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Monday, April 28, 2008 at 9:25 am

Margarita's gets more blogger kudos

post by Howard Owens in margarita's, mexican food, tourists

Recently, we did a post in praise of Margarita's carne sada tacos.

Today, we come across the blog post of a traveler who stopped in Batavia and found herself at Margarita's.

So you look through the list, and you think about a few things. You think about the fact that you're wearing your Patriots jersey still, and whether or not you want to walk into a sports bar in New York. You think about the notion that your husband is from Dublin, and whether or not you want to know what an Upstate Irish Pub might turn out to look like. You think about whether you ever, ever, ever again want to eat at Applebee's.

Then you take a deep breath, and you go to Margarita's.

And do you know where it turns out you can get the best Mexican food north of the Rio Grande?

Batavia, New York.

Who would'a thunk it?

Well, I'm not sure I'd go that far.  There's a lot of land immediately north of the Rio Grande and it's well populated with Mexicans.  Though, Margarita's darn good and we'll probably have our launch party there Thursday.

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 7:24 pm

Street tacos found in Batavia

post by Howard Owens in dining, margarita's, mexican food, restaurants, tacos

During our years as residents in San Diego, my wife and I developed a strong preference for "street tacos".

You might say, street tacos are a Tijuana delicacy. If you visit any town immediately south of the San Diego border, you can buy street tacos.

Where you do you get street tacos?  On the street, of course. In New York, you find hot dog stands on many corners.  In Tijuana, there are taco stands.  What they serve mainly are grilled steak (spiced and called carne asada), tomato, white onion and cilantro piled on two small corn tortillas -- adding anything else to a street taco is like making a martini with vodka instead of gin ... it's just not as good, not as pure (and absolutely forget chocolate or apple).

A lime on the side is nice, but not required.

Of course, throughout most of California you can find many restaurants and taco stands that serve street tacos.  In New York, not so much.

The closest thing we've found so far (after much searching in the Rochester area) is at Margarita's on Jackson.  Printed on Margarita's menu is an item called tacos de asada.  When ordered, you receive two or three (I've been there twice -- got two once, three the first time) tacos -- double corn tortillas piled with carne asada.  The tomatoes and onions are served on the side with green sauce.  To get a true street taco, you must carefully fork out the onion and tomato, leaving the green sauce behind.  There is no cilantro. :-(

That said, I'm very happy I found Margarita's.

Here's one of the great things about Batavia (among many we've found so far) -- lots of family owned, non-chain restaurants. We've been to three of them so far (Margarita's, Jackson Street Grill and Central BBQ) and they've all been a treat.

There's nothing particularly wrong with chains, of course. They have their place and serve their purpose, but nothing beats a good meal at an independent restaurant.  Here's to hoping the city leaders act responsibly to protect Batavia's family restaurants.  They are important to a community's identity and help give it it's own flavor.

Leave your restaurant recommendations in the comments. I want to try them all.

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