First off, have you noticed the domain change? Yep, I have retired my old site and will be posting on curiouslycarmen.com from now on! Same me, different site =)
Dine Out Vancouver Festival is upon us for yet another year! While many people do not like DOVF because they claim you won’t get the “full” or authentic experience, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to try it out. Also, you’re not limited to just ordering off the DOVF menu, you are able to order from the regular menu as well. Some places offer great deals that you wouldn’t see elsewhere.
There were so many restaurants I wanted to try this year, but had to refrain myself or I would be spending waaayy too much money on food. Instead, I asked the boyfriend to pick some restaurants that he wanted to try and we would narrow it down from there. For my first dine out, I went to Las Margaritas, which I’ve been wanting to go for quite some time now!
Las Margaritas is easily distinguishable from the rest of the shops on the block. It was a nice, exterior Spanish design with bright colours. You can’t miss it!
Our reservation was made for 7:30, but the parking gods were on our side that night and we showed up 10 minutes early. The restaurant was really busy, and I overheard them saying the wait for walk in customers would take at least one hour… so glad that we made a reservation. They weren’t ready for us since we were a bit early, and we were seated around 7:35.
One small detail that I appreciated about this place was their tiled tables! I loved the detail and thought it looked really good.
For a place with the name margaritas in it, you better expect that they have delicious margaritas. While we were waiting for our spot, we read the menu and found out that they were famous for their margaritas, so we decided to give it a try. We ordered the melon margarita ($8.95), which came with Sauza Gold Tequila, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, peach nectar and their own sweet & sour mix.
I really enjoyed the flavours of the margarita, and could not taste the alcohol in it at all even though it was a double shot. It was really fruity, and had some pulp in it which was a nice added surprise! It was not exactly a slush texture though and didn’t have a rimmed glass, but I didn’t mind.
To start off, we received complementary salsa and tortilla chips, which apparently they were famous for as well. The tortilla chips were crunchy and tasted pretty standard, but they were served warm which was a nice surprise! The salsa had a strong onion and fresh taste to it. Overall, really good for a complementary dish!
One of the options for the DOVF appetizer menu was the pozole, a chicken and white corn soup simmered in chilies and spices. On the side was an assortment of fresh red onions, dried chili peppers, and oregano. The chicken in the soup was extremely tender and well marinated, while the broth itself was absolutely delicious… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it again.
Adding the oregano, pepper, and fresh onions to the mix, you have yourself a sure winner. My favourite dish of the night.
The second appetizer we ordered (we pretty much shared everything btw) was the scallop ceviche. Everything in the ceviche was very fresh, with a hint of fresh lime juice. The chips were a bit too oily for my liking, however. I ate the cerviche with the leftover complementary tortilla chips instead.
Now, time for the main course! This was the chile en nogada, aka a poblano pepper stuffed with ground turkey meat, sauteed with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and apple. It was covered with a walnut cream sauce and pomegrante seeds, and came with a side of salad and beans. This was our least favourite dish that night.
There was a lot going on in the poblano pepper, but to us, the ingredients didn’t mix well together and was disappointing.
The second entree we had was the chile Colorado. It was cubed sirloin beef simmered in a chile guajillo and New Mexico chile sauce, with a side of white rice refried beans and corn or flour tortillas.
This dish was executed really well! The cubed sirloin beef was very tender, and went really well with the fresh red onion. The rice had some corn in it, so it wasn’t as boring or plain.
We also did not know that this dish came with tortillas, there was around 5 wraps. I guess I didn’t read far enough, I was sold on “cubed sirloin beef”. We ended up making our own “tacos”, filling it with the sirloin beef, rice, and salad/beans from the other dish, and topped it off with our choice of four hot sauces that were brought to our table.
I’m really glad that it came with the tortillas, otherwise we wouldn’t have been really full since the poblano pepper was a dissapointment.
For dessert, I chose the tres leche cake.Caramel lovers will love this cake for sure! It is called a “tres leche” cake because it is soaked in three different types of milk. I personally prefer my cakes to be light and fluffy, I didn’t like how it had a wet and soggy texture to it.
However, the flavour of the cake was definitely there, it’s just my personal preference that I didn’t like the soggy texture.
The boyfriend ordered churros that came with a chocolate dipping sauce. One bite of the churros and I had filled by sugar and dessert quota for the week, maybe even month- I kid you not. It was extremely sweet since it was rolled in sugar and chocolate sauce. All you sweet tooth lovers out there, this one is for you. I’ll stick with my savoury snacks instead.
Have you tried Las Margaritas, and if yes, how did you like it?