UPDATE: One of my co-workers got very sick that night. When she went to the doctor the next day, he told her he felt strongly it was food poisoning. When she told our boss, he said once when he had what she did (chicken soup) it made him sick but he had eaten it several times since with no problem so he didn’t think anything of it. (I am astounded he would go back.) I also felt very nauseated the next day but didn’t connect it to lunch the day before. Another co-worker told me she won’t eat there anymore because once when she was there a cockroach crawled across the table during their meal. And so I am rescinding my endorsement of Las Margaritas and won’t be eating their again. What a shame.
When I got to work today, I had an e-mail from my boss saying he was taking us to lunch today at Las Margaritas. The last time I was there almost two years ago I was hardcore dieting and only had a salad but everyone else’s food looked sooooo good. Well, I’m not has hardcore dieting anymore (although I should be) so I decided today I would just enjoy myself. And boy did I.
Las Margaritas is just a little hole in the wall on W. Hillsborough near Dale Mabry. Honestly, it has very little curb appeal. The inside is nicer than the outside, though, and the service is good. But the food is what you really go for.
One of the specials today was pollo salteado ($7.75). Every entree comes with two sides, so I ordered a side salad (trying to be healthy!) and yuca. The salad is nothing special: shredded iceberg, a few cucumber slices, and some tomato slices. But everything was fresh, so no major complaints. (I hate soggy, brown lettuce.) My chicken was awesome. I couldn’t stop eating it. Pollo salteado is pieces of seasoned chicken sauteed with bell peppers, potatoes, and onion. It was a good sized portion and I ate all of it. Yuca is similar to a white potato with a slightly more glutinous texture and a little bit of a sweeter flavor. Las Margaritas boils theirs with onion and garlic. It was divine (again, ate it all!) but you’ll need a mint afterward.
For dessert I had guava slices with cream cheese ($3.75, I think). They use guava that’s been packed in syrup (like canned peaches) and serve it with thick slices of cream cheese. The guava is too sweet to eat on its own, so the cream cheese is there to cut the sweetness. Delicious, but you’ll need a bypass operation afterward.
One of my co-workers didn’t like her beans today (she said they tasted turned) but everyone else enjoyed their food immensely (our boss eats there about once a week). Two people got cafe con leche and said it was awesome.
I couldn’t eat there often or I wouldn’t fit into my cube at work. I highly recommend this place for an authentic Cuban meal.