Que tal, amigos? If you couldn’t get enough of my food adventures on Mastication Monologues, today I’m bringing you a review of a Mexican restaurant that is well known for their murderous margaritas: Cesar’s Killer Margaritas. I’ve passed by it many times while gallivanting about Chicago on the Northside, but I’ve never set foot in the establishment. Thankfully, I got an opportunity to visit for dinner recently, and it was quite an enjoyable experience.
When Janice and I walked in the door, there were a bunch of people waiting for a table sitting along the wall, and that immediately elicited my response of, “Great…a wait”. I’ve worked as a host at a restaurant, and I know that giving an estimated table time is a very loose interpretation of how long it’s actually going to be since there are so many variables to take into account. The hostess quoted us at 10 to 15 for a free table which is the fallback answer since it doesn’t give the customer unreasonable expectations yet doesn’t seem like an insurmountable wait. Surprisingly, the wait was shorter than estimated, so we were hustled up and down two staircases to get to our table. Once seated, we immediately looked over the signature margarita menu since we wanted to see if they could live up to the hype. While they had the usual flavors like raspberry and strawberry, they had nods to Latin flavors with tamarindo and guava. I got a frozen guava margarita ($11) while Janice got the chilled raspberry margarita ($11). While waiting, I was systematically destroying the chips in front of me along with the watery but cilantro filled salsa roja that come complimentary with the meal. Eventually, they were brought out to us, and they looked like any other margaritas. However, it was a pleasant surprise that they were not too syrupy, and we could taste the liquor as well which let us know we were getting our money’s worth. I found Janice’s margarita to be more interesting than mine because it contained something I’ve never seen in a margarita: fresh fruit. I don’t know if they do this with all of their flavors, but her raspberry margarita literally had whole raspberries floating amongst the ice floes of the red sea of tequila. It was a masterstroke of tex-mex bartending. While we were enjoying our frozen beverages, we looked over the dinner menu. They had plenty of entrees, lighter options, appetizers, starters, and soups. While they didn’t stray much from the tried and true tex-mex favorites, I decided to go for the steak mini burritos ($10) while Janice got the vegetarian fajitas with steak ($14). While waiting for our plates to come out, I thought back to another Mexican dinner that I had in London which resulted in me carrying a pair of twin food babies around for the majority of the night. Thankfully, these burritos wouldn’t destroy me like that chimichanga in Old Blighty. Before our entrees arrived, we were hooked up with a free cup of what seemed to be tomato soup with noodles. It was flavorful but nothing noteworthy since we could only taste tomatoes. When they came out, I immediately pounced on them since these plump little buggers looked quite scrumptious under their cheese and salsa verde blanket. I sliced into them, and the juicy pieces of steak, beans, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes came tumbling out. I poured the sour cream all over them while spackling guacamole on each forkful. Madre de dios, estos burritos fueron de la puta madre! (“These burritos were the bees knees!” in so many words). The tortillas were flavorful and bursting with gooey cheese and fresh vegetables. I think the combo of the cool sour cream and the cilantro filled guacamole gave the savory steak a herbal tinge that made my tastebuds scream “Más Más Más!”. The Mexican rice was average, but I didn’t even touch the beans. As for Janice’s vegetable fajitas, they were served piping hot at our table and contained plenty of veggies one typically doesn’t find in Mexican cuisine like cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms. She offered to make me a taco out of the ingredients in her fajita, so I got a mouthful of peppers and onions along with the same succulent steak in my mini burritos. I would have helped her more with the monstrously-sized meal, but I would have needed a second stomach. I was feeling full by that point in the meal but not to the point of sickness. It wasn’t the most mind blowing meal in the world since Chicagoland has a ton of great Mexican eateries, but I was a happy customer with the service and food.
So if you’re looking for a fun establishment with well made dishes and unique margaritas, check out Cesar’s!