‘Watts for Dinner’:  Margarita’s – Quality, consistency and community

Will Watts
Correspondent

So, I have Mexican food on my mind about half the time. Therefore, I was super excited when I noted that I hadn’t been to Margarita’s in a while. So that’s our next dining destination.

Before we delve into the food, I want to talk about the people behind the business. While I was researching the place – yes, I have been here many times, but I like to see what’s new before I get there. I visited their website. I had never noticed the “Our Story” button before. “Chef/owner Ismael Perez, who left his home in Monterrey, Mexico and came to Marco Island, some 20 years ago, started his US culinary career as a Sous-chef at Konrad’s (which was one of Marco Island’s premier restaurants at that time),” it read. “He also worked at different resorts in the area till he decided there wasn’t any authentic homemade Mexican restaurants around the area.

“He and his wife Diana opened Margarita’s in 2005 and have enjoyed bringing the tastes of their homeland to Southwest Florida ever since.”

This is a very relatable story. People come from all over the world and fall in love with Marco Island. Some start businesses, eventually. In my time here, I have watched this couple’s children grown up before my eyes, as they often work in the restaurant.

One other thing that stands out to me, from memory, is right after Irma, the Perez family donated a huge lunch to the people of Goodland, followed by another on Isles of Capri, and also to the people of Everglades City. They prepared and delivered all the food. It was a much-needed efforted that really lifted community spirits.

On to the food. Things got off to an appetizing start with the complimentary chips and salsa. I love the chips here and the salsa is some of the best around. Not scorching hot.

For my main entrée, I selected the “Tinga Burrito” ($15.95). As readers know, tinga is one of my favorite dishes. This is one huge burrito! Tons of chicken! And the nacho cheese sauce, ranchero sauce and sour cream blend into a thing of beauty. You also get a side of Margarita’s amazing rice, and your choice of refried, black or charro beans. I picked the latter.  

What are charro beans (frijoles charros)? Pinto beans in a boldly-flavored broth with other types of meat (chorizo, bacon or ham), chili peppers, tomatoes and spices. And it’s so hearty, you could eat it like a chili. So good!

​My dining companion had the “Entomatadas Enchiladas” ($14.95). It’s two corn soft tortillas filled with shredded chicken and cheese, topped with tomato sauce, sour cream, green onions and Mexican queso fresco. Such a fresh take on enchiladas.

Whether it’s fresh guacamole, tacos, a plethora of queso dips, tamales, chimichangas, chile rellenos, mole or fresh seafood and chicken wings, Margaritas satisfies and never disappoints.  

Also, worth nothing, the construction is finally finished in Marco town Center and Margaritas has expanded outdoor seating just in time for season. They also have a full bar with an extensive line of premium tequilas. Happy eating! And drinking!  

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com. 

If you go

Margarita’s 

  • Marco Town Center, 1069 N Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-394-6555
  • margaritasontheisland.com