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Sep 17, 2014
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Drink this Weekend Edition: Finding Margaritaville west of I-170

November 16th 05:11pm, 2012

Craving salt, lime and a heavy dash of tequila? Used to be that the real deal could only be found on Cherokee Street or in North County. Now, you can find a solid margarita at a handful of cocktail lounges around town. But among Mexican restaurants this year, two places have emerged as ones worth the while when you’ve got that taste for tequila.

Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina recently opened on the northern edge of the Saint Louis Galleria in the former Houlihan’s space. Vida is an excellent spot to fuel an affection for agave, as more than 120 different tequilas sit on a sleek shelf, hovering over the bar. Work your way through some fine results of blue agave distillation by ordering a blanco, reposado or añejo tequila flight (pictured). The margarita offerings are likewise many: the signature Vida marg, skinny, frozen or up-scaled versions. If you come with like-minded, thirsty amigos, the “shareables” section on the drink menu makes ordering easy; just split a margarita pitcher or a batch of freshly prepared white or red sangria.

A lesser known place that deserves attention is Fiesta Modern Mexican Cuisine, which opened this past May. If you dismiss restaurants located in strip malls, in this case at 185 Hilltown Village Center in Chesterfield, you would miss out on a superior house margarita as well as the slow-paced, neighborhood tavern vibe in the small bar area. As with Vida, margaritas at Fiesta are made to please any palate: from traditional to low-cal to top-shelf to frozen and flavored. I was pleasantly surprised to find this cocktail on tap (and balanced to boot). And if you hold the opinion that a foreign language spoken by the staff at an ethnic restaurant is a mark of authenticity, note that you can waste away in Margaritaville while chatting in Spanish with the friendly employees and owners of this indie operation.

— Photo courtesy of Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina

 

By Ligaya Figueras

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