Tag Archives: margarita

Where to Celebrate National Margarita Day 2014

On February 22nd, here are the places that you should be drinking.

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  • CANTINA LAREDO
    Addison, Frisco, and Grapevine 
    | February 22 and 23rd, their Tres Amigos Casa Rita (pictured on the right) will be only $8 (regular price: $12.25)
  • DEL FRISCO’S GRILLE (Southlake) | Try their Pomegranate Margarita (Camarena Reposado Tequila, Cointreau, Pom Juice and a Splash of Sweet N Sour) OR their Margarita 160 (which is only 160 calories)
  • EL FENIX (all locations) | house margaritas are $2.95 all day
  • LA VENTANA (Victory Park) | $4 blue margaritas
  • ON THE BORDER | $1 margaritas (12oz, on the rocks or frozen, using Gold Tequila)
  • PEAK AND ELM (Far East Dallas) | FREE margaritas
  • URBAN TACO | mention #urbanrita and get $3 margaritas (limit 2)
  • VICKERY PARK (Knox) | $4 frozen margaritas, $6 beeritas, $10 Mexican beer buckets, house-infused tequila specials
  • WINDMILL LOUNGE (Dallas)
    Enjoy their featured drinks, The Honeymoon and the Chili Margarita, both created by the infamous Charile Papaceno

RECIPES

THE VERACRUZANA PINEAPPLE MARGARITA

2 parts Milagro Reposado Tequila
¾ part Agave Nectar
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
4 Pineapple Chunks
2 Basil Leaves

Muddle pineapple and basil leaves in a Boston shaker. Add remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish cocktail with pineapple and basil.

THE PARTIDA MARGARITA
1.5 oz Partida Reposado
3/4 oz agave nectar
3/4 oz water
juice of one lime

Shake, strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel.

CAMUS-RITA
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2 oz. CAMUS VS  Elegance
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. orange juice
1 oz. triple sec

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into glass, garnish with slime of lime.

You’ve heard the name, and know they make some (damn) good Tex-Mex.  BUUUUT did you know that they also make some pretty delicious drinks?  Barkeeps Dex and Bryan came up with a craft cocktail menu to please every palate.  From sweet and slushy to strong and smooth, the drinks are all very different, but are equally unique and delicious.

The drinks are made by hand, and are all available served over crushed ice.  This isn’t some half-assed crushed ice … it’s nearly snow cone-esque.  Also, their margaritas are mostly green.  (This seemed like an important point — though I’m not really sure why — so I’ll go along with it … GREEN MARGARITAS?!??!! WHOOOHOO!)  Drinks range from $8 to $24 (Ultimat Lemonade Pitcher) and have a decent strength behind them.  

We’ll start from the top of some of the drinks I sampled.

  • HANDCRAFTED PIÑA COLADA | I haven’t had a piña colada in ages, but this made me wonder why I’ve poo-poo’d the classic poolside drink.  It’s not too sweet and is made with crushed ice, making it more a snowcone than a traditional Icee.
  • SAZERAC | The CH version of the Sazerac takes away the vicious bite of the classic version by adding a bit of lemon.  Being a whiskey fan, I really enjoyed this drink.
  • TITO’S TEXAS SIPPER | As some of you may know, I hate me some grapefruit.  Even with my aversion to the ruby red, I enjoyed this drink enough to drink half of it (which, given that I tried upwards of 9 drinks that night, is saying something).
  • EL PEPPINO | A delightfully refreshing martini with cucumber, elderflower liqueur, and TY KU citrus … so basically, it’s delicious.  
  • SUMMER BREEZE | I already mentioned my disgust for grapefruit, and this one has some serious grapefruit going on.  Crazy thing?  I dug this drink.  Really.  I drank most of it and hardly let my HH guests have a sip…. though when one of them got a hold of it, she ended up finishing it and ordering two more.
  • KICKIN’ MULE | Who isn’t a fan of a traditional Moscow Mule?  (Seriously … if you don’t like them, raise your hand and I’ll come through my computer and slap you.  Moscow Mules are delicious.)  Their amped-up version of the MM is a very well-balanced take on it … and I’ll say that I’ve journeyed back in since my review to buy one of these with my owned hard-earned money.  That should tell you something!!  Bonus?  They’re served in copper mugs … if you’re into that sort of thing.

The drinks at Cafe Herrera aren’t the only thing I am going to harp on.  The food is pretty damn awesome, too.  The food is made fresh daily out of the open kitchen.  (I like to see into kitchens … you?)  The queso and guac are better than most, and the Herrera’s Appetizer (nachos, flautitas, cheese quesadillas, and some delish garnishes) is excellent.  I love a good sampling!  But the best food of the night?  Definitely the ceviche — it was really fresh and had the perfect balance of citrus and “sea”.  It’s my jam.

