Remember Luigi’s? Flatiron? Local Tavern? They all once held the spot that is now King & Mane Gastro-Cantina, which opened May 24. I liked the food at Luigi’s, but the next two incarnations were mediocre at best, so it was refreshing to have some good food again at 102 King St.
I hate to classify the food here under any one genre since it’s so diverse, but I’ll say it’s for sure Mexican-Spanish inspired, as a waitress mentioned. For example, I ordered the special, which was two hot dogs wrapped in bacon and grilled, inside a roll along with refried beans, onions, guacamole and jalapenos. I picked kettle chips as my side.
I have to say, this was not a sandwich if you’re on a date (messy!) or have high cholesterol. I had to attack it in thirds because it was too big to pick up. Still, it was a great combination of flavors and textures, and I would order this again (after a five-mile run).
I also tried the walleye sandwich, which was topped with a salsa-like mixture, and the salad, which had an odd-tasting vinagrette that I lean toward disliking (though it sort of grows on you). Regarding the walleye: it was tender and well cooked. My last four or five times eating fish has been on a Friday, so those pieces of cod and perch were beer battered. Thus, I had to remind myself that fish can still be tasty when it’s not deep fried (but I would not re-order the walleye).
I’d like to come back and have the nachos (topped with four cheeses and your choice of meat) and a beer, which is $1 off during happy hour (4-6 p.m. daily). King & Mane has themes each day for its food specials; Monday is reserved for mole, for instance.
Last thoughts: I love the name King & Mane and its double entendre. Bring your friends, as I’m sure you will all find something you’ll like, since it’s so diverse.