706 North State Street
Westerville, Ohio 43082
October 15, 2009
This was not my first time at Las Margaritas as it's fairly close to my neighborhood and is a fallback for us when we've had a busy night and just want to go somewhere close; or when we're craving Mexican and just have to have it NOW. This was both of those occasions. I got home from work fairly late and just didn't have it in me to make dinner. I try not to let this happen too frequently, but it happens. Also, Erik had been craving Mexican for awhile. I figured 2 birds, one stone.
The people at the Westerville Las Margaritas have always been super friendly and this occasion was just the same. We were warmly welcomed and given a booth right away. Chips and salsa were on our table in nanoseconds and we immediately ordered 2 classic margaritas on the rocks, with salt. Long days at work can sometimes only be soothed by classic margaritas in the evening! To me, their margaritas have a nice mix of sweet and sour and are of a good size. I couldn't ask for more.
We also hungrily dug into their chips and salsa. The chips are your typical Mexican restaurant chips, but I really do enjoy the salsa here. It has some kick, but not over the top hot. The tomatoes are crushed and there is always an abundance of fresh cilantro, which is one of my all time favorite herbs. Just the smell of it reminds me of Mexican goodness, street cart tacos, and warm al fresco dining in Mexico by the beach. I enjoy cilantro so much I bet I'd even like it with chocolate! That being said, in any salsa I approve fresh cilantro is a must.
As I looked over the menu and around the restaurant I noticed a few changes had been made since the last time I was there. It looked like the menu was revamped a bit, or at least reorganized, and with this came an increase in price. Entrees that had been around the $8 range were now in the $9 range. A sign of the times, I guess.
But the more peculiar change was in the decor. Around the seats in the middle of the restaurant there used to be a line up of Jarritos bottles (Mexican sodas in various flavors and colors). I didn't love the Mexican soda decor before, but at least it was fitting with the restaurant and it was fun to examine the unique flavors such as tamarind and guava. However, these bottles had been replaced with cans of orange and grape Crush. There were also some Crush posters on the wall. Puzzling? I think yes. This change is lost on me. Possibly Crush is the new sponsor of Las Margaritas? :) I don't know, but if I were them I'd bring those Mexican bottles back.
I didn't have too long to contemplate this before our food was brought out. I simply love how quick and efficient this Mexican restaurants is. I ordered 1 chicken enchilada and one chicken taco a la carte while Erik ordered 1 pork tamale and 1 chicken burrito a la carte. I really enjoyed my enchilada. The interior was a shredded chicken slow cooked with tomatoes and peppers. This was wrapped in a corn tortilla, topped with a red sauce which was flavorful with just a hint of cinnamon, and queso blanco melted on top. The taco was filled with the same chicken filling and then topped with fresh tomato and cheese. I would have preferred the taco to also have a sprinkling of fresh cilantro like is traditionally done in Mexico, but you also know me and cilantro! I would also probably enjoy a side of cilantro to top most everything I eat in a Mexican restaurant. However, the soft flour tortilla that the taco was served in was odd. The size seemed too big for a regular taco. It seemed they took a burrito sized tortilla and just put taco filling in it. Perhaps they were out of the smaller size...
Erik enjoyed his pork tamale, but he wished it was a little bigger. The outer masa mixture was good with a nice texture that was not too soggy nor too dry. The inner pork mixture was equally well cooked. Erik also enjoyed his chicken burrito and was happy they utilized shredded chicken. Overall, this is your typical Mexican restaurant in a strip mall. By far not the worst you could have, but it's worlds above Mexican Bar and Grill in Michigan! It's along the same lines of El Vaquero, but I've never seen a wait here like I have at El Vaq. When Mexican is what you're craving, this spot will work just fine.
Bill Total: 1 chicken enchilada, 1 chicken burrito, 1 chicken taco, 1 pork tamale, 2 classic margaritas on the rocks, and tip= $27.50
Overall Rating: 3 buckeyes