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Apr 1, 2010 08:38 AM

Dallas needs some Margarita help...

Dear Dallas Mexican Restaurant Owners,

Can we please improve the margartias in this town? Now maybe I don't speak for everyone here, but anyone who has drank their fair share of margaritas in/around First/South Congress in Austin knows of what I speak...

Dallas margaritas, as a whole tend to fit into one of three categories.....

1) Spiked with copious amounts of sweet and sour mix and probably 500+ calories (Looking at you MiCo, Pappasitos, Chuy's, etc.)
2) Skipped the sweet and sour but so tart I leave with heartburn (Looking at you Avilas)
3) Good balance of tart/sweet combination, made with appropriate proportions of good tequila/liquor but costs $13... (Looking at you San Miguel, Javiers)

It would also be nice to have a few places specializing in a decent Mexican Martini (chuy's, you don't count)


Needs a Margarita

3408 N Central Expy, Plano, TX 75074

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  1. Had a really good margarita at Samar last night. It was a little on the sweet side, but, it was the best one I can remember having in a long time.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DallasChowChick

      Yeah, and the passion fruit one is good at SP... but (I assume) both fall into category 3...

      1. re: DarnellErwinFletcher

        Probably, I'm not sure how much they were...but, it was yummy. they muddled limes with sugar as a base.

        1. re: DarnellErwinFletcher

          I too had the muddled margarita last evening at Samar for their inaugral Spring patio fete, and it was a tad bit sweet for my taste. But it was neither expensive nor doused with nasty sweet and sour. It was hand made with silver Patron.

      2. Craving a marg from Casino El Camino, love heading over there during SXSW.

        Was also wondering where I could get a decent Mexican martini around here. I like Cedar Door and Trudy's in Austin.

        1. Margaritas are supposed to be tart.

          7 Replies
          1. re: luniz

            Yes, slightly tart, but what makes a good one, IMO, is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, as well as good ingredients.

            1. re: luniz

              Granted, a good margarita should be tart and sweet..... Just not so tart that you pucker or sweet to the point of cloying. Its a fine line that, as I said before, is delicately walked by more than a handful of spots in Austin.... Just curious why they can't master it here....

              1. re: DarnellErwinFletcher

                In my travels across the city I am finding wonderful (for a lack of better words) mixologists. Check out the finer bars and pubs like the Windmill, the Porch, the new Neighborhood Services on Henderson and its soon to be opened next door neighbor from Austin, J Black Lounge. These will host fabulous bartenders actually skilled in the craft of mixing cocktails rather than pouring premixed sludged laced with bad liquors.

                Neighborhood Services
                5027 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX

                1. re: DallasDude

                  DD, I agree wholeheartedly about the improvements on the local cocktail scene. Four fingers of fury at the orginal Neighborhood Services is fantastic and just about anything off the Mansion's drink list is amazing (just to add one other)....

                  However, on the occasion I find myself in need of a margarita to go with some standard tex-mex there isn't a single place in town that fills the need. Next time you are in Austin go check out Polvos (good food too) and grab a Mexican Martini... it'll ruin you for good on Dallas Mex-Marg scene....

                  Neighborhood Services
                  5027 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX

                  1. re: DallasDude

                    Gonna have to go check out Windmill Lounge.... looks interesting.

                    1. re: DarnellErwinFletcher

                      have recently become quite enamoured by the bartender/ owner, Charlie. Never ceases to amaze me with his vast knowledge. Last week, me and a few pals were pining for the absinthe that we had tried at the Absinthe Lounge a few months prior, and Charlie pulls out this clunky absinthe device left over from what had to be WWI and had a few choices of the liquor to sample. Couple that along with a delightful story, he made the evening.

                      Mention my (real) name if you go in for a small chuckle.

                      For the mods: I am not a friend, but rather a patron of the place. And just about every other bar and restaurant in Dallas. ;)

                      Absinthe Lounge
                      1409 S Lamar St, Dallas, TX 75215

                  2. re: DarnellErwinFletcher

                    Man...I couldn't agree more with the OP's point. Marg really do stink here. That Mico Mambo Taxi-Man or what ever has to be the most overhyped cocktail in this town. i have to make them at home to do them right. Help, People help.

                2. Agave Azul has the best margaritas that we've found.

                  They also have a huge tasting menu of tequilas if that's an interest.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Webra1

                    What Webra1 said! Agave Azul in Carrollton is the real deal for margaritas.

                    I have found that most margaritas served north of the border tend to be overly sugary. The best margarita I've ever had was served in a small frosted glass - no ice - and had just a whisper of sweetness to contrast with the cool, tart Mexican limes - that was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

                    Agave Azul is the closest thing I've found to that ideal on this side of the Rio Grande.

                    1. re: Ken_in_Carrollton

                      I totally agree with OP. I became so disenchanted with Dallas margaritas (except for a couple around town that I am fond of for nostalgic reasons rather than actual taste) that I just decided to make them myself and I have been extremely satisfied. A proper margarita should be made when it is ordered and nothing should be premixed. I realize this is unrealistic for high volume establishments’ “house rita”, but it should be an option for the discerning. The key is quality ingredients and that is why the best in town cost an arm and a leg.
                      I have spent some time is Austin like some of you and after some experimentation with a group of eager volunteer judges and online consultation; I determined that these are the factors that separate the true contenders from the wannabes:
                      Use agave nectar instead of simple syrup, fresh squeezed limes (NEVER any lime juice concoction), 100% de Agave Tequila (blanco or reposado rather than anejo), high quality triple sec (I prefer Cointreau). Only salt the OUTSIDE of the glass rim if salted at all. I prefer them strong in a chilled glass with no ice and no salt.
                      I’d like to see this served in a restaurant:
                      2 parts tequila
                      1 part fresh squeezed lime juice
                      1 part Cointreau
                      ½ part agave nectar
                      Shake this with Ice and strain into a chilled glass with no Ice. If it is too strong, serve it over ice and add a little water to taste. Not sweet enough? Add a little more agave nectar. Throw in a little orange juice and a little olive juice and serve with olives for a Mexican martini.

                      1. re: fixer

                        Leave out the totally unnecessary agave nectar (the orange liqueur provides all the necessary sweetness) and make sure the rim is heavily salted and I'm right there with ya.

                  2. Spent some time at both the Porch and neighborhood services tavern this weekend. Either place can hand craft a cocktail as simple as a margarita, and expect something wonderful.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DallasDude

                      i agree with all of the assertions about the dallas margarita. i also have come up with a solution so obvious, you'll never be able to drink a regular margarita again.

                      i just order a double in a short glass. drink one of those for every 2 margaritas you would drink. for me that's usually one.

                      the end result is it tastes 100x bertter, i drink the same amount of tequila as if i'd gotten 2 normal ritas, pay the same price, injest 50% less sugar, and i feel better the next day because i have space in my belly to down a full water or two.