Margaritaville (Tommy's Restaurant -- San Francisco, CA)
I really should be shot for the title of this post. The fact that I couldn't come up with anything more clever than a Goddamn Jimmy Buffett song is just retarded.
At any rate, let me tell you about Tommy's. Tommy's is located about a half a block away from my weekly dim sum fix. I never really noticed it until about two years ago, when a friend who'd lived in SF her whole life suggested we go there.
Now if you hit up Tommy's on the weekend, you're kind of fucked. There are no reservations and the place gets crazy busy. This is not because they have great food. They don't. It's because they have the best margaritas your money can buy.
Tommy's has a freakin' ENORMOUS tequila selection. Anejo, Reposado, Blanco -- they've got it. We like the Oro Azul. They'll make you a kick ass margarita by the glass or the pitcher, anyway you like it. Rocks or blended? (You'd better say rocks or I'll have to come over there and give you a talking to a la Britney Spears Federline).
It's a hell of a good time with a bunch of people. Just keep downing them there pitchers. They've even got habanero tequila (I've tried it; it's good), which they'll let you drink as much of as you want for free, as long as you go outside to puke. My kinda joint.
So, yeah, the food isn't great, but it's passable. You get a warm basket of chips with two kinds of salsa, all of which is pretty decent, unlike yo' mama. Once you place your order, they'll bring you what Jon lovingly refers to as the "crappy salad." Don't get me wrong -- this is a term of endearment as far as he's concerned. This salad is iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and the dressing, my friends, is mild salsa. I can't get down more than half, which makes Jon's day as he can eat both his and the other half of mine. That's OK with me -- just keep pouring those margaritas.
As for entrees, everyone we know finds one thing that they like and then they stick with it. It's your safest bet. We have a friend who digs the Yucatecan Tamales and Jon recently had a mole special, which was a cut above their usual fare. I always stick with the camarones al mojo de ajo. Them there scrimps are nice and garlicky, and I can doctor 'em up real nice. This is because if you ask nicely, your server will bring you their habanero sauce, which is pretty much mashed up fire roasted habaneros. I just slap my shrimp in a tortilla with a little of this love juice and then I'm all good. You also get some black beans and some inexcusably awful Spanish rice, but again, the habanero sauce will mask any unpleasantness because it really kicks ass. Just know your limits because I don't want any whining about it being too spicy if you've dumped the whole bowl of the crap in your first tortilla as one of my friends once did (it goes without saying that she didn't finish her meal).
All in all, Tommy's is worth a trip, if only to get your drink on. And if you find that thing that you like and stick to it like glue.
Pass the habanero sauce.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."