Many in the Biddeford area were thrilled to see a new Mexican restaurant open on Adams Street. The following for this restaurant and bar with fishbowl margaritas grew, and many people were sad when it closed late in 2011.
Then there were murmurings that it would reopen under a new name but maintain the awesome menu and cocktails. The new place was dubbed Los Tapatios, and the restaurant/bar celebrated one year of business at the beginning of April.
I met a high school friend there for drinks on the Thursday the bar was celebrating its birthday.
Natalie and I picked two seats at the bar, and before we were even settled in our seats, servers plopped a basket of tortilla chips and a bowl of salsa in front of us.
We both ordered the house margarita on the rocks with salt. At $7.50 apiece, the drinks — served in a large glass that’s easier to hold with two hands — are a deal.
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, Los Tapatios also has mango, strawberry, raspberry, peach and pomegranate margaritas.
In my opinion, if you’re going to a Mexican restaurant, drinking anything but a margarita seems wrong.
I do understand, though, that some may not like margaritas or may not be in the mood.
Luckily, Los Tapatios has a wide offering of beer by the bottle, seven drafts on tap and a few house wines to try. The bar is also fully stocked with liquors not limited to tequila.
Los Tapatios may be overlooked if you’re not familiar with the area. It’s across from Biddeford’s City Hall on Adams Street. A sign hangs above the door, which is an entrance to a downward staircase to the bar and restaurant below.
With only small windows at the front letting in some daylight, it has a dark setting.
The decor is festive, though, and so is the music.
Typically, Los Tapatios has Mexican-inspired music playing over speakers throughout the space.
In celebration of the restaurant/bar’s anniversary, however, there was a mariachi band playing this night. The guitar-playing duo walked from party to party, singing and playing both spirited and somber tunes with smiles on their faces.
When they came to where Natalie and I sat, they asked if we wanted something upbeat or mellow. I chose upbeat, because after all, this was a celebration. I would be lying if I said the music didn’t make me feel like getting up to dance.
Biddeford isn’t short on Mexican-themed venues (there are three, to be exact), but each offers a different atmosphere.
Los Tapatios seems the most authentic.
It doesn’t hurt that the small venue is well-priced for drinks and food.
Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.