Welcome back to the Best of series in which Bwog analyzes the best in a category of chosen food product!
There are few things that are as much fun and as thirst-quenching as a margarita. And after a weekend of being nice to your parents or studying for midterms, there are few things as much sought after as a good margarita. Here, Bwog’s Best of returns with a non-definitive guide to Morningside Height’s best margaritas.
Theoretically Blockheads should be the perfect place to get a margarita. The clientele is loud and rowdy; the decor is a kitschy amalgam of Christmas lights and party streamers; and the price is just right. But when you’re paying just $3 for a margarita, something’s got to to be missing. What’s missing in a Blockheads margarita is enough alcohol and enough fresh lime juice. It’s questionable whether there’s any lime juice at all because these cocktails are so saturated with syrupy margarita mix. Instead of a nice icy crunch, the consistency of Blockhead’s margaritas is a slushy, unsalty mess, which definitely comes out of a can. Given the low alcohol quotient, you’ll need about nine dollars worth of margaritas to start feeling saucy. To add insult to injury, Blockheads serves up their drinks in cheapo six-ounce plastic cups with no mini-umbrellas, cocktail-stirrers or swivel sticks. Not even a fun straw.
Toast touts itself as a purveyor of ‘truck stop gourmet,’ which doesn’t sound like Bwog’s kind of place and really doesn’t sound like the kind of place to get a good margarita. But don’t let the semantics fool you. Truck stop gourmet translates to really good margaritas. The seven dollar price tag for a margarita on the rocks at Toast might not seem worth it at first, but upgrading from a plastic cup to a pint size cocktail glass is just one of of a Toast margarita’s many merits. To give their margaritas an added kick, the bartenders at Toast add a splash of blood orange juice, which gives the drink some extra sweetness without masking the lime flavor. The frozen margaritas sell for six dollars and come in a slightly less fancy glass, but you can liven up your cocktail with fresh fruit purees, options include blood orange, raspberry and mango. Whether you go for frozen or the rocks, these margaritas taste tart and salty without any lingering stickiness or canned aftertaste.
There is little difference between the margarita offerings at The Heights and Toast in large part because the owners are the same. The drinks have almost the same ingredients and the prices are exactly the same. The Heights might be a whole lot closer than either Toast location, but the restaurant’s proximity to campus easily could be its greatest pitfall. The clientele at Heights is an generic mix of athlete types, CCSC campus characters and barflies, which occasionally makes for a good time but often is rather unstimulating. Although the place is often busy, the surly bouncer mans the door with strict no nonsense ID policy on weekends, which means those without proper or improper IDs should head elsewhere. The margaritas may be better here than at Blocksheads, but the food is not. If you serious about your margaritas and don’t mind spending extra or running the risk of having your fake ID reprimanded, try your luck at The Heights.
In conclusion: The winner: Toast, silver medal to The Heights, and an obligatory honorable mention to Blockheads