Canyon Cafe Revisited – St. Louis, MO

Top Shelf Traditional Margarita

Top Shelf Traditional Margarita

For whatever reason, it had been WAY too long since I last visited Canyon Cafe in St. Louis. Technically located in the town of Frontenac, I had an opportunity to visit with my lady and a friend so I jumped at the chance.

First off, the food was as good or better than I remembered. I mean like seriously top notch quality. The flavors were so amazing I was simply was in food heaven. So if you have the chance to go to Canyon Cafe, make sure you go! But enough about food, let’s talk Margaritas!

I saw a sign for their “Top Shelf Traditional” Margarita which they claimed was the best in St. Louis. Of course, this was the Margarita I was going to try first. According to their menu, they went to the “pickiest Margarita person they knew” and had her create her perfect Margarita. The ingredients listed were fresh limes, Grand Mariner, Sauza Tequila, salt only on the outside of the rim, and hand shaken. I was totally on board with all the ingredients, although as always, wary of the Grand Marnier. I’ve had mostly bad experiences with Grand Mariner in Margaritas but enough good ones to be hopeful. Luckily for me, the Margarita was definitely very good! It had excellent lime flavor and good Tequila flavor. The Grand Mariner was blended in very well with just a light sweetness that was spot on. Was this the best Margarita in St. Louis? I’m not quite sure. I mean it was one of the best I have had in a long time, but for me it missed that “wow” factor that separates the best from the rest. I’m willing to give it an 8.5 but not quite a 9 or higher. I will definitely come back and try again to see if I can get a “wow” from the drink. But otherwise, I would say if you want one of the best Margaritas in St. Louis, you can’t go wrong with the Top Shelf Traditional at Canyon Cafe.

Grand Canyon MargaritaNow I wasn’t done with Margaritas at Canyon Cafe this day. I ordered a pitcher of their Grand Canyon Margarita, which I had tasted a few times previously. While I had very much enjoyed this Margarita previously, this time I was not impressed. Made with cranberry, lime juice, orange juice, and prickly pear cactus juice, it did have a very good flavor but the sweetness was almost off the chart. And I was not alone. My lunch buddies also agreed that the drink was almost too sweet. In fact one added water to tone down the sweetness of it. I’m not sure if we just got a pitcher that had too much sugar added, but if this is the way the Grand Canyon Margarita is being made now, it is much more of a super sweet fruity drink than an actual Margarita. I can’t honestly even rate this as a Margarita this time. Tasty for sure, but way too sweet and I would not recognize it as a Margarita if tasting blind.

Still, all that being said, get yourself to Canyon Cafe ASAP! The food is so good and their Top Shelf Traditional Margarita is so good. Plus they have many other Margarita options to try. I’ll definitely be back to try some more!

Peel Wood Fired Pizza – O’Fallon, IL

I have had the Margarita at Peel Wood Fired Pizza in O’Fallon, IL many times. And for some reason, I never actually wrote up a review previously! It had been awhile since I had been to Peel in O’Fallon but interestingly within the span of less than two weeks, I found myself meeting a friend and then later having a dinner with my lady and a friend at Peel. And of course I had a Margarita both times.

Previously, I had thought that the Margarita at Peel was one of the best around. Curiously, the two I had over the course of these couple of weeks didn’t seem to be as good as I had remembered. And it hadn’t been that long since I last had a Margarita at a Peel location (the last time in Edwardsville, IL). So perhaps they have changed their recipe or maybe my palate has changed. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a very good Margarita but something was just slightly off from the excellent Margarita I had been enjoying for many years. It was still tasty and well-balanced, but these two Margaritas I had from two different bartenders just didn’t “wow” me as they had done in the past. So instead of a 9 as I had previously thought of them, I would rate the two Margaritas I had at Peel these couple of times an 8.5. Again still a very good Margarita but just not to the level I had before.

Herbie’s Revisited – Clayton, MO

The “Tex-Mex Scramble” at Herbie’s in Clayton, MO. You’ll need to ask for it special since it is not on their menu and I “created” it on the spot!

Herbie’s in Clayton, MO has become one of my favorite places in the St. Louis area. My lady and I arrived early to dinner with friends at Herbie’s. So we sat at the bar to wait and while there we decided to have some drinks. I noticed a drink on the bar menu called a Texas Scramble that had ingredients of Tito’s Vodka, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, and rosé bubbles. Since it had lime juice I wondered what it would be like with Tequila replacing the vodka. So I asked if they could make the modification and they agreed! Since it was originally named a Texas Scramble, I named my Tequila modified version the “Tex-Mex Scramble”.

Overall, it was a nice drink. Definitely a different take on a Tequila cocktail. However I would say that it probably would have been better with a sweeter rosé or additional simple syrup. But given that I simply asked for a replacement of the liquor, I can’t complain that the modified drink wasn’t exactly as I would have liked. Kudos to Herbie’s bar staff for indulging me.

The Cadillac Margarite. No, that is not misspelled.

When our friends arrived and we sat down for dinner, I decided to try a Margarita. Listed on their menu was a Cadillac Margarite … and not that is not a misspelling. Made with El Mayor Reposado Tequila, Grand Mariner, fresh lime juice, and Agave Syrup, I was very excited to try, although wary of the Grand Marnier. As it turned out, this Margarita had a good base flavor but it had a bitterness on the front and on the finish. I believe they went too heavy on the Grand Marnier unfortunately. So I can only give the Cadillac “Margarite” I had this night a 7.

