Kamu Ultra Karaoke – Las Vegas, NV

Our business retreat in Las Vegas next took us to an evening of karaoke at Kamu Ultra Karaoke. This was an karaoke experience unlike any I had been to, as Kamu is an establishment full of karaoke rooms, similar to what I understand is popular in Japan and other Asian countries. As part of the experience, food and drinks are brought to us in the room and it is basically one big private party with a lot of colorful lighting and a built-in karaoke machine. I of course asked if they served Margaritas and they did.

For not knowing what to expect from a karaoke place like this, I was pleasantly surprised. The Margarita I had that night was smooth and mellow with a nice sweetness and balance worthy of an 8.5.

Jack Binion’s Steak House – Las Vegas, NV

My lady and I were invited to a business retreat to Las Vegas hosted by a podcasting company that she does a lot of work with. On our first evening there, we were treated to a dinner at Jack Binion’s Steak House in the Horseshoe Las Vegas. A newer establishment to Vegas yet with apparently a very famous name and a reputation at other Casinos around the country as a very fine dining experience. The reputation definitely held out for the variety of food and beverages we had that night, including a Margarita that I ordered.

Clearly they employ some talented bartenders at Jack Binion’s as they have an extensive cocktail menu and for me the Margarita they served me that night was one of the best I had the pleasure of drinking in quite a long time. It was honestly difficult for me to discern why exactly the Margarita was so good, but from the first sip the flavor was just exquisite. All the flavors were balanced and pronounced. The tartness was delivered with a sweetness that was amazing and not overpowering along with a good Tequila flavor. Everything that makes for an outstanding Margarita worthy of a 9.5.

Cyrano’s Cafe – Webster Groves, MO

I had heard of Cyrano’s Cafe for many years but had never had a chance to stop in. On this night, my chance came on an impromptu visit with my lady. We stopped in a for a quick bite before we had other plans. While many people know Cyrano’s primarily for their desserts, they also have an amazing cocktail menu. So I ordered a Margarita, of course!

I chose their house Margarita, as I often do at various places when I first visit, in order to see how their basic Margarita recipe fared. Overall it was very flavorful and balanced. It was just a bit on the sweet side (maybe not surprising for a dessert cafe) but all the flavors blended well and were pronounced. I rate the Margarita I had that evening at Cyrano’s an 8.

La Oaxaqueña – St. Louis, MO

I enjoy finding Mexican restaurants that are authentic and also serve cuisine that are from the many and varied regions of Mexico. La Oaxaqueña focuses on the Oaxaca region, which if you don’t know, it is located on the south side of Mexico and is known for their mole sauce (pronounced MOH-lay).

I ordred a Premium Margarita and was offered a choice of Tequilas. As always I take this as a good sign that they care enough about their Margaritas to offer a choice. As I like to do, I opted for Don Julio. Interestingly, it was tricky to discern whether this Margarita was made with a mix, as it did’t exactly taste like to was made with fresh lime juice. However, the taste was nice, well-balanced, and flavorful, especially with the Don Julio coming through. I rate the Margarita I had that night an 8.

Padrino’s Mexican Restaurant– St. Louis, MO

Padrino’s Mexican Restaurant is a nice location on Grand Avenue in St. Louis. Grand is known for a variety of unique ethnic restaurants and Padrino’s has a slightly more upscale atmosphere than your average Mexican place. And sure enough, the Margarita I had that night was better than average.

Taking a look at Padrino’s menu I chose their “Organic Margarita” as it appeared to be as close to a regular Margarita as possible, listing Hornitos Plata Tequila, Cointreau, fresh-squeezed lime, and agave nectar as the ingredients. It had a very nice flavor, well-balanced, yet all the flavors pronounced. Even the Cointreau was nicely balanced, which I appreciated, as sometimes those French orange liqueurs can have a bitterness to them. I rate the Organic Margarita I had that night at Padrino’s an 8.5.

Tapas Barcelona – Evanston IL

While visiting my older daughter for her senior year family weekend at Northwestern University, I took her, her boyfriend, and my lady to Tapas Barcelona, not surprisingly a tapas restaurant. I’ve been here once before but had not yet tried a Margarita. Since this was about a month after my daughter had turned 21, I treated us all to a pitcher of Margaritas!

The Margaritas that night were good, but not great. The flavor was good and well balanced but it had just a slight bit more more “fruitiness” than I prefer. Still it was worthy of a 7.5 on this night.

Overall, Tapas Barcelona is a great restaurant. They have a wide variety of tapas options and I’ve not been disappointed in anything I’ve had ever eaten there. If you are in Evanston, IL, make sure to stop by!

Buffalo Wild Wings – St. Charles, MO

I had a chance to stop by Buffalo Wild Wings for a quick drink and of course I ordered a Margarita! I have been to a few BWW’s over the years and I even wrote about a previous Margarita I had there, plus the time when I conquered the Blazin’ Wings Challenge!

One would not necessarily expect a good Margarita from a hot wing restaurant, but as before, Buffalo Wild Wings does not disappoint. Simply stated, it has great flavor and is nicely balanced. What more could one want from a good Margarita? The Margarita from Buffalo Wild Wings on this day was an 8.

1st Street Lounge – O’Fallon, IL

The 1st Street Lounge is a fairly new restaurant in the town where I now live. Although to be fair, it’s been open a couple of years but because of COVID, it still feels very new!

While visiting there one weekend afternoon, I noticed they had a Top Shelf Margarita on their menu. The ingredients listed were Don Julio Tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and Margarita mix. This is a curious combination of ingredients given the lime juice and mix. Regardless, I wanted to try it and I was happy I did. The Margarita had great flavor. Almost a traditional taste. It was just a little light in body, but it had a nice balance and it was Tequila forward. The Margarita from 1st Street Lounge was worth an 8 on this day.

Taqueria Z Revisited – Edwardsville, IL

I found myself with a gap of time between clients on a nice sunny afternoon while in Edwardsville, the town where I grew up and lived most of my life. So I decided to stop by Taqueria Z for a quick Margarita!

I’ve visited Taqueria Z a few times before. They are a small establishment but have great food and Margaritas. And importantly, their Margaritas are very consistent, given how they are hand made with quality ingredients. This time was no exception. The Margaritas at Taqueria Z taste very “traditional”. There is not a lot of sweetness, a lot of fresh lime flavor up front, and a prominent Tequila flavor. Plus I believe the Tequila is of a lowland variety, as it has an earthiness that I equate with old school Tequilas. I rate the Tequila this day an 8.

Pump House Brewery – Longmont, CO

On our final full day at our business conference in Colorado, a group of us went to the Pump House Brewery, a firefighter themed establishment. Interestingly, they had a full selection of Margarita choices. For this trip, I chose their house Margarita.

The drink had excellent flavor right off the bat with a good balance. It was light and easy to drink. It was just slightly on the tart side and I would have liked a little more tequila flavor but it was otherwise excellent. I give the Pump House Brewery House Margarita an 8.5