Jason Lee’s character in 1999’s Dogma may have been a fictional demon who murders a homemaker just to use her HVAC system, but he perfectly describes my feelings about North Texas summers: “No pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater than central air.”
No matter how hot it gets, I can’t realistically suggest we shift all happy hours to the various snow cone stands in Fort Worth. Problematically, bars with boozy frozen drinks tend to prominently feature patio seating, which at this time of year warrants a flip of my sunburned middle finger and a hard pass.
But what is a frozen margarita if not a boozy snow cone anyway? The heavily air-conditioned Los Jimadores Tex-Mex Tequila Factory is my choice supplier for icy blender drinks that come in a rainbow of fruit flavors, including mango, strawberry, peach, raspberry, pomegranate, watermelon, tamarind, guava, chamoy, and passion fruit.
If you haven’t yet visited this River Oaks restaurant or its locations in Bedford and North Richland Hills, it may seem an odd recommendation for happy hour or a weekend drinking excursion. The Fort Worth building that Los Jimadores occupies was originally a Bonanza, then became River Oaks Steak House, and then spent a very short time as Mile 26 Bar & Grill, but don’t let the ample parking and wagon wheel wooden benches out front fool you. The space has morphed into a damn delightful restaurant and bar.
Logically, a joint with “tequila” in the name should offer an agave-focused spirits menu, and the owners of Los Jimadores clearly take pride in the contents of their concoctions. Different kinds of tequila are paired with their ideal complementary ingredients, instead of going all in on one brand as is typical in similar establishments. You will find Maestro Dobel, El Jimador, Cazadores, Olmeca Altos, Casa Noble, Milagro, Patron, and many other premium labels employed in Los Jimadores drinks. The shocking part is how the bar manages to employ these brands and keep the prices between $5 and $9.
When I asked our bartender for something more tart than sweet, she recommended the Skinny Margarita. Her suggestion of the bright and tangy combination of Cointreau, El Jimador tequila, and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime was spot on.
Aside from the ample outstanding versions of the traditional margaritas, there are a few items I would urge you to experiment with at Los Jimadores. The Spicy Margarita is made with fresh serrano peppers and lives up to its moniker without losing flavor. The Jima Bomba is ideal if you can’t decide between a Mexican beer or a blender drink, but I would strongly recommend trying the Herradura Italian Margarita and not just because of my heritage. In this riff on the classic recipe, the triple sec is swapped out for Gran Gala, an Italian brandy infused with sweet, juicy Sicilian oranges.
Combine Los Jimadores’ complimentary chips and red salsa, the rich and flavorful bean dip, and icy cold drinks into one visit, and you won’t find a better summer setup for the price. Send my regards to the snow cone shack, but I’ll be keeping it cool on the northside of town for a bit.
Los Jimadores Tex-Mex Tequila Factory
4335 River Oaks Blvd, FW. 817-625-0999.