Shop 101, The Wave, Albert Avenue, Broadbeach Ph: 5538 4463
There’s a transfer of culture taking place across the border. Art, food and music travel at will from Byron to the Goldie and vice versa. With surf and a casual lifestyle forming a conduit, the interstate cross-pollination seems far more evident than any Brisbane-Gold Coast transfer.
So when Byron Bay locals Emma and Greg Thomson (former owners of Asia Joe’s) extended their Miss Margarita brand, opening a second cantina in Broadbeach, no one was surprised. The Mexican wave had already gripped us a couple of years back with its tasty fresh textures and colourful bright flavours. Even though many of us have had a dalliance with bad boy American street food along the way, deep down we knew that Mexican cuisine put a bigger spring in our step!
With Miss Margarita already popular, a midweek night gave us a chance to dine without a reservation.
Situated at the back of Niecon Plaza tucked around a corner from Surf Parade, Miss Margarita is well placed to cater for both locals and tourists alike. It’s casually decked out, with Byron artist Jai Vasicek’s eight metre long pink floral tiled wall making a huge contribution to the ‘Frida Kahlo meets Our Lady of Guadeloupe’ theming. (You can see more of Jai’s fabulous artwork at MexiCali, Nobby Beach.)
Margaritas are mandatory and these ones pack a punch. Ranging from the classics to top shelf Patrón and 100% Blue Agave Tequila, my favourite’s the Chipotle chilli and lime margarita, a heady mix of smoky spicy infused mescal (Agave Espolon tequila) cut back with fresh lime and served in a salt-rimmed glass. Not enough bite to turn your head around…just right! Heaven! And of course there are the beers – some Mexican faves as well as locals. Time for some food before we get carried away…
We begin with the slightly bitey Crunchy Jalapeno Poppers (13) and Hip Dips (14) – a platter of three dips and corn chips to share: fresh guacamole, chilli salsa and house black beans with a retro plastic dish of corn chips. The chips are a constant throughout the menu in Nachos, under naked burritos and, of course, to accompany sides. House made, super fresh and crunchy with a good dose of salt, they make us realise that it’s not rocket science to get such a staple right!
There’s little trouble choosing from the menu, neatly divided into sections: Enchiladas, Tacos, Fajitas, Burritos and House Salads, with vegan and gluten-free clearly indicated. $20 would fill up many diners, but of course that’s not counting the drinks. It’s easy to share dishes as well by choosing both appetisers and mains to share. Our dishes were fresh in flavor and texture, not high cuisine by any means, but certainly a great family-friendly place to grab a meal any night of the week. We’d love to see a great ceviche on the menu, but send a kiss to ‘Our Lady’ that there were no mushy beans and melted cheese in sight!
Lunch and dinner menus offer similar fare, the big difference being pricing, a few dollars cheaper at lunch. Same made-to-order freshness, same punchy flavour.
If you’ve blown your weekly budget already, Miss Margarita’s Sundowner Specials happy hour is held between 5 and 6pm. Specials include $5 beers, $10 cocktail of the week, Jalapeno Poppers and a cold beer for $12 or a Classic Margarita and fresh corn chips for $13. Who knows… you might just see us there… any night!
Read more of Marj’s reviews at www.foodgoldcoast.com.au