The Frisco Barroom – Webster Groves, MO

I had an opportunity to have a dinner with a friend at a place called The Frisco Barroom in Webster Groves. And since they had a Pricky Pear Margarita listed on their menu, I of course took the opportunity to sample it.

Unfortunately, it was not a great experience. The drink was excessively sweet and did not have any lime flavor. Basically it was just a really sweet, fruity drink. And because it was excessively sweet it really wasn’t all that pleasant to drink. So unfortunately I can only give the Prickly Pear Margarita at The Frisco Barroom a 6. However, the food was good and the restaurant was really nice. So I encourage you to visit The Frisco Barroom but maybe steer clear of their Prickly Pear Margarita unless you like crazy sweet fruity drinks. 

Sanctuaria Wild Tapas – St. Louis, MO

Regular Margarita, Sanctuaria Wild Tapas

While out to dinner with my lady and some friends at Sanctuaria Wild Tapas, which has an extensive and very interesting cocktail menu, I asked if they had any Margarita-inspired cocktails. The server said they had two main Margarita options, a regular one and one made with ghost pepper infused Tequila. So I of course had to try both.

The regular Margaria was an excellent drink. It was smooth and all the flavors well balanced. It had just a slight hint of a bitter finish. I rate it an 8.5

Ghost Pepper Margarita, Sanctuaria Wild Tapas

The Margarita made with ghost pepper infused Tequila had a smooth spiciness that did not overpower the Margarita. However, this variety also had a little more fruitiness than the regular option. I’m not sure how that happened, but perhaps the recipe was a little different or maybe the Tequila has some fruity notes to it. Regardless, it was an excellent Margarita for a spicy flavored one which I rate an 8.

Three Kings Public House, Des Peres, MO

After a business meeting my lady and I stopped for a quick dinner at Three Kings Public House in Des Peres, MO. They had a “Tres Agave Margarita” listed on the menu so of course I had to try it!

Given the ingredients of Tres Agave Organic Tequila, lime, Grand Marnier, and Tres Agave Margarita Mix, I wasn’t quite sure what I would be in for. The lime juice sounded good, but it was also made with a mix. And I’m not always a fan of Grand Marnier in a Margarita. But I’m willing to be surprised so I was hoping for the best. As it turns out, this Margarita had a good flavor and was nicely balanced for the most part. It had just a slightly bitter finish, which once again I attribute to the Grand Marnier. Overall I give the Tres Agave Margarita at Three Kings Public House a 7.5.

BlueIguana Tequila Bar Revisited, Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship

On our final day aboard the Carnival Spirit for the Marketer’s Cruise, I decided to have one more Margarita at the BlueIguana Tequila Bar. This time I chose their “Ultimate Margarita” because, hey, it should be the best, right? Although curiously the previously reviewed Blue’s Patron Margarita was more expensive and the BlueIguana’s “drink of choice”.

The ingredients listed were El Jimador Tequila, Triple Sec and fresh lime juice. Definitely a solid choice of ingredients so I was hopeful it would be a good final Margarita on this cruise. It had a nice flavor, well balanced, and was refreshing. It could have maybe been a little more bold on the flavor but it was a nice drink to have by a pool on a cruise ship. I give it an 8.

And once again if you market your services online, are a digital marketer, or support people who market online, you definitely need to check out the Marketer’s Cruise! My lady and I had a blast (as you can see from all the Margaritas I tried!) and we made many great connections and friendships.

Agave Tequila Bar & Mexican Kitchen – Red Hook, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

While on our way back to the cruise ship, I ran into a new friend from the Marketer’s Cruise who was a Tequila enthusiast and he said that before we leave I should quickly find a place called Agave Tequila Bar just a couple of blocks away. Given his enthusiasm for Tequila I grabbed my lady and we hustled to this place for a quick few tastes.

On their menu they listed the “Agaverita!”, which they claimed was their signature Margarita with a few different flavored options. I chose their “classic” variety so as to get a taste of their core Margarita first.  It had a very smooth taste, with a richness that may have been some sort of agave flavor or other flavor from the Tequila they used. According to the bartender they use a combination of Lunazul and another reposado Tequila that I unfortunately did not get to note. Regardless, this Margarita was truly different from almost any other Margarita I’ve ever tried yet it was still an excellent Margarita worthy of an 8.5. I’ll make sure to come back here some day and get the exact recipe.

My lady ordered an El Diablo which was a spicy Margarita composed of Jalapeño-infused Lunazul Blanco Tequila, Mezcal, orange liqueur, pineapple, lime, and a spicy sugar rim. As seemingly has been a trend on this trip, the pineapple and spiciness were nicely blended into the drink so that they don’t detract from the traditional Margarita flavors. It rates an 8 on my scale for a flavored Margarita.

I also tried some Tequila infused with Ghost Pepper while I was at Agave’s. This particular Tequila was strong in both Tequila flavor and Ghost Pepper spiciness. We unfortunately did not have time to have any food other than some chips and salsa, but the food seemed to be of hight quality so one day I’ll be sure to stop back by to get more details!

If you are in the harbor of Red Hook, St. Thomas make sure to stop by Agave Tequila Bar & Mexican Kitchen.