Best Margarita - 2005
Readers' Choice: Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
When the margarita was invented, it was an elegant drink -- an exquisite combination of great tequila and native juices that was as refreshing as the breeze blowing off the Mexican coast. But when it headed north -- no doubt brought back by those spring-breakers as a souvenir, like a social disease -- it morphed into a grain-alcohol, apple-juice orgy, with ingredient combinations that made your teeth squeak and your head hurt. Over the last several years, though, bars and restaurants have started restoring the margarita to its rightful recipe and place in the drink pantheon. And nowhere does a margarita reach the heights that it does at Tamayo, where the house marg is made with El Jimador and fresh lime and lemon juices in a simple syrup made on site. When ordered on the rooftop patio, those heights include a terrific view of the mountains, but you'll want to stick close to your bartender, who, when asked, will bring out fresh chips and two terrific salsas -- a green tomatilla and a red cruda -- sharing the same pewter bowl.