On any sunny day, you can find every patio in Dallas full of people soaking in the sun and drinking a cold one. One drink that everybody, both men and women, enjoy is the frozen margarita. The perfect mixture is what many bars and restaurants aim for, but many fail. Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine is one of the few restaurant and bars that have perfected this famous drink. Maybe, it’s because Mariano Martinez, owner of Mariano’s, was the inventor of the World’s first frozen margarita machine.
After many sleepless nights, Mariano stopped for coffee in his neighborhood 7-11. As he watched a Slurpee machine go round and round, his own wheels started turning. An old soft-serve ice cream machine, his father’s secret recipe and a whole lot of tinkering (and taste-testing!) later, the first Frozen Margarita Machine was born in Dallas, Texas.
It was 1971, and Mariano Martinez had just opened his first restaurant. It was an instant sensation – unfortunately! “We couldn’t make our margaritas fast enough,” remembers Mariano, “And our bartenders? They were just trying to keep those blenders going and the customers from doing the same!
Mr. Martinez is a kind man with a huge personality that attracts everybody. After sitting down with him during National Margarita Day, I learned more about him and why he is a successful restaurateur. When he spoke, everybody listened. Mariano had story after story about trials, tribulations and success throughout his business career. Mr. Martinez toasted the table and spoke openly about changes being made at Mariano’s. He has added a new margarita to his menu called “The Mariano.” This drink can be described as a potent but polite portion of Don Julio Resposado, fresh lime juice, ad Pierre Ferrand Orange Curacao, hand-shaken and served on the rocks. The Mariano was a crowd pleaser, I’m not sure I would be able to drink more than one of these because of how strong the drink was but it’s definitely worth a try.
Another drink that made the table start talking is the Fire and Ice Margarita. This margarita was fresh, hand muddled limes and jalapenos, Herradura Silver Tequila, Kings Premium ginger liqueur that was hand shaken and served on the rocks. If you like a little spice in your life, then this is the drink for you. Don’t sip this margarita out of a straw because you’ll miss out on the spiced rim that gives the margarita an extra kick. Both of these margaritas are available at Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine located off of Abrams Road.
After a few margaritas, Mariano spoke about his mission to bring freshness to the bar. Restaurants have been trying to turn around the way food is made by bringing in only fresh, local produce for their food but Mariano is also bringing that freshness to his bar. I urge you to go into any of his restaurants and put the bar to the test. If you happen to run into Mr. Martinez while dining, be sure to stop and say Hello!