I have visited twice before, once at 10pm on a Friday and again at midnight on a Thursday. The bar itself is nice with a cool outdoor patio in the back. The bartenders are OK, not the best, not the worst. Both times when I visited all the bartenders were males, no cute girls. The service was good and the bartenders are on par with the rest of Charleston I would say.
The bar itself has a good crowd, typically a younger crowd. I rate this bar as average, a neat spot but offering nothing really new or special. I don't see what they have to offer over the neighboring bar O'Malleys, which has much better food and service and doesn't feel as cramped.
Overall I would give a three-star rating
PS Beware of testimonies by users who registered the same day as the review and only have 1 post.
Three stars. The pub boasts a decent beer selection, and the bartenders are professional, efficient, and courteous. On the other hand, management is quite the opposite. Home of the infamous "bar stool bandit." You know who you are. Ladies and gentlemen, don't dare leave you seat. If you do, then be prepared to head for the street.
A cool place with great atmosphere but i havent been back since the first time i went there with a friend.... after we spent 30-40 dollars plus tip for drinks and food, they came around with a tip jar for the band...i gave a few dollars because i like to support live music ( and i thought i might get a dirty, shameful look if i didnt) but i thought it was a little tacky how they handled it. Left a bad taste in my mouth anyways.
I'm happy with the beer selection, the atmosphere is very nice, the food is good. I really only have a few issues with the place. The first one is the table service. Quite slow, didn't get silverware, waited about 10 minutes for drinks. The waitress also took 15 minutes to get our check when we were ready to go. She rationalized it by saying, "I've been out for a while, so, you know." The food was good for the most part. I was pleased that there was a difference between the regular and large BBQ plates. The only issue was my brisket. I'm from KCMO, so I know my beef BBQ. It tasted great, very tender. However, there was a TON of fat on mine. I would estimate about 40% of my meat. I know a good brisket will have some, but it's easily trimmed before serving. It made the meal not worth the price based on the amount of meat wasted. The last complaint I have about the place is the exposed air duct running across the ceiling. It was apparently very humid because there was a lot of condensation that kept dripping on me throughout the evening. If the service improves at the tables I'll have a much higher opinion. The bar service is excellent, they use your name, don't force drinks down your throat, etc. Overall a good place but not without it's flaws.
James Island SC
I ordered take-out from here Friday. The ribs were falling off the bone good. However, the mac and cheese and the appetizers were a disappointment. The macaroni was flavorless. The stuffed jalapenos and the bacon were underdone. The potato skins were actually halved whole potatoes with a sliver of chicken on top. They were also undercooked. I will give them another try for the pizzas or sandwiches, but skip the apps.
Ate here this evening with the family. It was an enjoyable meal but nothing to write home about. The service was slowish (water and drink glasses were empty before a server came around AND we were promised bread with the meal THREE times and it NEVER came). Prices were reasonable.
The music on the patio was an added bonus.
Will return but not soon.....there are many better places in Mt P and Daniel Island to go to.
Always enjoy popping into here for a drink or three..the atmosphere is quite chill, love the tucked away tables and booths. My only wish is that they would serve more of those lovely beers in bottles, as draught beer gives me a wicked headache!!
Can't say so much for the sideways crab crawl you have to do to make it through the bar (hence the cutesy bar name), or the cheesy color-changing lights behind the bar (oooh...ahhh!), but I will say that the bathrooms are absolutely, amazingly,5-star hotel quality, which you never see in any bar downtown! "Squeeze" in there to the bathrooms at the back & see for yourself!
Ate here last week, and was delighted at some aspects, disappointed in others.
1) The burger was cooked perfectly (Medium, as I ordered). Awesome.
2) Service was great... attentive.
3) Great beer selection.
4) Great quality meat...
5) The sweet potato fries are a-mazing.
1) Everyone at my table commented that their burger was under-seasoned... and I agree...
2) The bun could be improved...
I was a waitress years ago (1996) when the original owners - who were Jeff, Susan & Ann ran the Cantina.
I still go there to dine and have apps & drinks. The food was great back then. And in years past prior to Jeff subsequently buying out Susan and Ann back in the late 90's/early 2000's; the food actually got better!
The addition to the menu of ribs and a larger breakfast menu have made the Cantina an even better option for dining on IOP.
Since the ownership changed in early 2008 (to Bobby and Roger) the menu has varied slightly and been refined - order the chimichanga entree or the seared tuna appetizer and you will not be displeased.
Have there been missteps in the kitchen...yes. Has it been rectified? In my opinion a solid YES. The shrimp & grits are mouthwatering; the salsa is housemade - full of fresh chopped tomatoes; the wings are meaty, flavorful and have varying degrees of Buffalo heat as well as dry spice wings. Even the chicken tenders and calamari are floured and fried to order - no shortcuts!
The soft tacos and all the mexican dishes are great - way much better than the "pick a # combo" Mexican restaurants that seem to share the same menu that are scattered throughout the Charleston area.
By the way - this is more Baja/Veracruz inspired Mexcian - if you're expecting hard tacos, there's a Taco Bell on the IOP Connector.
Their original house salad dressing should be bottled - it's a fantastic mexican inspired sweet and tangy vinaigrette - spiked with cilantro and jalapenos. The crabcake eggs benedict topped with the green chile hollandaise is truly one of the best ways to start a Sunday at the beach.
So YES - the food at the Acme Cantina is really, really, really good.
Does the 'Cantina have a bar crowd? Sure does. Does the managment & staff treat non-drinkers poorly, rudely, insultingly or inappropriately? Not that I have ever seen in the 13 years I have been a patron. And by the way... I do not have perfect vision and I have always been able to read my bill.
The person who posted under the handle of "Mayor Riley" has some bizarre personal vendetta. Live and let live, I guess.
If he doesn't want to return to the restaurant, that means there will be one less person waiting in line for a table in front me!
Why just 3 stars you ask? I keep my 5 stars for the places white table cloth places. But 3 stars with great food, a comfortable funky beachy atmosphere...heck yes!
Atmosphere is lost; too much lighting; lighting should focus on the band. Please, less light.
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