If you’re a believer that tacos and margaritas are the key to pure happiness (it’s true, they are), then you’ll want to get yourself acquainted with this colourful newcomer, which joins the likes of Commune, Street Corner Espresso, The Little Plate and the soon-to-open Light Years on the Lower Gold Coast Highway. Margarita Cartel’s owners and chefs are a talented troupe that hail from South America, and have woven elements and techniques of their native cuisine (such as chargrilling) with authentic street-style Mexican fare. Take the tacos for example – you might be used to seeing slow-cooked shredded meats on top, whereas the Margarita Cartel version sees corn tortillas piled with proteins (steak, chicken, prawns, pork belly and salmon) that are chargrilled in true South American style.
There are a raft of pequenos (small bites) to start, including charred street corn with queso fresco, handmade empanadas with chilli salsa, tostones (twice-fried plantain slices), salmon ceviche with coconut and lime, and fried flautas (taquitos). The burritos are jammed with chilli frijoles, queso fresco, ensalada, lentil rice and housemade sauces, or you can experience the South American chargrill in all its glory with one of the La Parilla plates – black Angus porterhouse, spice-rubbed half chicken or chilli-and-lime salmon, all served with papas (potato), lentil rice, salad and corn tortillas. While the name is a dead giveaway, margaritas are the specialty behind the bar with an extensive series of margi’ variations on offer – and they start at just $12. There’s also sangria, mojitos and classics that have been given a Mexican twist (like the Negronito and the Mamacita Spritz), as well as a fine collection of tequila.
Margarita Cartel is now open! You’ll find its opening hours and contact details over in our handy Stumble Guide.