We have had the opportunity to dine at three different Mexican restaurants in the last few weeks. I guess that since it has now been three months since we returned from our Mexican vacation we must have had a craving for Mexican. We visited Las Margaritas on 4th, Don Guacamoles on Robson and Ponchos on Denman. We have written about Los Margaritas before but did not at the time have other Mexican experiences in Vancouver to compare it to.
I will mention Poncho’s briefly but it was by far the least impressive of the three. The food was average at best and was more likely reheated from frozen or a package then made fresh and from scratch. The service is pretty good but the Margarita was made with some type of lime mixture from a bottle and too much of it at that. With at least two other options for Mexican close by we will not likely give it another try.
Now when comparing Las Margaritas to Don Guacamoles I first have to say that even though they are both Mexican restaurants they are significantly different. The menu at Don Guacamoles is much more reflective of the food that we usually find on the West Coast of Mexico. They do not use ground beef and cheese is not a main ingredient in most dishes. The complimentary chips were served with green and red sauce as well as salsa. The red sauce had a smoky, bbq flavor which was unique but I did not care for it. I ordered the Sopes which again was served exactly like those which I have had in Mexico, with pulled chicken, avocado and sour cream and with feta cheese as a garnish. Jeff had the chicken burrito covered in red sauce which had a bit too much sauce and not enough cheese for his liking but again was very traditionally Mexican. There was a good selection of Mexican beers and the Margarita was good but not great. It was interesting that many of the other patrons in the restaurant were ordering and speaking with the staff in Spanish. While this meal did remind us much more of our trips to Mexico and it is very close to home we may be back but we still prefer Las Margaritas.
The menu at Las Margaritas offers both Mexican dishes and those that we in Canada think are Mexican, but it also gives diners the options of Caesar salad and spicy wings. This time I chose the Enchilada Suiza which was filled with chicken, chills, cheese and onions and topped with a cream sauce and Jeff ordered the Burrito with ground beef. While not meals that we would normally find in Mexico, who cares, both were delicious. But the real reasons that we love the place are that the Classic Margarita is fantastic; the salsa is spectacular; the outdoor patio, while partially on a busy street, is cozy and comfortable; the food is always fresh, hot and tasty and at the same time the service is usually pretty good. We will be back again soon!
Any other Mexican you recommend in downtown Vancouver?