"If ever there was a snapshot of an American melting pot, it’s the new Cascabel Mexican Bar and Grill in Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Village. As the name suggests, the vibe is bar, the warmly lit setting rocking with loud conversation and music. The dozen or so tables are clustered close together, and young, upbeat staff wear shirts with cute sayings like “Soup of the Day: Tequila,” or “Tequila Might Not Solve Your Problems, But it’s Worth a Shot.”

The dark wood bar is the heart of the narrow dining room, its floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with some 200 tequilas, plus specialty mezcals and other spirits. But the place isn’t rowdy, and there are often families dining on the quieter, covered patio, with kids noshing on a $5 menu of mini burritos, cheese quesadillas, and chicken tenders and fries.

These are big burritos, as well, packed with veggies , carnitas, cochinita pibil or chicken tinga, or carne asada or shrimp. On one visit, the carnitas were dry, but rescued by their partner stuffings of charro beans, salsa roja, cilantro rice, salsa morita, crema, cilantro, red onions and Oaxacan cheese."

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"It’s hard not to get enthusiastic about Cascabel, the newest addition to Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Village restaurant lineup. Though just a few weeks old, there are already several menu standouts at this casual tequila bar and grill, including a sweet-and-savory Oaxacan mole, meltingly soft barbacoa, spicy shrimp ceviche and homey arroz con leche.

Happy hour 3 to 5 p.m. daily, plus two pages of tequilas, beer and wine."

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A Taste of Cascabel Mexican Bar and Grill

"There are so many really good Mexican restaurants in Sonoma County, yet Cascabel Mexican Bar and Grill particularly stands out, for its combination of first-rate food, potent cocktails, upbeat mood, and friendly staff.

Few local Mexican restaurants have such authentic, regional-inspired dishes as the aguachile served here. The raw shrimp is 'cooked' in lime juice and Serrano chiles, tossed with cucumbers, avocado, red onions, and tortilla strips ."

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