Head into Mockingbird Station and visit one of Dallas’ oldest Tex-Mex cafes (the family is one of the oldest, that is) and don’t forget to order a drink … a real drink.
CAFE HERRERA
www.cafeherrera.com | @cafeherrerambs
Mockingbird Station | 214-823-4040

***Please note: this tasting was on the house.***

Ocho has closed since this review was posted. The owners will reopen this location as another concept from their portfolio later this summer.

They call this place “Ocho” because I ATE everything…

I ventured into Ocho again to try some of their new offerings, both solids and liquids. The meal started with tequila shots. Usually tequila isn’t the way to get on my good side, but the shot of their Ocho Reposado began our meal on a surprisingly high note.

The wait staff made us feel at home, and was very attentive. They were all willing to share their food and drink preferences and recommendations, but weren’t too insistent that we go with their choices.

After the tequila we, with some direction from our waiter, moved onto the appetizer of crab guacamole (top, center). Complete with a stack of crab and homemade fried chips, I’ll have this appetizer again in a heartbeat. To accompany the creamy guac, Micheal* treated us to a Skinny Cougar (left, bottom). The SC was a refreshing grenadine drink that is a must-have while lounging on their airy (huge) patio.

We moved on to grilled Shoshito peppers (bottom, center) and lobster tacos (top, left). Both were out of this world. The tempura lobster tacos were some of the better seafood tacos I’ve had in quite a while, and the accompanying sauce takes the taste of the Tex-ified lobster to a new level. To go with this course, we enjoyed a smokey hatch chili margarita (top, right). The hatch chili powder was in the drink AND sprinkled on top along with a slice of jalapeño (that’s a spicy meat-a-ball!). Spicy cocktails are my jam, and this was some spicy heaven on earth.

Dessert was tres leches and some heavenly not-Weight-Watchers-approved berry something (right, 2nd to bottom). I’d pretty much devour both if set in front of me again.

*Michael Jordan (no, really, that’s his name) was one of the most helpful, hospitable bartenders I’ve ever come across. I love to challenge my barkeeps to make me things I like, and he’s more than up to the challenge. He’ll find you something you love, not just like. Visit Ocho just to let him choose a drink for you.

Stop into Ocho to try some of their new offerings and enjoy a drink (or three). They seem to have gotten their shit stuff together, and having a meal here is a truly enjoyable dining experience. Don’t miss their amazing patio while you’re there!

Ocho | www.ocho.com | @ocho_Dallas
8411 Preston Road (@ Northwest Highway), Suite 132
(214)217-0888

***Please note that I was not charged for this meal.***

Dallas Margarita Meltdown Giveaway

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We’re heading for a major meltdown! No, not Texas’ summer or an episode from working too hard, the Dallas Margarita Meltdown. More than 20 restaurants will come together on Sunday, May 26 (5-10pm) in the Bishop Arts District and make some margs to vie for the title of “Best Margarita in Dallas”.

SO you could buy a ticket now (online for $20*, or at the event for $25*) OR you could enter to win the set of tickets from me!

To enter to win, tell me which restaurant’s margarita YOU think should win as:

  • a comment on this blog post
  • a post on my Facebook wall
  • a tweet to @drinkdallas using the hashtag “#margaritameltdown”
  • an email to susiedrinksdallas@gmail.com

You may enter once on each channel. The winner will be chosen Wednesday, May 22 at noon.

*A portion of proceeds will benefit La Voz del Anciano, a nonprofit organization that helps enrich and improve the quality of life for elderly Latinos in Dallas County.

Participating restaurants: La Duni, Mesa, Whiskey Cake, Sunset Lounge, Iron Cactus and many more.

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Mariano’s invented the frozen margarita machine … no, really, it’s documented.  The original machine was invented by Mariano Martínez in 1971, and is now in the Smithsonian.  If you haven’t visited this place, you definitely need to stop in … for educational purposes, of course.

Their margaritas aren’t to-die, but they pack enough of a punch and have enough flavor to keep things interesting.  I tried their margarita sampler (I hate making decisions).  The sampler was complete with frozen mini versions of their Frozen Tequila Sunrise, sangria swirl margarita (Texas Tornado), and a jalapeño margarita.  All three are enough to get the gist of the flavor, but if you’re anything like me and get bored easily, it’s not enough to make it monotonous.  My favorite was the jalapeño one … ay chi wa wa.

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What makes this place even more interesting?  They have a frozen bar.  Not like those bars that are made of ice and you have to wear a parka … this one is much more manageable and you don’t have to defrost afterwards.  Their brilliance comes in the form of a frozen channel to keep your margarita from melting.  Because, let’s be honest, nothing’s worse than a melted frozen margarita.  I only with they had a frozen channel on all the tables!

Specials:  1/2 price margaritas on Monday (all day, select margarita only)

Mariano’s Hacienda | Facebook
6300 Skillman St, Bldg. J
Dallas, TX 75231
(214)691-3888

Wild Salsa

I’m always stoked to try new places and the new taco joint (if you can call it a joint) on Main was a pleasure.  Upon walking up to the front door, I was worried that the entire place would take the lead of the awkward sign in front, but it certainly didn’t.

