tomatoes. Having the sauces side-by-side felt like picking the winning Lotto

The relleno was light with the chili and cheese the rightful heir to the plate. Too often
an over-eggy batter attempts a coup and overshadows the chile, cheese or both. Here
a pastry-like shell covers the two chiles like a thin, protective blanket.

The entrees include frijoles and saffron-infused rice. A dollop of guacamole and an-
other of pico de gallo result in a very colorful plate.

By the way, there’s nothing wrong with those margaritas, chips and salsa – the servers
recommend them.

Four Plates
The Crystal Park Cantina
178 Crystal Park Rd., Manitou Springs, CO


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