Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina

20 Sep

I had the opportunity to attend the soft opening for Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina, a new restaurant located at the Epicentre in Uptown Charlotte on Saturday night. I’ve never been to a soft opening or first look celebration before so I was excited to check it out before the public. 


When we walked in, a server was right there to fetch a drink for us and asked what we would like. I figured since it is a Mexican place, they had to have good margaritas so I ordered once and he asked what kind and I was at a loss. I asked him what he recommended and he said The Millionaire’s Margarita—” a handmade margarita with corzo blanco tequila, gran marnier and freshly squeezed lime juice served on the rocks”. That sounded like a perfect way to start the evening so we opted for that and he told us he would find us so off we went to find a table in the bar area. 

I absolutely loved the atmosphere–very modern and swanky with a touch of old school Mexican influence. The music was pumping but not so loud you couldn’t hear anything and for a minute I could’ve sworn I wasn’t in Charlotte (a good thing). I felt like I was in a big city restaurant or lounge so I am happy to see we now have something like that. 




They had what looked like comfortable booths on the left and the bar area to the right along with the patio and upstairs area. We found a table right near the window  in the bar area and another server promptly greeted us with hors d’oeuvres 

Shrimp Ceviche


Mushroom quesadilla, braised beef and shrimp ceviche


The server found us and brought us our Millionaire Margarita 


The verdict? 


We went to check out their patio, which is absolutely beautiful and spacious. I can see myself sitting on the patio enjoying a margarita or mojito in the near future.  This place is located smack dab in the middle of Uptown Charlotte right across from the Bank of America headquarters and across from the Ritz Carlton so there is a lot going on.  Oh and I didn’t mention how the Lady Gaga concert was going on down the block that night did I? Let’s just say it was absolutely AMAZING people watching. I can’t believe how balls to the walls people go out to dress up like her….from high school girls who looked like street walkers to 40 something year old woman who *may* have looked like trannie’s. Good times. 


Give me the green light………… 

After that we went back inside to flag down a server for another drink. We found one but we think she forgot about us  and at that time they were unveiling the Skinny Margarita. They brought out the Skinny Margarita girls and they were very excited about toasting to the new Skinny Margarita yet no one passed out Skinny Margarita’s so I was a bit confused on how we were supposed to toast to it? W e ventured upstairs to try the guacamole bar that we kept hearing about after that.  The upstairs area is more of a bar/lounge area but cleared out of furniture for the night so I’m not sure what it will look like when they open. 


Ok. Let’s talk guacamole for a minute shall we? I’ve had lots of guacamole in my 30 years on this planet. I don’t allow myself to make it at home since I can down an entire bowl in one sitting so when I see guacamole when out, I get happy. This was some of the best guacamole I’ve ever ran across. It was rich, creamy with a hint  of spice with fresh tomatoes. When we got to the guacamole bar, it was almost empty and the guy (Guacamole extraordinare?) told us he would be making some soon so we took what we could get in the almost empty bowl. When I saw him making a new batch, I was tempted to steal the bowl and run outta there. Again, another thing that entices me to go back there again. 


One of the servers brought us some flan for a closing taste of their food. I like the taste of flan but I am not a huge fan of the texture but it was damn tasty. 

View from the top


All in all, I had a spectacular time. I have a feeling this place will do very well with its location, menu and service. The best I could describe it is authentic Mexican food with a modern twist in a trendy setting

9 Responses to “Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina”

  1. Amy @ Second City Randomness September 21, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    That’s awesome about people-watching for the Lady GaGa concert! I am not a big enough fan to attend her concert, but I’m sure it’d be just like a big fun party!

    Oh and did you ever get the chance while you were there to try the Skinny Girl Margarita? My friend has a bottle and threatened to pour it all in the sink, but I told her to let me try it first…

    • simplyshaka September 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

      I did and I wasn’t a huge fan. It had more of a bitter, flat taste to me. If you put it in front of my face, I would drink it but I don’t think I will buying it anytime soon.

  2. dianacheung September 21, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    LOL what: “it didn’t feel charlotte which is a good thing” BAHHH don’t “sell me” charlotte if you are gonna move!! Hahaha omg..what a fun event!! All free no? Anyways I LOVE guac also that’s why I buy the “wholly guacamole” 100 cal packs so i can have it and not eat the whole bowl!

    • simplyshaka September 21, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

      Haha. I need a bigger city thats why 🙂 Sometimes Charlotte is too small for me.

  3. genesis September 21, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    what a cool restaurant. and i cant believe you dont like flan?! thats probably one of my fave desserts, but yes its an acquired taste

  4. Mo Diva September 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    5 burro makes a tasty guac… just sayin.

    I loved this. and now that green light song is stuck in my head! dammit.

    you look gorgie in that dress! xoxox

    im hungry

    • simplyshaka September 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

      Thanks girl 🙂 I love these compliments from you lately, I feel like I should be paying you or something.

      Yeah its been in my head too but it hasnt gotten annoying yet-go figure! Cannot wait for 5 Burros!!!

  5. Ashleigh September 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Cute dress! I have been wanting to try the skinny margs but they are so expensive wherever they are and I imagine it’s just less booze.


  1. Fun « Simply Shaka - November 6, 2010

    […] friends ordered the guacamole and said it was the best in Charlotte. It was good but not as good as Vida, which was smoother and creamier. Regardless, if it has avocado and sour cream in it, I’m […]

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