Tia Margarita Mexican Restaurant
300 19th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121
Cuisines: Caterers, Mexican, Take Out, Latin American, Bar & Grills
Price Range : Average
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06/09/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Ate here last night with my good friend. I had the chile relleno and he had a much better tasting combination of chicken and steak, both grilled-ish.
One thing I don't like about this place is their zealousness of pawning off more and more booze. My friend had a glass of margarita and when he barely finished that one, was offered another, which he managed to drink just halfway through, if not less. High pressure when someone's already drunk isn't my idea of graciousness, or good, cordial service.
06/02/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I've been going to Tia Margarita regularly for over 20 years. The food is reliably good (though lately they've been incredibly heavy-handed with the salt shaker), with some dishes (beef tamales; chimichangas) being downright delicious. I don't drink so can't comment on the margs (though my friends all swear by them). Take a miss on the salads though--not good.
Parking is horrible on Clement, and I've spent upwards of 20 minutes circling for a space near the restaurant. But for me, it's worth it. But only when I have an extra few dollars in my pocket--this place is NOT cheap.
An old favorite.
03/25/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Their margaritas aren't bad. The old Spanish lady who always waits on us is always partial to the men on the table - ha, ha! There's never any parking.. The food is so-so.
Why come back time and again you say? It's better than Chevy's, plain and simple.
Being the Parkside dweller that we are, this is as good as it gets around here :(
01/18/2009Provided by Citysearch -
haven't been here for a while, but i was pleasantly surprised thursday night when our food turned out quite excellent! they seem to be doing portion control now though, they've probably been watching gordon ramsay on tv, sad, but i am delighted to say that the food was very much upto par!
the drinks were a bit watered down, and waitress a little on the just serving the man of the table chauvanist style, but at least the food was good. hence the 4 stars.
10/16/2008Provided by Citysearch -
The unique bar and rooms beyond it felt a bit like eating in a home. The food was surprisingly delicious. They happily made the gambas to order, with some adjustments due to my food allergy. And my husband's steak fajitas were surprsingly good too. I have low expectations for the quality of fajitas because i love mexican food and when its all together its usually good. So i was pleased with the higher than average quality of foods, level of preparation, and authentic mexican taste. The service was prompt, responsive and excellent. The margaritas were a bit strong but good. We will definitely return and bring friends. I highly recommend it. Its a fun change of pace for mexican food!
08/09/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I found this place to have a nice atmosphere and one of the few mexican restaurants in the city that I didn't feel claustrophobic in. However, I found the food to be incredibly overpriced and very average in taste. It was more steaming hot than it was flavorful. The portions were also extremely small considering the price. Same goes for their margaritas, which I thought were good, but very small considering the price.
I also had an odd experience with my server who would stare at me awkwardly when I would ask questions about the menu items before answering me. She'd repeat this if I had to ask anything else of her the rest of my meal. (simple things like more napkins)
07/25/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I've been coming to Tia Margarita on the average of once a week for about 8 years. I live in the neighborhood and I've also been a bartender at a chain mexican restaurant for about the same length of time and consider myself to be fairly knowledgable about margaritas and mexican food as it's my favorite thing to eat. This is my hands-down go-to mexican restaurant. Ever. I love this place. Francisco (the long time bartender) rocks! I haven't seen Jenny behind the bar for a while but when she's there the margaritas are amazing too. I work in a place that uses sweet and sour in our margaritas and though they are quite popular I'm a purist myself and prefer a margarita made with 100% Agave tequila (Cuervo Tradicionel is my default tequila) , rocks, no salt and fresh squeezed lime juice. This is the only way, in my opinion, to truly appreciate and enjoy tequila (drinking it straight is a little too hard-core for me). Tia Margarita makes an excellent margarita and the food always satisfies. Everyone who I have ever recommended this place to has always thanked me. I can't say enough about the service. I always sit at the bar so I can't really comment on the table service but all I have to say is kudos to Francisco, Pedro, Jenny and of course the lovely owner Helen. I always feel welcome and comfortable there and I've always experienced top quality service.
