Skip to content

Mexican at Margarita’s – Northland

If you didn’t catch my write-up on Margarita’s for the recent edition of NORTH Magazine, of course, you can read it here….

MARGARITA’S:  A LOCAL LEGEND

Most any route you take in the Northland, you will pass a Mexican restaurant – or five of them – along the way. It seems they pop up in strip malls, former fast-food buildings, just about anywhere and everywhere. So when you find one that’s still thriving after more than 20 years in business you know there’s good reason.

Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos

The packed parking lot of Margarita’s on North Oak has become a familiar sight for anyone who regularly passes by. The Northland location opened in 1991, six years after the original restaurant on Southwest Boulevard. It was the second location for owner Larry Gromer and his partners, and now the the group boasts five locations across the metro.MargExt

Gromer sees the sometimes common line out the door as a key factor in making meals that taste great. He believes the more food you’re serving on a regular basis, the fresher the ingredients you’re putting on the plate which makes a superior dish.

Chimichanga

Chimichanga

Most of us can agree that part of the indulgent experience of eating Mexican is gorging your self on chips and salsa before the food comes. This often results in having just a few bites of your food and taking the rest home for tomorrow. Well I can tell you if this is one of your weaknesses, Margarita’s dishes reheat like a champ the next day.

So popular it’s carried at your local grocery store, Margarita’s salsa is thin, light and delicately seasoned with traditional spices and a hint of oregano. The chips are huge, fried up from locally-made corn tortilla halves. If you plan to indulge in appetizers beyond the house salsa, skip the guacamole and go straight for the Margarita dip. This creamy, white cheese dip is delectable with a slight kick of peppers, a touch of spinach and rich flavor that leaves you wanting more. It’s also used as a topper on some of the entrees making them customer favorites.

The Cancun

The Cancun

My top-rated dish at Margaritas is the #6 Cancun. The reason I initially ordered it was the similarity to a childhood dish I love called “burrito enchilada style”. But it went far beyond my expectations in both flavor and texture. The Cancun is large flour tortilla filled with a delicious mixture of ground beef, tender pork chunks, sautéed tomatoes and, scrambled egg. Yes, the scrambled egg seems odd, but it really rounds out the dish nicely. All of this is topped with Margarita’s outstanding enchilada sauce – another product bottled and sold. I’m a big fan of their enchilada sauce. I actually used it in recipes before I started dining in the restaurant. If you’ve got a dish calling for enchilada sauce, don’t get a can – buy the good stuff in the jar, made by Margarita’s.

Scrambled egg is a fantastic  part of the Cancun dish

Scrambled egg is a fantastic part of the Cancun dish

Okay, back to the Cancun dish! It’s a wonderful change from my usual orders of fajitas or a chimichanga at Mexican restaurants. That’s because the filling brings together components that are already delicious by themselves. Margarita’s pork is wonderfully succulent and tender. It’s hand-cut then sautéed with garlic and tomatoes. Tucked among the simply seasoned ground beef and the scrambled egg, finding the “perfect bite” is easy to do.

Another fundamental fixing at Margarita’s is the shredded beef. Whether you order it in tacos, a burrito, or one of their specialties, you won’t be disappointed. The savory, juicy meat is not overly seasoned but stands up well with any preparation. I had it simply dressed as a traditional taco and it was phenomenal. Next time, I will order it in the chimichanga to make the already sumptuous fare even more indulgent.

“Nine out of ten people who come in here know what they’re getting before they walk in the door,” Gromer said. He feels consistency and service are the reason his customers keep coming back.

Tacos

Tacos

The menu has stood the test of time, with most of it unchanged since the restaurant opened. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new. Margaritas on North Oak and the store in Lenexa are now open for breakfast on Sundays. They serve up top picks like Huevos Rancheros and Chillequilles as well as pancakes, omelets and other more traditional items. If you go for breakfast, don’t be shy about ordering one of their outstanding house margaritas before noon. They taste just as wonderful in the morning – a lesson I learned when I sat down to talk with Gromer recently and was served one just after 10am. Marg

I can see why they keep winning awards for “best margarita” in various local publications. I’m quite picky about my margaritas. It can’t be too sweet or too acidic. It can’t be weak or too salty. So I was surprised when the house margarita was spot on and soon gone! Just what you want from a place that goes by the name “Margarita’s”.

Margarita’s North

7013 North Oak Trafficway
Kansas City, MO 64118

(816) 468-0337 (Phone)

Or check out any of their five metro locations.

 

“Baby” Food

Having a baby brings many wonderful things. Most parents know the overwhelming happiness of bringing home that little bundle of joy and all the gifts and well wishes that come too. But one thing our friends did for us that I wish every new mom could receive would be the fantastic meals that just seemed to keep coming.

