La Margarita - An Affordable Mexican Vacation!

Review by Bonnie

I begin this review with a full disclaimer: I have been a regular customer of La Margarita Co. Restaurant since Pedro Rosales opened the doors in 1984. With its friendly atmosphere, unique mesquite grilled menu items and the best Cadillac Margaritas in town, the restaurant has long been my “Cheers”—my eatery of choice in Salem.

When La Margarita recently closed for a week for minor remodeling and new menu development, I confess I was a little concerned…a week without La Margarita? A new look? A new menu? Was my restaurant about to undergo changes that would eliminate the wonderful feeling of home away from home?

No need to fear. While the week of withdrawal was a little rough, the comfortable atmosphere and the new menu (old favorites combined with exciting additions) were worth the wait. The new look manages to be a bit more streamlined and sophisticated while still maintaining a wonderfully comfortable ambiance. The message remains “we’re glad you’re here…settle in for a great meal and outstanding service.”

And a great meal is indeed served at La Margarita. Hot, crisp tortilla chips and a variety of salsas arrive within minutes of being seated, along with an inquiry about the diner’s drink of choice. I highly recommend the Cadillac Margarita for the adult crowd and my grandson assures me the Roy Rogers is a hit with the younger folks. With nine new dishes on the menu, there’s a nice variety to choose from: old favorites like the much beloved Enchilada Suizas (LM’s signature dish filled with mesquite grilled chicken topped with their famous Mexican style cream sauce) and my current new favorite—Pollo Chipotle, a perfectly mesquite grilled chicken breast topped with a chipotle-tequila salsa with mushrooms, cilantro, onions and cream, served with fresh homemade tortillas. Seafood entrees, tacos, burritos, fajitas, carne asada dishes…all are prepared expertly and presented while still hot and steaming from the open kitchen by an outstanding group of servers.

And about that outstanding service…most of Pedro’s staff has worked there almost as long as I’ve been enjoying the restaurant. They are an important part of the restaurant’s family and obviously take a lot of pride and ownership in how the restaurant greets and serves their customers. Repeat customers quickly become part of that family, greeted by name, and settled comfortably into what has to be the most affordable mini-vacation to Mexico around. With the friendly and professional service, the most unique and best Mexican food in town, and tasty libations, La Margarita will continue to be my restaurant of choice in Salem—one that I recommend without reservations…although on busy Friday and Saturday nights, a reservation might well be in order. 

La Margarita is located at 545 Ferry Street in downtown Salem, open for lunch Monday through Saturday and open for dinner seven nights a week.


Transfers in Mexico said...

The restaurant is gorgeous is gorgeous! I went there last week. I recommend this place to have a great meal!

Madison Compton - Mexico Tours

Anonymous said...

I'll have to give the place a visit for dinner. I've been there several times for lunch since I work near there and the food is OK and the service is slow. Maybe dinner is the better option.

tracylee said...

I hadn't been there in a few years. I used to go all the time when I worked really close to the restaurant. My Mom, Sister and Nephew were headed to do some shopping and Sis wanted Mexican near downtown. We met up there just after they opened at 11 am. I had no problem finding a parking spot on the street.

Service was excellent as the place began to fill with the lunch crowd. I had my usual cheese enchilada with black beans, and ate almost all of them with an extra order of chips. Sis and Nephew split an order of nachos, but he was busy getting full on Spanish Rice and Chocolate Milk in a cowboy boot. Mom had an order of cooked fish of some sort.

We were very happy with the meal, and I miss not being able to order a Margarita with it!