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Ray and Molly Dunlea, owners of Waldo’s cozy Irish-style pub, The Gaf, made a shrewd decision to turn their snazzy but short-lived Swizzle Martini & Wine Bistro, at the corner of Gregory and Wornall, into a moderately priced Mexican restaurant. They invested a few pesos in some new tables and booths, curtains, mounted neon beer signs, a serape and a sombrero for the walls, and Cantina del Ray was born. The menu isn’t large, but it contains all the Tex-Mex dishes that most Midwesterners like best: tacos, burritos, chile rellenos, and espinaca (molten spinach-and-cheese sauce). In a nod to the locals, the menu lists Brookside Bean Nachos and a Ward Parkway Pork Burrito prepared in a “pipian mole” that is actually made with peanut butter instead of pumpkin seeds. Unlike the destination spots on Southwest Boulevard, Cantina del Ray is just a laid-back neighborhood joint that appeals to families with squalling toddlers or tables of screaming queens – and everyone in between. — Charles Ferruzza

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Price: $$
Payment Type: All Major Credit Cards, cash

Parking: Free, Street


Reservations: Not Accepted, Not Necessary


Attire: Casual

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