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Fresh, Potent Margaritas

I'm dating a woman who loves a good Margarita. So far, I've found the real goods at Barrio Chino & Toloache. Agave & Centrico were OK, but not outstanding. Any thoughts on the following:

SueƱos
Los Dos Molinos
El Rio Grande
Vamos
Zarela
Rosa Mexicano

Food comments also welcome.

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  1. I'm on the same page here with the margaritas. IMO, you won't find a better one than Barrio Chino. But, of that list, I know know that Los Dos Molinos does a solid margarita, and Rosa does a nice job as well.

    El Rio Grande is different. Comparatively, they are the worst on the list. However they are extraordinarily POTENT. Drink two and you're in the bag. I'm convinced they use grain alcohol or something...seriously.

    3 Replies
    1. re: randymac88

      i believe rio grande puts 151 in their margaritas.

      1. re: mch

        Agreed - Rio Grande margaritas taste terrible, are super small, and insanely strong. Two of those is a recipe for disaster.

        My favorite on that list is Zarela. They are really really potent, but fresh and delicious. I always get them on the rocks. After 2 you are quite drunk, but not like Rio Grande-style.

        I will add Paladar - same margs as Zarela with a great happy hour special of half price.

        1. re: stephaniec25

          Thanks for the tip. While we both enjoy a little buzz, I'm not trying to knock her out, so we'll skip Rio Grande.

    2. I like the margaritas at Mercadito - fresh fruit choices or interesting choices like cucumber and hibiscus.

      -----
      Mercadito Cantina
      172 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

      2 Replies
      1. re: YummyInTheCity

        Agreed -- Mercadito has some great flavored ones, and they pack a nice punch as well.

        1. re: YummyInTheCity

          Mercadito are probably my favorite in the city and the food is of equal quality.

        2. they are very good at SUENOS and best of all te place has a great happy hour.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrnyc

            Just went this wkend and was impressed with both the food and drinks. Margaritas were not too sweet, potent to the extent one would expect from a reasonable amount of tequila, well balanced. Food was well-prepared and a nice variety-I highly recommend the goat in banana leaf.

          2. It may be bizarre to recommend a sushi restaurant for a margarita but there is a bartender named Keith who works at the Blue ribbon restaurant in the 6 Columbus hotel and he makes the best margarita!! I stayed at this hotel quite a few times and when I go back, I sit down at the bar and he makes my margarita without even asking! It is not the frozen kind, but the traditional one.

            1. We think the frozen margaritas at Zarela's are excellent. And potent. We also like the margaritas a lot at Maya. Excellent flavors. But, they need more tequila in them, thus likely taking them off the "top list. " I will have try Barrio Chino.

              1 Reply
              1. re: comiendosiempre

                I think the one's at Maya are made with a mix, not fresh lime juice. And you're correct about the tequila, they lack "kick."

              2. IMO El Parador on 34th makes the best margs in the city. Fresh and potent.

                2 Replies
                1. re: princeofpork

                  El Parador is the best, a great little hideaway.... Thats never too crowded.

                  1. re: baldwinwood

                    El parador has been around for 50 years. Craig Claiborne gave it three stars way back when, and the place was always jammed and hopping. I think it's been overlooked these last few years because of it's location, East 34th near the tunnel. I agree about the margaritas, and the food is good as well.

                2. We used to go to El Parador 15 years ago. A very nice host/manager/owner ran the spot. We haven't returned in ages. Is the food still good? Mexican? Or Americanized Tex/Mex, more or less? Thanks.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: comiendosiempre

                    His name was Carlos and he died, I believe, about two years ago. A true gentleman and host.

                  2. Wow, I haven't been to El Parador in ages. Glad to here it is still a solid choice. We wound up at Barrio Chino this time, but thanks to your suggestions, I've got a number of new places for my "must try" list.

                      1. re: UWStoSONO

                        Their food, in my opinion, shared by my wife, is the pits.

                        1. re: Stuartmc910

                          Really? I thought their burritos and guacamole are great and I love their pork chops. Maybe just 2 different tastes.