Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Margaritas Jalisco

 I was finally able to try the newest Mexican restaurant in Topeka: Margaritas Jalisco. It's right across from Washburn's campus on 17th Street and has been open for two months. The location was closed for years and I'm happy to see it's finally re-opened and this time as a Mexican restaurant pretty close to my house.

Guacamole Mexicana
The atmosphere is warm and inviting, especially on a cold day. The walls are painted bright shades of yellow and orange. Various shaped gourds are arranged around the room. The building has been slightly remodeled with an added wall in the middle. The bar is still on the west side with booths set up around the rest of the walls and tables scattered throughout the room.

The server brought chips and salsa immediately. The chips were good, not the thin, greasy ones you sometimes get. These were thicker and fried fresh. The salsa was thick and pureed, with a noticeable cilantro flavor that I love.  It wasn't spicy so I could scoop quite a bit on my chip -- I'm pretty sensitive to spicy food and this wasn't spicy in the least, but it still had good flavor.

Chips and salsa
When I try new Mexican restaurants I always like to order the guacamole and this time I chose the Guacamole Mexicana. I must admit, I assumed I knew what I was ordering but when it came out it was something completely different. What I thought I was getting was mashed guacamole with pico de gallo added to it. Nope. What I got was chunks of avocado marinated in lime juice with pico de gallo and grilled jalapeƱos on top. It reminded me of a deconstructed guac and I loved it. The grilled fresh jalapeƱos were crispy on top of the smooth avocado and crunchy tomatoes and onions. If you like guacamole you gotta try this dish, it was one I'll be ordering again.

The only thing I don't really understand is the green tomato. 
Normally, I order a chimichanga or burrito but tonight I was feeling like something different. For my entree I got cheese enchiladas smothered in a red sauce with bell peppers and pork. It was served with a guacamole salad (small scoop of guac, lettuce and tomato) and rice. The rice was some of the best I've found here in town, soft with just enough seasoning and none of those hard peas and carrots that I usually pick out. This was just rice and I loved it. The enchiladas were stuffed with white stringy cheese (YUM!) and the sauce on top was tangy. I only wish there was more pork because it was so good. The pulled pork was not greasy or overdone and complimented the dish nicely, but like I said before, I wish there was more. I loved the cheese, even though I'm not supposed to eat it. But if I am going to take a chance and eat cheese, it better be good cheese. This made the cut.

The service was fast and friendly. There are specials every day, which, being right across from Washburn University is a necessity. Hopefully students will go there and the place will stay open because I enjoyed it and plan to return.