The decor was complete with backlit Patron bottle columns (top right), authentic Día de los Muertos art from Mexico City, and a curtain separating the walkway from the bar seating area with rose designs on them.  It was quite a festive atmosphere and I look forward to heading back to explore the concrete bar further – it spanned half the restaurant!

The patio was lit by large string lights and was complete with tables and one in particular with a fire pit smack dab in the middle.  I look forward to heading back to enjoy the patio when it dips below triple-digit temperatures to watch the beautiful people frequenting the adjacent Mercantile pool.

Once at our table, our waitress recommended the Wild Rita … the Wild Rita was no slouch.   It was spicy, fragrant, rimmed with chili-lime salt, and it was BIG.  I’d give the drink a AAA rating – and I don’t even like tequila!  They also have Negra Modelo, Dos Equis, and Bud light on tap, a drink list with five interesting margaritas and six cocktails to choose from.

The only thing better than the margarita was the food.  The chips were just about average, but the avocado salsa was to die for; it’s no wonder that this place is called Wild Salsa (I went through two bowls myself before our food came).  They offer other salsas for a cost and sadly my dinner guest didn’t feel the need to try them … bummer.  I partook in the three-taco platter with rice and beans and tried three different ones … including a “lengua”, or beef tongue, and it was delicious!  They use local ingredients and they are listed on a chalkboard at the front of the shop.

Bottom line: I like a swanky place that can still keep its focus on the food and drink, and Wild Salsa does just that.  Definitely put a night aside to jump in here and enjoy the unique fare and strong drinks.

Extra info: they have a great wait staff, everyone is very friendly.  Food is served late on Fridays and Saturdays (but I don’t know how late).  ALSO, they may be opening for some serious late-night drunk taco action because they have what looks like a to-go window on Main.

Drink strength: 4.5
Overall: 4

Wild Salsa 
www.wildsalsarestaurant.com
1800 Main St (Downtown) | 214-741-WILD

Specials:
Monay-Friday | 4-7 p.m. | $3.50 beers, $4 house margaritas, $4 wells

mario sabino’s

Thanks to one of my delightful readers, Candace Drury, I knew about this little gem of a watering hole.

I’ll start by saying that it’s kind of tough to find … not really tough but it’s just further than you’re probably accustomed to driving down Lemmon to find good margaritas (cite: Uncle Julio’s and Gloria’s). When you find this place, though, sit your butt down and order a margarita as fast as your mouth can say the words. They have margaritas that will make your head spin (both because they are good and because they are so strong). Blackberry, blueberry, guava, and pineapple along with their traditional margarita are available.

The happy hour hours aren’t anything to snear at … it’s all day every week day. Not bad, eh? It’s nice to have the chance to take your time getting to happy hour and not worry about missing last happy hour call.  As my mom said, “It’s always happy there!”

The place is good for some margaritas, that is for SURE. For food, I’d stick with something simple. It’s really pretty generic food (not bad at all, just generic) so just some queso with your margaritas is probably the best plan.

Candace told me to ask for Pancho because he is the best but he wasn’t working the day I was in. It wasn’t a big deal because the rest of the staff is snappy and incredibly friendly. I asked our waiter to have a blueberry margarita ready for my mom when she met us and he set it down less than 30 seconds after she sat down – frozen as it could be. Mario is usually there hanging out at the bar overseeing his staff. I don’t know where “Sabino” came from, but it’s comforting when the owner uses his own name — or at least part of it.

Drink strength: 4.3
Overall: 3.6 

Mario Sabino’s
www.mariosabinos.com
5404 Lemmon Avenue | (214) 599-9744

Specials:
Sunday | after 4 p.m. | $2 house margaritas
Monday-Friday | all day | $3 house drinks (including mojitos), $6 specialty drinks

iron cactus

When Iron Cactus says they have the biggest happy hour in Texas, they aren’t kidding – I think their only rival would be The Oasis on Lake Travis!  Three patios and an inside bar area comprise the happy hour wonderland that is Iron Cactus.  Their drink options include wells, domestics, and margaritas for incredibly reasonable prices … along with half-price appetizers to keep you from floating away. 

While the wait staff is friendly, the service here leaves a little something to be desired but the slow service gives you time to watch the wait staff on the street level patio chasing the pigeons away.  Make sure you ask for chips because your waiter may not bring them automatically and if you ask for an extra lime or ketchup … you better be prepared to wait.

Watch the clock because they won’t give you a last call for happy hour; but you may be able to convince your server to double up your last drink to make the happy hour a little longer.

Drink strength: 3.5 
Overall: 3

Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar
www.ironcactus.com
1520 Main Street | (214) 749-4766

Specials:
Monday-Friday 4-7 p.m. and Monday-Saturday 11 p.m. – close | $3.00 house wines, wells, beers, small margs (rocks or frozen), mexican martinis, Texas tea, 1/2 price appetizers (available throughout the restaurant and not just in the bar!)