Maine is known for its lobster and potatoes, but what about its lime and tequila? For being a long-ass way from Mexico, I'm very impressed by the number of Mexican restaurants in Portland alone.

While the styles and tastes of tacos and nachos can vary place to place, house margaritas are usually much more consistent with subtle difference based on the bar's process.

Being that we've been blasted with the blowtorch of a wildly aggressive spring, and I'm always down for tequila, I decided to head out on my quest of the summer: Where is Portland's margarita numero uno?

So far, I've tried three house margaritas at three different places, ordered from least to most impressive:

El Corazon on State Street in Portland [6]

These guys have all day happy hour on Tuesdays and Saturdays according to their menu, and apparently Wednesdays when they feel like it, because the sandwich board was advertising it when we were there in the middle of the week. $5 margs is music to my ears, but my love can't be bought. This marg quenched my thirst but gave me a sore tongue . It tasted like they're using store bought mix, or their recipe mimics it to a tee.

Taco Trio in South Portland [6.5]

I've never met a margarita I wouldn't finish. That being said, I found Taco Trio's to be a little on the virgin side for my taste. The perfect margarita leaves you tingly in the toes and down for another, and my toes had little to no tingle and the end of my pint glass of lime juice and salt. Yummy, yes. but that's not all a margarita is, folks.

Taco Escobarr on Congress St. in Portland [8]

In the interest of keeping my scale flexible, I'm holding back from giving this marg a better score. I'll withhold the right to upgrade it after I've visited more Mexican joints about town. We were here during happy hour (4-7p every weekday) so I paid only $5 for a house margarita, my fave. This one made me say, "whoa." after I took the first sip, which is a margarita after my own heart. I don't know if it was the buff lady bartender with witty banter, the pepper lights overhead, or the best nachos I've ever had sitting in front of me, but this was easily one of the most delicious house margaritas I've had in my time. Just the right balance of tart, salty, and sweet, with the perfect amount of buzz. You could even tell the rock salt on the rim is top quality.  I can't wait to go back.

In the mean time, I'll continue to work my way through this town with my negligent amount of judging experience and grandiose love for margaritas. Where should I head next?


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