Love Mexican food? You will love Picante!
More on Picante, below...
Ahhh, Picante... the Anguilla restaurant that's through and through one of my favorites ever. Efficient service, a charming atmosphere and consistently excellent quesadillas, tacos and burritos... it simply can't be beat!
The regular routine when we visit Picante? Park in the spacious parking lot (parking's never a hassle) and walk towards the vibrant restaurant, lit up bright with fairy lights, steeped in anticipation of all of the flavorful food to come.
Approaching the brightly lit runway to the colorful restaurant
Picante in 2004
Picante first opened in 2004. From the moment they opened their colorful doors, they created quite a buzz.
"Mexican Anguilla restaurants?"
At the time, it was a foreign concept.
After hearing about it for the third or fourth time, we had to check it out...
It was love at first bite! See photo below ;-)
With Chloe Back in 2004
A lady named Zoe Tise-Hodge is the owner. She has been living on the island for quite some time as a private chef. Her son in-law, Theron Loizos, runs this Anguilla restaurant. He is the chef. The lady in the picture is his charming wife, Chloe, Zoe's mom.
Theron and Chloe have been visiting and living in Anguilla for years now. They decided leave the rat race in Northern California, where they were already running two thriving restaurants, to settle down in Anguilla.
The rest is history!
Picante is only open for dinner, out on the West end, just past the Cap Juluca turn off. If you are coming from the east end, it's worth the "long drive" (20 minutes isn't long in North America but distances become relative on an island just 16 miles long!). If you are staying in west end, you are in for a convenient and tasty treat!
Dining area at Picante
A few steps inside and you quickly realize, this Anguilla restaurant is beautiful, with quaint, Mexican style. We had once spent 4 weeks living in Guadalajara. One night at Picante feels like being there for the evening.
My Dad gives the ultimate "thumbs-up" to their bar. It may be on the only bar, too, in Anguilla where he passes on a rum punch and asks, "A margarita, please. No salt."
Of course, you can order it with or without salt, blended or on the rocks, and if you order your margarita blended, there are a variety of sweet flavors to choose from.
This Anguilla restaurant's menu is robust, chock full of Tex Mex classics. A chalkboard also hangs near the bar, displaying the daily specials.
As you peruse the menu, complimentary warm, fresh and crispy tortilla chips with the hot and savory salsa are swiftly brought to your table. It gets your taste buds going for the main course!
Tortilla chips and salsa to start
Here, I must make a note on service. Picante's is some of the speediest on the island! No long waits here.
Sweet waitress Jasmin ensured that we were happy the entire night
From appetizers to mains, it's really hard to go wrong at Picante. To start, the calamari is some of our favorite calamari anywhere. And, it's not a meal at Picante without their spinach and cheese dip. WARNING: It comes out piping hot!
Some top picks for mains?
Hard shell chicken tacos filled with tomatoes, lettuce and topped with finely chopped cilantro. Rice on the side rounds out the meal.
Hard shell chicken tacos
The tacos are superb and hold together well (it's the worst when they fall apart!). The steak tacos are an excellent choice if you like red meat. No ground beef here. Beef strips are placed in the shell. Together with fresh lettuce, tomato and cheese, they are consistently superb.
A lighter option? Fish salad, with mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, radishes, tortilla chips and guacamole. Each bite of that guacamole is Mexican dining delight!
Grilled fish salad with mixed greens
Tummies are always on "F" after dinner at Picante, yet still a meal here is not complete without dessert. Flavored shaved ice goes down light after a big meal...
Strawberry flavored shaved ice for dessert
Cup are scraped clean, spoons are licked spotless!
After dinner the owner, Chloe hugs you good-bye. With great service and food, "'til next time, Chloe!" It's never long 'til we're back again.
TIP: If you are visiting in high season, reservations are highly recommended.
Directions: Picante is located on the main road, just a few minutes west of Four Seasons's entrance.
Good for a fun and busy atmosphere, and Mexican food.
Hours: Dinner only, closed Tuesdays in the high season and Mondays/Tuesdays in low-season.