Paco's Tacos & Tequila
The bar is central at Paco’s Tacos & Tequila in South Park. It features more than 100 tequilas, several wines and a selection of beers from Texas, Mexico and North Carolina. Paco’s drink philosophy is simple: tequila is a unique and versatile spirit that can be served neat and blends well in cocktails. If you’re not ready for some tequila straight up, order the manzarita, made with El Jimador Reposado, apple cider, housemade sour mix, lemon juice and fresh apple chunks, and finished with a dusting of cinnamon. It tastes like apple pie in a glass.
La Paz at the Metropolitan
La Paz Restaurant and Cantina has been a staple in the Charlotte restaurant scene since it opened its doors in 1979. Thirty-six years and three locations later, La Paz is still serving up traditional Mexican food and cold margaritas, with different margaritas, ranging from traditional (made with a secret recipe) to a sweet and tart pomegranate margarita made with Herradura Reposado tequila,
pomegranate liqueur, triple sec, sour mix and a splash of orange juice. Texicali Taco & Tequila Bar Texicali Taco & Tequila Bar is all about Tex-Mex and Gulf Shore cuisine. Their focus on fun is reflected in their drink list as well. The bar is stocked with 30 different varieties of tequila as well as a variety of creative cocktails. Wash your tacos down with the machete, which is made with Olmeca ltos Reposado, Licor 43, house sours and squeezed-to-order orange juice.
Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina
With a focus on fresh ingredients, not only in the food but also behind the bar, you won’t find any prepackaged, bottled mixers in Vida’s drinks. Try Vida’s partita, which combines three simple ingredients: Jose Cuervo, fresh-squeezed lim juice and organic agave nectar to produce a highquality cocktail. If you’re not in the mood for a margarita, Vida serves over 100 different tequilas (including some hard-to-find ones) for your sipping or shooting pleasure.
Cantina 1511 opened its doors with the promise to serve Charlotte delicious Mexican fare. Order an orange Tijuana taxi, one of Cantina’s most popular margaritas, made with Cazadores Reposado, blood orange puree, Gran Gala (a triple orange liqueur), fresh lime juice and housemade sour mix, with a balance of sweet and citrus flavors that go perfectly with chips and spicy salsa.
1900 Mexican Grill
Central Mexico’s markets inspire the food and hospitality at 1900 Mexican Grill, which serves authentic dishes made with fresh ingredients. Sip on 50 hand-selected tequilas and mezcals or order an original handcrafted margarita. Have the “cantinero” bartender) mix you up a roasted jalapeño margarita, made with Espolon Blanco, fire-roasted jalapeño, watermelon puree and fresh lime.
Chrissie Nelson is a local Charlotte food blogger. You can find her Charlotte restaurant reviews and other musings on her blog, Off the Eaten Path, at offtheeatenpathblog.com
This article ran in the February 2015 issue of Charlotte Happenings.