By Jonathan Shikes
By Alex Brown
By Cafe Society
By Samantha Alviani
By Lori Midson
By Mark Antonation
By Loren Lorenzo
By Nate Hemmert
Cravings are bad. Whether you crave drink, food, nicotine, attention, women or drink, you often find yourself doing things that you wouldn't normally do while in pursuit of your obsession. As a result, cravings lead to world wars, religious extremism and most major crimes. And hangovers.
I was really craving Mexican food and margaritas the other night, after the Scottish Representative and his wife sowed the seed. They had friends visiting who'd been partying for the better part of a week but had not yet thrown up tequila. So for several hours at work, I asked everyone I could think of for their suggestion of a good Mexican spot -- then shot down pretty much every suggestion because we'd already been there or because it was just plain stupid. I got so desperate that I started asking people the same question multiple times. As usual, though, I knew what was best all along, and we settled on Milagro Taco Bar (1700 Vine Street). Milagro had been good to us once before, when we'd been stuck at a nearby bar without food; a brief visit had secured enough gastric ballast to keep myself and the Texan Representative's wife out so late that we didn't recover for a couple of days.
I knew that Milagro's food was good, but no Mexican restaurant gets Most Favored Bar status unless its margaritas pass the test. There's a lot of debate over where the margarita originated, but I like the story that has an industrious bartender trying to charm the pants off a local showgirl. She was allergic to all hard liquor but tequila, and she wouldn't drink shooters. So he added Cointreau and lemon juice to tequila and shaved ice, and voila! Thousands of spring-break regrets were born.
Accompanied by the Auxiliary Jewish Representative and his family, we congregated at Milagro for the night. The gathering was dominated by the Jewish rep's son and mine, whose combined cuteness just proved that babies are on a specific and willful mission to steal all of our women. Never mind the fact that my son has a severe case of male pattern baldness and hasn't even hit puberty.
The margaritas mollified the guys, though, especially since the big, one-liter jugs started coming faster and faster. They were the perfect mix of sweet and sour, a balancing act where most margs fail. Many of the town's most touted margaritas are either so sour that you look like Sylvester the Cat after getting alum poured into his mouth or so sweet that you immediately develop lifelong diabetes. Still other bars put in such a healthy dose of booze that you're breathing fire or vomiting for the rest of the night. But Milagro's margs hit just the right spot.
Milagro provided the visiting Scots with enough grease and tequila to ensure that they will never forget their trip to America -- once they stop using their air-sickness bags. And it did such a good job of sating my need for Mexican-ish food and margaritas that I should be good for a few weeks...until the next craving kicks in.