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    The Beef: Cantina Agave has been serving up great Mexican food since I arrived in Shanghai almost 8 years ago. With the exception of its minor but fortunately short-lived identity crisis back in 2016 (?), when it tried to become more upscale and failed, then came back as a reincarnation of its original self. There are a few things I miss from their original menu. They had a lingua (beef tongue) filling which to this day I cannot forget about. So tender, succulent, and juicy…that tongue that is no longer.

    The food here is still consistently good. You can’t go wrong here with the food or drinks, whether its tacos, burritos, fajitas, or huevos rancheros. Then you have the pitchers of margaritas and sangria. But let’s be honest. The best part about this place is the salsa bar. It’s the reason I keep going back. Six different types of salsa – red, green, orange, chunky, saucy, spicy. It almost makes up for the lack of service on weekend brunch times. It’s not even that the servers are inattentive or aloof, it’s just that there’s not enough of them to go around when the place is packed. Stimes they see you, they just can’t get to you…

    The Motive: Brunch, dinner, whenever, I will never say no to guac.

    The Damage: Dishes around 65rmb and upwards. Cocktails around 60rmb. 100rmb Taco Tuesdays all you can eat soft tacos. 150rmb for 4hr free flow margaritas/sangria/prosecco/coronas at wknd brunch.

    The Down n’ Dirty:  Didn’t change with the upgrade. Still the same one bathroom shared by muchachas and muchachos.

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SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.