By Jennifer Cole
Waltham’s Moody Street is a popular place for bar-hoppers and restaurant fanatics. Among the assortment of foreign cuisine is Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant. Colored lights and festive Mexican music really adds to the cuisine. Most would agree that the ambiance is superior to other restaurants on Moody, but the food does not compare to Taqueria Mexico, the hole-in-the-wall Mexican joint hidden away on Charles Street, one of Waltham’s many side streets.
“Most people don’t know about it, but the food is out of this world,” said David Adams, a life-long Waltham resident, as he chows down on a beef enchilada in one of the booths of Taqueria.
Although the ambiance doesn’t compare to Margarita’s, the food and pricing makes up for it. The menu choices average about 8 dollars per person. Taqueria sports authentic sombreros on the walls, as well as Mexican soap operas on a small television in the center of the tiny eatery.
“Margarita’s is a kind of first date type place,” said Adams. “The drinks are good, but the food here is much better, no doubt about it.”
Although Taqueria is much more authentic in comparison to the commercialized feel of Margarita’s, some people cannot make a fair decision on whether or not Taqueria is the superior choice.
“Never heard of it,” said Nick Santorri of Watertown, as he sits in the crowded waiting area of Margarita’s. Apparently if you’re not from Waltham, chances are you won’t even be exposed to the secret gem of Taqueria food. For some, Margarita’s is definitely sufficient dining.
“Man, I love this place. Been coming here a long time,” said Santorri, who enjoys the mixed drinks provided by the bar. “The only thing that sucks is there’s no damn parking.”
The parking situation is a definite downfall at Margarita’s. Like all the other restaurants and shops on Moody Street, Margarita’s must share the limited street parking with everyone else. There is no parking lot. This trait is common, apparently, because there is no parking lot at Taqueria either. However, patrons of Taqueria can utilize the spacious bank parking lot right across the street. If you’re going to Margarita’s, carpooling is key.
“I love getting drunk here,” said Santorri as he lets out a giant laugh. “But the food’s bomb too for sure.”
Even though I am a loyal Taqueria customer, I must agree with the outgoing, slightly drunk Santorri. Taqueria, while it does have excellent non-alcoholic smoothies made from fresh fruit, does not have a large menu for the strong stuff. The refrigerator holds authentic Mexican beers, such as Dos Equis and Negro Modelo, but doesn’t have a long menu of mixed drinks. Taqueria serves some of the best enchiladas and fish tacos in the area. The verdict: If you want superior Mexican food, go to Taqueria. If you want a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, Margarita’s is the place for you.