Thursday, May 24, 2012

Más Mexicano

 Mission Cantina 485 West Street, South Amherst

Although Form Based Zoning, an attempt to stimulate development and create a village center, did not pass muster at Town Meeting for the Atkins Corner in deep South Amherst, the commercial area about a mile north of there is doing just fine--and this new restaurant in particular is thriving.

Mission Cantina opened last summer nestled in the spot formerly occupied by Andiamo and ever since then the parking lot is routinely full. The Mexican restaurant goes before the zoning board on June 7 to seek permission to expand into the adjacent space formerly occupied by South Amherst Liquor Mart who sold their assets to Cousins Market in the center of town last year.

Currently the restaurant only has four tables so, unless you arrive at 4:00 PM opening, waiting is all but guaranteed.  But the expansion should alleviate that. And a bit of competition perhaps.

Because meanwhile, a sombrero throw away, El Comalito, another Mexican restaurant, prepares to open in the old space formerly occupied by Latinos.  Mission Cantina has already proven that customers will flock to South Amherst like it's the American Southwest, so perhaps another offering will only enhance that atmosphere of a culinary destination place.


El Comalito 460 West Street, South Amherst

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was frequent diner there after they opened- but lately the food has good way down hill and the staff is no longer friendly and outgoing (there is a new bartender- he is rude and unfriendly). Too bad....

Anonymous said...

You've never seen it so full ever since? Hmm, does that mean it's empty?

Anonymous said...

I hope they are able to expand. The food is great but they are so busy we've only done take out. I'd love to sit and enjoy a meal there.

Anonymous said...

The work that the cooks, at Mission Cantina, has done it's truly tasteful from food to how they greet patrons. If I could I would eat there more often.
Don't know about bartender but the margaritas are just right.
Cheers Amherst

Anonymous said...

I am happy to see them expanding into the vacant space. I do have to agree w/anon 11:29 that the staff isn't the most welcoming. Don't know about the new staff b/c we started to only order take out as well. That tends to have it's own kinks to be worked out-frequent mistakes. We always double check before leaving now. I just always assumed they were a bit overwhelmed and crowded and cranky as a result. Hope they get approved and lighten up a bit.

Anonymous said...

South Amherst needs a coffee shop! (I don't mean Dunkin or Hess, either! And we all love Atkins but that's not what I mean either. Like a Rao's.) Someone would do well with that I believe, closest is downtown.

Anonymous said...

I've left three times because of lengthy wait times, so am excited that I might actually get to eat at an actual table once an expansion is complete! I agree with the bartender comment; he's probably overwhelmed, but... totally unpleasant.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese restaurant was formerly a coffee shop. In fact, it was one twice. Flopped both times.

LarryK said...

And the current location of Mission Cantina was once a breakfast place called The Good Egg.

Anonymous said...

neither of those places had real COFFEE like raos or amherst coffee. and those places don't cook breakfast. i think someone would do well with GOOD coffee, maybe some pastries, like those mentioned above do, not a full breakfast place. and karen's kitchen (where chinese food is now) had more issues than just the quality of their coffee.

i think the problem is that there are only a couple or a few suitable properties down there for such a place. what goes on with that old brick bank building? is that still a computer business or something? even is set up for drive-through!

the place where the new salvadorian, mexican place is going in could work, but that's also a tricky spot because visibility, signage to the road is poor. if the owner would just butt out, like 8 feet, the facade part that looks like a "house", it could be more visible to 116 traffic.

Anonymous said...

After reading your posts, we went there for lunch today to find out they are not open for lunch. :(

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled on this post, was wondering how I have been rude?

Anonymous said...

Another Latin food restaurant in Amherst is the last thing we need. I can't understand why so many would be restaurant owners in western MA can't come up with new innovative ideas. Rather they take and steal concepts that are perceived to be doing well. Take for example the 17+ pizza places in Amherst alone?????????? Why would anybody want to open another?????? The Mission Cantina has filled a much needed hole in Valley dining , its sad to see the concept being taken and diminished because of uncreative , lazy band wagon jumpers.