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There’s no shortage of good margaritas in this region. The Mexican restaurant scene in this city is packed with delicious options. And the variety is ever-evolving, from guava to melon to Skinny margaritas. Here are a few stellar options.
Since 2005, mother and son Maria and Jesus Perches have been pleasing throngs of hungry customers. Here’s something few restaurants can boast: the tortillas are made from scratch every day and you can taste the difference. They practically melt in your mouth.
They have a great classic margarita, but also serve margarita flights — perfect for people who like to try new things. You can order four options on a flight, and they have a nice lineup of flavors. Some favorites include prickly pear, guava, passion fruit, pineapple and watermelon. The margarita flights are light and not very strong.
This restaurant features authentic Mexican food from different regions. There’s a nice selection of tacos from tongue and beef cheeks to the incredible barbacoa and al pastor.
Find it: 1601 W. Sunshine St., in the Elfindale Center, Springfield; (417) 864-8195; or visit Tortilleria Perches’ website
Where can you find a huge selection of margarita flavors with a presentation that is Instagram-worthy?
At Flaming Margaritas in Branson.
Samuel Balgic, a 23-year-old Turkish immigrant, owns the establishment, which serves margaritas that come to your table ablaze.
“In a shiny tourist town, I knew tourists wanted an experience, something they can take pictures of and share online, something that becomes part of their vacation experience,” Balgic said.
The concept of setting cocktails on fire isn’t new, but building an entire restaurant around that concept was, he said.
“It’s like an adult birthday candle,” Balgic said.
There are 40 margaritas on the menu, plus you can customize and blend your own. Have a hankering for the tropics? He offers mango, passion fruit or guava flavors.
Since his menu is built around margaritas, Balgic said it was important to him to offer quality drinks. He doesn’t use sour mix; the cocktails are made with fresh lime juice, a hint of fresh orange, Grand Marnier and good quality tequila. The fruit flavors are also not out of a bottle, but made with fruit purees. He uses organic amber agave instead of syrups or sugar.
One of his best sellers is the strawberry champagne: It’s a strawberry margarita topped off with a baby bottle of bubbly, making the drink effervescent.
Another popular one is the Coronarita: a traditional lime margarita with a Corona flipped upside down in it.
Find it: 3015 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson; (417) 544-0607; or visit Flaming Margaritas’ website
Primas Mexican Kitchen
Primas Mexican Kitchen has been a staple in Springfield since 1986. Started by Martin Hernandez, there have been different locations over the years, but it is still family-run. His daughter, Marisa Rutherford, says they feature a different specialty tequila every day, giving customers a chance to sample a higher-end tequila at a lower price if they want.
The Cadillac margarita is a classic, featuring Patron tequila, triple sec and Grand Marnier. Rutherford’s personal favorite is the mango banana. There are fun flavors like melon, too. On Mondays, they offer $1 off any margarita.
If you need a snack while you throw back a drink, she recommends the flauta dippers, which are stuffed with shredded chicken, wrapped in flour tortillas, fried and served with a roasted pepper ranch sauce they make. Everything is made in-house, from the beans to the fajita seasonings, and the menu varies from authentic Mexican to Tex-Mex.
Find it: 3662 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, (417) 890-1212; 5557 N. 21st St., Ozark, (417) 582-2776; or visit Primas Mexican Kitchen’s website
Owner Maria Valdovinos has been in the restaurant industry for decades. She opened Jose Locos in 2013 on North Glenstone, then another location on Battlefield, which has since closed. Recently, she bought the building next to hers and moved the restaurant to the former Doe’s Eat Place. It has all the same charm, delicious food, more space and marvelous margaritas.
Jose Locos is one of the few women-owned Mexican restaurants in town.
Their margaritas are big, delicious, perfectly potent and more of a classic style. There are flavor options, but the lime is hard to beat. The margaritas are very smooth and go down easy.
The menu at this restaurant is extensive — including eight vegetarian plates. If it’s your first time, it may take you a while to decide. Taco Tuesdays here are popular, with $2 ground beef or shredded chicken tacos in hard or soft shells. The service is fast and the food is delicious.
Find it: 935 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, (417) 831-1300; or find Jose Locos on Facebook
If you’re looking for a Skinny Margarita, head to La Paloma.
Their Skinny margarita is wonderful. It’s made with fresh lime juice and orange juice, tequila, Grand Marnier and organic agave. This drink is also a good option for anyone who doesn’t like sour mix or wants a more natural product. If that sounds like too much orange flavor, then opt for the Skinny Girl margarita, which does not have orange juice. The Skinny Girl is a newer addition and it’s one of their top sellers.
With 35 margaritas on the menu, variety is king. If you like something sweet, try the black cherry, blueberry, or pineapple coconut. For a sweet and sour balance, there’s passion fruit, cucumber, lychee and pomegranate.
As far as the menu, if you appreciate sauces, this is a must-try.
They are known for their sauces, which were created specifically for their menu by chef Armando Cobian. Their signature sauces include sweet corn cream sauce (known as sopa de elote), spinach cream sauce, ranch chipotle, mole poblano (one of the best), and six-pepper cream sauce.
The mole poblano enchiladas are fantastic. But a favorite is the chicken and spinach enchiladas, smothered in a roasted poblano and spinach cream sauce with queso fresco, roasted peppers and sour cream, served with a side of their fragrant rice.
La Paloma features unique menu items — like lamb chops and salmon— and is a little more upscale and gourmet.
Find it: 3014 E. Sunshine St, Springfield, (417) 719-4484; 1425 W. Battlefield Rd. Springfield, (417) 889-2985; or visit La Paloma’s website
Springfield Brewing Company
There’s a new addition to the margarita lineup in town, and it’s not a Mexican restaurant.
Springfield Brewing Company released margarita flights on National Margarita Day in February and they were a hit. The flights are back and available through May 29. There are some new flavors, too. You can order desert pear, raspberry, peach, kiwi, strawberry and watermelon jalapeño.
Here is what makes these so unique: the agave spirit in these drinks was brewed in Springfield at Ty Iechyd Da Distillery. Order a classic flight and it is made with blanco agave spirit; the Cadillac flight features the Reposado, which is aged for 11 months; and the Mercedes flight is concocted with the Anejo. It’s fun to drink local, and a flight allows you to sample three different flavors.
Find it: 305 South Market Ave., Springfield; (417) 832-8277; or visit Springfield Brewing Company’s website
Cesar’s Old Mexico
It didn’t take long for this spot to become crowded when it opened in 2015. Granted, the original space was tiny, and the restaurant expanded and moved, but there is still often a wait at Cesar’s. Owner Cesar Ortiz has worked in the industry for more than two decades and has a following. They are known for their food, particularly the mouth-watering pupusas (an El Salvadorian specialty from his wife), but people also love the margaritas.
The expression “one and done” was made for these drinks. One is all you need because they have a kick. The lime is delicious, but they also have flavors like guava, watermelon, peach, raspberry, strawberry, mango, pineapple and pomegranate. The jumbo is only $1 more, FYI. The ambiance is fun, too.
Find it: 2627 E. Sunshine St., (417) 881 8252; or visit Cesar’s Old Mexico’s website