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Add a swirl of mango, peach, pomegranate, sangria, strawberry, or watermelon to your margarita at Shaw’s Patio Bar & Grill. Courtesy Facebook

Since margaritas are so popular here in Texas, pretty much everyone has an opinion on them. Year after year, Joe T. Garcia’s (2201 N Commerce St, 817-626-4356) wins Readers’ Choice for Best Margarita in our annual Best Of edition. However, the critics have their own ideas. In celebration of National Margarita Day on Tue, Feb 22, let’s revisit eight critically acclaimed ’rita makers on the town. Here’s what the critics had to say.

 

1.) Best Margarita 2013 was Chuy’s (2401 W 7th St, Ste 110, 817-332-2489). “Many restaurants and bars rely on a margarita mix that involves a lot of Green Dye No. 6, but not Chuy’s. The Texas-based franchise’s ratio of silver tequila to freshly squeezed lime juice to ice is a closely guarded secret. During happy hour, the frosty beverage is only $3.95, and you also get free queso. Besides two Fort Worth locations, there are also Chuy’s in Arlington and Denton. Visit Chuys.com/locations.”

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2.) Best Margarita 2016 went to El Gabacho Tex-Mex Grill (2408 W Abram St, Arl, 817-276-8160). “There are two special margaritas at El Gabacho worthy of your attention. A skinny, top-shelf spicy cucumber one and a mango variety join the already good original frozen margarita and the sangria swirl. And if you make it to the restaurant before 7pm on weekdays, your original or swirl is only $5.”

 

3.) Best Margarita 2019 was won by Esperanza’s (1601 Park Place Av, 817-923-1961). “Do you want a craft margarita mixed from scratch for north of $12? This is a thorny subject, right? That’s your inalienable right. Three years ago, our critic’s award went to a margarita of the people made by Esperanza’s. This $7.95 gangbuster blends Cazadores Reposado with house mix and is served frozen or on the rocks in a chunky smoked glass. Two of these delicious Diablos will blow your huaraches clean off. After all, that is surely what margaritas are all about.”

 

4.) Best Margarita 2015 winner was Shaw’s Patio Bar & Grill (1050 W Magnolia Av, 817-926-2116). “Continuing in the tradition of excellent margaritas not found at Mexican restaurants, the ones at Shaw’s are for purists. They are not blue or green but cloudy like an overcast day. That’s because they’re made with three simple ingredients: tequila, lime, and a little sweetness. Shaw’s ’ritas also come in pint glasses (salted or not), and the price is right: $4 during happy hour (3-7pm Tue, Thu-Fri) and $5 all day Saturday.”

 

5.) Best Margarita 2018 was won by Taco Heads (1218 Montgomery St, 817-615-9899). “The best margaritas use freshly squeezed juices and good tequila and are equal parts strong and sweet — never cloying or masquerading as a dressed-up shot. No one mixes the most popular cocktail in Texas better than the staff at Taco Heads, whose version is perfectly balanced, fresh-tasting, and reasonably priced for the quality.”

 

6.) Best Restaurant Bar 2021 was a new category won by Tinie’s Mexican Cuisine (113 S Main St, 682-255-5425). “Tequila’s not the easiest spirit to make a cocktail out of, but Tinie’s, famous for its zesty, elegant food, also boasts a creative bar that can serve up a banana-flavored Tónico de Plántano, a Desnuda with chartreuse and Aperol, or a chocolate-tinged Juan Valdez. Or you can just grab a superlative margarita, if the tried-and-true works for you.”

 

7.) Best Margarita 2020 was won by Velvet Taco (2700 7th St, 817-887-9810). “Let’s be real for a minute. If you’re looking for something cheap, strong, and tangy, you can’t go wrong with a margarita from Velvet Taco. During these trying times, the VT staffers are being real and offering margaritas to go, so you can have your tequila and drink it, all while staying responsible and socially distanced.”

 

8.) Best Margarita 2021 for both the readers and the critic was Yucatan Tequila Bar & Grill (909 W Magnolia Av, Ste 10, 682-385-9395). “Light, refreshing, not too acidic, not too sugary, Yucatan has the ideal mainstream margarita if drinking isn’t your side job and just another something to do that’s fun. What we’re probably trying to say is that while it’s certainly not the fanciest margarita in town, it sure does hit the spot. And when you think about it, isn’t your palate the best judge?”

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