Las Margaritas Family Mexican Restaurant, in Shoreline, is just that – a family endeavor for Hector Esquivel and his brother-in-law Oscar Garza.
The family owns two Las Margaritas restaurants, one in Shoreline and one in Issaquah, and their staff includes brothers, sisters and cousins, which helps makes it a successful family business.
Garza, who is from Monterrey, Mexico, worked his way up in the restaurant business, he said, starting as a waiter and working for the original owners of Las Margaritas since 1986. He and Esquivel bought the restaurant as partners a couple of years ago.
Esquivel says he enjoys the business, “Because we like serving people and knowing our customers – we enjoy it when people are happy with our food and our service.”
The large number of repeat customers makes it a success as well, he said. Go to the restaurant on a Saturday night and there’s sure to be a crowd.
Garza said the reason it’s such a popular place may be because when they bought the restaurant they made a few changes to the menu.
“We added many more choices, including sea food and fresh oysters, more vegetarian dishes, more of everything. We have over 180 choices on our menu,” Garza said.
The extra touches also make it special, Esquivel said. For example, order a Margarita on the rocks and you’ll receive the drink and the shaker too, half full with the remainder of the drink, kept cool. There’s also plenty of chips and salsa to go around before you even order.
The most popular dish is Carne Asada, Esquivel said. It’s a skirt steak that’s been butterflied and flame broiled, served with guacamole and warm tortillas, rice and beans.
Another popular dish is the sizzling fajitas with a choice of chicken, beef, pork or prawns marinated in a special sauce and grilled with fresh mushroom, onions and green bell peppers, served on a platter with guacamole, sour cream and flour or corn tortillas.
Many Latin diners prefer Caldo de Mariscos, Esquivel said. It’s a Mexican seafood soup made with catfish, prawns, crab claws, scallops, clams, mussels and oysters. On a separate plate comes chunks of onion, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, lime and tortillas, to add to the soup.
For the vegetarians, There’s several items to choose from, including Veggie Enchiladas, several vegetarian burritos and Vegetarian fajitas— with fresh zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, celery, red pepper and fajita sauce served with black beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and tortillas.
Las Margaritas is a fun place for birthday celebrations, too. Out come all the employees to sing Happy Birthday in Spanish and in English, and Supapia, a sweet Mexican dessert, is served. If you’re over 21, a “Mexican Flag” is brought out – a green, white and red drink made with grenadine, cream of mint, cream of cacao and rum, lit ablaze.
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. during the week and from 11 a.m to 11 p.m. on the weekends. Lunches range from $6.45 – $7.95 and dinners range from $9.25 to $14.95.