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Jun 5, 2010 06:09 PM

Opinions on a $11.00 House Margarita at El Sarape in Blue Bell

Let me start by saying I have no problem paying $11.00 for a nice glass of wine or an oversized dirty martini with plenty of olives. However, I did not feel compelled to qualify the price of a house margarita from a restaurant decorated with butcher paper table tops located in a strip mall in Blue Bell.

Don't get me wrong the atmosphere was very nice and my food was very good but my two house margaritas cost just $4 less than than my center cut filet mignon entree. I know the old saying about if you have to ask you probably cannot afford it but I did specifically ask for a basic margarita because I did not want top shell. After a discussion with the waiter who apologized for the pricing I spoke with the manager. The manager said they they do not believe in cheap tequila, that they have a margarita menu which I should have asked to see it and that Blue Bell does command the same price as downtown.

I am curious about what other people think? Perhaps I have the wrong idea about what mixed drinks should cost in the burbs. There was nothing special about my drinks and if I was told the house drinks were $11 dollars I would have ordered a differently. I will never go back there again and I hope to give others a heads up.

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  1. My first question is the size of the drink. I've had Margaritas served in teensie pony glasses (remember Johnny Cross just up the road?) and have also had small swimming pools of rich tequila and freshly squeezed complements on a glass stem that had me wishing for a designated driver after two sips.

    The Margarita is probably more open to interpretation than any other mixed drink. I welcome your discussion, Hounds. But thanks for the heads up.


    1. Well, I do not think that it is a question of center city vs. burbs pricing, I think that is expensive anywhere! That said you should go asbout a half mile down the road to Tamarindos where margaritas are always free. And they probably do use cheap tequila there but who cares its free!!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: AmblerGirl

        I agree with AmblerGirl, I just got back from Tamarindos where I shared an appitizer with my sister and had a wonderful chicken with Mole and their free margaritas!! A great night out for $24 including tip!!

      2. John and I went there about three years ago right around this time of year. I was paying (ulp) and we were celebrating something or other. John had never had a margarita before and I was insisting that he try one. I did ask how much they were before I ordered a pair of them. Back then they were ten dollars each. I kind of regretted shooting my big mouth off but after telling the waiter I'd let him know in a minute, John and I had a quick discussion. I told John we could get the two drinks and split a nice appetizer or two or get dinner and get an iced tea or water. Of course we both decided we would rather have the big margaritas. :) We were seated outside and it was a lovely evening. It felt kind of surreal sipping the big drinks and looking out on the traffic ebbing and flowing with the traffic light . Key Biscayne it wasn't. John and I had a great time but we haven't been back.

        1. I don't know about 'burbs vs. city, but $11 doesn't strike me as outrageous for a good margarita made from quality ingredients. I'm sure I've paid that many times for mixed drinks. I generally don't go out in the burbs because I enjoy the restaurants in the city more. My experience in general is that restaurants in the suburbs are priced similarly to the city, but the food isn't as good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

            That's been my experience as well. Sigh.

            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

              "restaurants in the suburbs are priced similarly to the city, but the food isn't as good."

              Bingo! In fact some restaurants, like Ekta, actually charge more for the same item in their suburban location than they do in the city.

            2. Even with top shelf tequila and Cointreau I think $11 is way overpriced for a Margarita. For comparison, the house Margarita at Distrito in the city is $10.

              2 Replies
              1. re: isadorasmama

                The house margarita at Distrito is Sauza Hornitos Plata tequila, and it's not that big. I don't know much about tequila. but I know that it's good but not top shelf, as they offer two "better' margaritas.

                1. re: barryg

                  Also, can i just say that bigger does not equal better. With cocktails, large glasses get warmer quicker and the ice dilutes flavors.

                  In general, I don't get this whole complaining about prices. If you think it's too expensive don't order it. If you're right, everyone else is doing the same and the resto will lower prices. If not, then someone thinks that drink/meal is worth that price, let them pay it and you can go wherever you think the prices match the food (which someone else may think is too expensive).

                  In this case you didn't know the price, but you should've asked what the price was before ordering. I don't mean to come off as hostile, I've made the mistake of ordering specials and then finding out they cost twice as much as everything else. But instead of railing against the restaurant, I just learnt my lesson, nowadays I ask the price before ordering - fool me once, etc etc.