06/19/2008Provided by Citysearch -
me and my friends went there last night and had the weirdest experience! The food is excellent and we were seated right away but our server left us feeling so incredibly awkward. We ordered margaritas and instead of asking for my id (i do look very young) she just stared at me even when i offered to show her my id. i asked her several times ""do you want to see my id"" she stared at me for several minutes. when we ordered our food she stared at us blankly as if we said something that offended her. i asked for sour cream and she gave it to me with a spoon that looked like it had been picked up off the floor. when my friends ordered their food she just said no. we weren't ordering anything that wasn't on the menu just wanted 1 crispy taco and one soft and she looked at us like we were from another planet. i have never felt so uncomfortable in a restaurant in all my life. I am still a little dumbfounded. Hands down the weirdest/uncomfortable/awkward experience i have ever had. I would go back just ask for a different server.
06/10/2008Provided by Citysearch -
This place can be good or bad depending on your server, how busy it is, and what you order. THe first time I went here the waiter was excellent, the second, not so much. The service is good if it is not busy, but on a day like cinco de mayo it was awful. Especially because I waited and hour and a half for my table. The food is typically good, I wouldn't reccommend the salads, but the enchiladas were killer. The margaritas were so strong that I couldn't even it. This is a better lunch place for sure!
05/05/2008Provided by Citysearch -
After reading so many good reviews of this restaurant I assumed it would rank high among my favorite mexican restaurants but I have to say that for anyone whom enjoys great Mexican Food, this is a true disappointment. The food was aweful, the service bad and the margeritas... not any better. I'd rather go to a hole in the wall any day.. what a disappointment.
This is a great, casual, neighborhood spot to kick it with your friends. The bar is welcoming and people seem to really enjoy themselves. We didn't wait long for a spot. Service was fine. I really liked my tamales but the rice and beans were so so. The rice tasted like something I've made at home from a box - I'm not saying this rice came from a box but I was expecting something less american tasting. I wouldn't want to pay 11 or 12 bux again for a plate when I only like the tamales. I would like to see a re-vamp on the rice and beans. hint hint :)
04/08/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I live a few blocks from this gem but would never known it was here if it wasn't so close. I'm glad I found it. Hands down the best margaritas. I have two favorite food items and am never let down. If I get the chicken platter I can eat for days. I mean it gives you three or four chicken breasts...wow. And the Jennie's Special has this creamy delicious dressing. Yummy. Go on a friday for happy hour. Sit at the bar and chit chat with the regulars. Some have been coming upwards of twenty years. You know they're doing something right. Cesar rocks!
03/30/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Great drinks and good people here! The place is really cute, stained glass windows all around the place. The owner Helen is really sweet and never forgets a face which is always nice. The bartenders poor stiff drinks (never a bad thing) and the plates of food will never leave you hungry. I like that. I have been many times, some with my Grandfather, others with friends.
03/15/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Having craved a good margarita all night, my sister and I stopped by to have a few drinks and dinner while we finished our laundry across the street. We ordered food and margaritas right away. Big mistake. When the margarita was served, my sister and I were so disappointed we sent them back. They were so poorly done -- too much triple sec, not enough tequila -- we asked to send them back to the bartender. This was the first time either of us had sent drinks back. We told the server there was too much triple sec. He kindly had our new drinks brought out. Now, a place with a name like ""Tia Margarita"" should be able to get a margarita right at least every other time, right? Wrong. The bartender simply did not know what a good margarita tasted like. If you can't make a decent margarita, please, do not work at a mexican joint. At this point we looked around and noticed no one was really downing their drinks.
When the food came, it was average american-mexican food. I had the enchiladas verdes. They were ok. The rice and beans were good. The real entertainment of the meal, however, came from watching more and more customers come into the restaurant, order margaritas, and make awful faces the instant they fully taste their beverage. The most painful moment came hearing the bartender explain that its important to use fresh lime juice to make a good margarita. The bartender's facts were straight, but she was all wrong when it came to actually making the drink. We didn't drink more than two sips of either drink. In the restaurant, most margaritas went unfinished and we saw no one order a second.
Now, my sister had been there before and had said their food and margaritas were excellent. Maybe it was an off night. When the manager happened to come pick up the final check, my sister expressed her displeasure. The manager took the drinks off the check. I felt terrible. My sister and I would love to have spent a lot more on drinks that night.