For about three weeks we had dinner dropped off at our door most evenings. The offerings ranged from homemade pot pies and lasagnas to gumbo and other family favorites. And if someone wasn’t skilled in the kitchen or just too busy to cook, they brought takeout from their favorite restaurant. It was truly an unexpected blessing in so many ways.photo-2

Read more

Tavern in the Village

If you don’t make it to the Prairie Village Shops very often, you’re missing one of Kansas City’s culinary treasure troves. Some of my favorite restaurants and bakeries are tucked inside this little development in the center of the city.

Incredible Salted Caramel Pot de Creme!

Incredible Salted Caramel Pot de Creme!

So I was thrilled when asked to preview Tavern in the Village for KC Restaurant Week. I’ve dined at both Tavern in the Village and its sister restaurant Tavern at Mission Farms a few times and always left smiling. I wish I lived closer because I would eat there much more often if I could.

Read more

Sullivan’s Steakhouse for Restaurant Week

One my favorite times of the winter is almost here! Kansas City Restaurant Week begins Friday, when we can all put our diets on hold to take advantage of some great deals and outstanding meals.

I was honored this year to be invited to take part in KCRW’s Blogger Dine-around where I got to preview some of the tempting dishes offered at a couple local establishments.

Stone Crab Claws

Stone Crab Claws

If you’ve never experienced KC’s Restaurant Week, you’re missing out. More than 130 restaurants are offering special fixed price menus sampling some of their most popular items. With 3-course dinners priced at $33, this is your chance to go visit that old favorite or try a new spot (lunches are just $15).

Read more

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Our recent cold weather has put me in the mood for soup. And nothing’s better on a frigid Sunday morning when you’re surfing facebook, than coming across a slow cooker soup recipe that doesn’t even require you to leave the house for ingredients!

Read more

Stroud’s

It’s the closest thing I can find to my grandma’s fried chicken, and that means more than a tasty drumstick. I remember warm summer evenings playing on the backyard swing set with my cousins, then hearing grandma yell from the back porch that it’s “T-iiiiiiiiiii-me for dinner!”. We would hustle inside and place our little bodies in the big wooden chairs of grandma’s dining room table. Steam rolling off the big bowl of mashed potatoes, a hot-pad sitting under the pot of dark green beans fresh out of the garden. Grandpa was always served first, then the big plate of golden-brown chicken was heading my way.Stroudsign

The chairs at Stroud’s are heavy wood and the potatoes – creamy blonde just like grandma’s – come to the table piled high and piping hot. But the reason the crowds have been visiting this landmark log cabin for 30 years is the beautiful, pan-fried chicken that arrives at your table on a big platter crisped to perfection. It’s some of the most pristine chicken I’ve seen, and among the juiciest.

Read more

Billy Vanilly Cupcakes – Lawrence

In a darling little storefront in the heart of Lawrence, you can find some tasty treats for your sweet tooth. I happened upon this bakery one Sunday afternoon on our way back to Kansas City. We were just driving down Massachusetts Street deciding where to have lunch, when I say the sign and thought “what a fantastic bakery name!”BVpkg

Read more

Dominic’s Casual Italian

In case you didn’t know, you can find my writing in Kansas City’s premier lifestyle magazine for the Northland. Here’s an article on one of my favorite easy-dining restaurants straight from the latest edition of North Magazine. DomMag

You know you’ve discovered a great restaurant when you find yourself in the neighborhood and automatically try to find an excuse to stop in for a bite. Or you rack your brain for a reason you should grab a to-go order for someone, anyone you might be seeing later that day. I will admit, I have a few of those places in Kansas City. Most recently, I find myself inventing reasons to keep eating at Dominic’s Casual Italian.

Read more

Westside Local

I little place tucked near downtown Kansas City, Westside Local is known by many in the area for its great food. Currently off my beaten path, I hope to make it a regular spot since I’ve loved pretty much everything I’ve ever tasted there.

Ah-mazing biscuits & gravy!

Ah-mazing biscuits & gravy!

This summer I happened to make it for two meals in the same week! As before, I walked away quite happy after each meal.

Read more

Easy Artichoke Chicken Salad

It’s the last holiday weekend of summer and with this crazy heat, a priority of Labor Day entertaining is keeping your cool…..and maintaining a cool kitchen. So forget about turning on the oven or stovetop and, instead, mix up this simple yet satisfying dish for your guests.ArtIngredien

A few weeks ago, I had both sides of the family over for a little gathering. Pressed for time and looking for a tasty creation to call my own, I once again leaned on Trader Joe’s. My secret ingredient was nothing more than a jar of the “Trader Giotto’s Artichoke Antipasto” spread. You just need a few simple ingredients and some grilled chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces.  Mine was prepared in the deli department of my local grocery store, but leftovers work great or  you can get it from a bag.

Read more

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 388 other followers