Hussong’s Mexican Cantina in Mandalay Place doesn’t tend to get a lot of ink, but it’s a go-to for many Vegas visitors looking for memorable food and drinks in a festive atmosphere.
While we’d heard of Hussong’s, we weren’t entirely sure what to make of the name, but we we fairly sure “Hussong” isn’t Mexican.
In fact, the founder of the original Hussong’s was John Hussong, a German. Hussong’s original cantina, in Ensenada dates back to 1892.
The Las Vegas Hussong’s opened in 2010 and has been putting livers to the test ever since.
Hussong’s Mexican Cantina’s claim to fame is it was allegedly where the margarita was invented, in 1941.
Nobody’s actually sure who made the first margarita, but we were damned well going to have one no matter who invented it.
Here’s the original margarita at Hussong’s.
Naturally, there are quite a few variations of the margarita available. We’d like to say we remember the names, but margaritas.
There’s a small chance this is the Raspberita.
An undeniable hit is the Bulldog. There’s not only a margarita of some sort involved, but also an inverted bottle of beer.
Even if you weren’t in the mood for a fiesta before you arrived at Hussong’s, the Bulldog is guaranteed to manhandle your maracas. Or something.
The frosty libations are certainly a big draw at Hussong’s Mexican Cantina, but the restaurant’s “sing-along rock ‘n’ roll Mariachi band” tends to steal the show.
While we are famously not a loud, live music person, the energy of the performers is infectious so we’ll give Hussong’s a pass.
The mariachi band roams from table to table, lingering at tables with bachelorettes, of course. The band plays an eclectic mix of tunes, many of which are funny takes on pop hits. Lots of places in Vegas tout their “interactive” entertainment, but the mariachi band at Hussong’s actually delivers.
The food at Hussong’s Mexican Cantina, described as “authentic Baja cuisine” is consistently satisfying.
We started out with a taco threesome. Hey, it’s Vegas.
Also tasty was the carne asada, Spanish for “At this point, we were so drunk, we’d have enjoyed a bite of a guitarron.
Told you you’d need to know what.
See the full Hussong’s Mexican Cantina menu online.
Topping off the meal was the delicious fried ice cream.
There are nearly as many origin stories of fried ice cream as their are for margaritas, so let’s just say friend ice cream was invented by Saint Charles Borromeo, patron saint of big thighs.
If you’re looking for a tranquil, low-key evening out in Las Vegas, Hussong’s Mexican Cantina isn’t it.
But if you’re looking for strong drinks, filling fare at a decent price and a raucous good time, include Hussong’s at Mandalay Bay part in your Las Vegas escapades.