May 6, 2013

Bar Guide: Margaritas keeps it festive beyond Cinco de Mayo

The bar is brightly colored and decked out with Mexican-style flare.


Margaritas Mexican Restaurant has Mexican cuisine down, with multiple locations in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. One of my favorite spots to visit, though, is the Brown Street location in Portland.

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Jeff DiGiovanni, a bartender at Margaritas on Brown Street in Portland, presents a Coronarita, one of the more than a dozen types of margaritas the restaurant serves. Its happy hour specials include $1 baby chimis and $3 nachos.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer


WHERE: 11 Brown St., Portland

PHONE: 774-9398


HOURS: 4 to 11 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday; 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday to Saturday

PARKING: On street. Margaritas also supplies one free sticker for any city parking garage upon request.



SPECIALS: Happy hour 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays includes $5 After Work Margaritas, $4 20-ounce Dos Equis drafts, $2.50 20-ounce Bud Light drafts, $2 Tecate cans, $1 baby chimis and $3 nachos. Wednesday night is college night, with one free entree for every two students who bring in a school ID, and trivia from 7 to 9 p.m.

SCENE: It's a Mexican fiesta all the time.

I have to be honest and say that whenever I've gone to Margaritas, it's been for a house margarita. However, the bar offers so much more.

Margaritas has 15 flavored margaritas. I've tried the Lime in the Coconut version, which is almost like pina colada meets margarita, but on the rocks.

In addition to the house margarita and flavored versions, you can opt for different tequilas in your beverage. Not a tequila aficionado? Not to worry -- Margaritas' menu breaks tequila types down step by step.

The bar offers gold, blanco plata, reposado, anejo and extra anejo tequilas, matured anywhere from six to 12 years.

The bar also offers three beers on tap, including Bud Light, Sam Adams and Dos Equis Amber. A wider array of beer is available by the bottle.

The martini menu offers traditional options and fancy twists such as the Cotton Candy martini. And if you're a wine lover, the bar offers red and white options plus two refreshing sangrias, including white peach and red berry.

The bar itself is brightly colored and decked out with Mexican-style flare. Patrons can grab seats around a horseshoe-shaped bar or at various tables in the lounge area.

Having joined coworkers for many a happy hour here, I can say it's also great for groups of any size. Not to mention that happy hour $1 baby chimis and $3 nachos are perfect to munch on while grabbing a post-work drink.

Margaritas has been gearing up for this first week of May for a while, because Cinco de Mayo is on Sunday. Let's hope you've recovered from St. Patrick's Day weekend enough to join in. Margaritas is taking Cinco de Mayo by storm, with five days of festivities.

The Bash with the 'Stache -- which started Wednesday night and continues through Sunday -- is billed as "five days of tequila, moustaches and awesome."

Thursday night, there's a Noche Mexicana fundraiser, in which 15 percent of patrons' checks will be donated to a local organization.

Friday is a beefed-up version of the regular Margaritas After Work, and Saturday continues festivities right into Cinco de Mayo on Sunday.

If you don't have a sombrero or haven't had time to grow out a Mexican-style moustache, I think you'll still be welcome to join the festivities this weekend and all year long.

I've seen firsthand that the more you frequent Margaritas, the more the staff takes time to know you and your drinks. They're pretty good about keeping up the pace during a busy happy hour and keeping your glass filled.

Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.


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