Margaritas have quickly become one of my favorite classic cocktails and tequila one of my favorite liquors. From a refreshing, slightly tangy original recipe – salt on the rim and all – to fun flavor variations, margaritas are just as versatile in their taste as they are in the occasions you can enjoy them. For example: A Tuesday gone less than ideal led to a desire to grab a drink, but not at a bar – as much as I enjoy Huskies and Ted’s – because I also wanted to enjoy a top-tier meal. Hence, a trip to the friendly neighborhood Chuck and Marg’s.
This Thirsty Thursday writer honestly didn’t know the UConn foodie favorite’s actual name is Chuck’s Steak House and Margarita Grill Mexican Cantina until it was included in the most recent restaurant roundup for Hollieats. Certainly a mouthful, so it makes sense that most huskies affectionately refer to the restaurant as Chuck and Margs. I don’t know who Chuck is, but I’d like to thank him for this food and drink destination in the middle of cowtown Storrs. A two-story, eclectically decorated restaurant with many nooks and crannies for seating in addition to a cozy outdoor patio, Chuck and Margs is a great place to bring your family, enjoy a fun dinner with friends or celebrate the end of the semester with your club.
From the free, freshly fried tortilla chips that come with a chunky, slightly spicy salsa to the entrees that are delightfully hefty for the reasonable price, mostly everything I’ve tried from Chuck’s would be Hollieats-approved – ask her yourself! But considering this a boozy beverage column, let’s chat about the titular drink from the restaurant. Here are my thoughts on the margaritas I’ve tried from Chuck and Marg’s:
7. Tarantularita (with or without tequilapeño)
One of the specialty margs on the menu, the Tarantularita seems like a unique, candy-like cocktail, described as a citrus flavor of Tarantula Azul tequila infused with a sour apple liquor. My friend had the fun – if you couldn’t tell, I’m being sarcastic – idea of paying an additional $0.75 to make their margarita spicy by substituting the original tequila with Chuck’s house-infused tequilapeño. Don’t get me wrong, I actually appreciate a well-crafted margarita with jalapeño. Yet, for some reason, the spicy with the sour did not jive with me. I think there was just too much going on. And even the untainted version might have too much going on, as my other friends who had tried the original Tarantularita claimed it was not the most delectable drink.
5. and 6. Strawberry and peach margarita
These classic flavors are actually perfectly delicious – as you will see, you can’t really go wrong with the rest of Chuck’s drink menus – but because you can probably try them at other establishments, I’ve placed more unique choices higher. I feel like strawberry is the most common margarita flavor, and for good reason. The sweetness balances out the tanginess of the tequila, and Chuck’s fruit margaritas are better than those of other restaurants because they mix them with real fruit purée. The peach is a little more unique, with peach purée and Peachtree liquor, but I feel like it tasted a bit stronger than the other options, so I guess it depends on what you’re looking for!
3. and 4. Blood orange or pomegranate margarita
These flavors are not what I would usually order, but I think Chuck’s does them well, and for that, I think they’re worth a try. If you enjoy citrus, try the sour but balanced blood orange, and if you want something subtle but still flavorful, try the pomegranate.
2. Mule margarita
This seasonal special is adapted from one of my favorite cocktails, in all its gingery, refreshing glory. The margarita is made with triple sec and ginger beer to add that tang and spice, creating a strong, but still well-composed drink. Just be sure to mix the drink, or you’ll get a straight slurp of tequila!
1. Mango margarita
When in doubt, go for mango. And I mean that for literally any food or drink – mango is a powerfully flavorful fruit! The mango margarita is what I ordered this tragic Tuesday, and it cured all the ails that alcohol could. The pureed mango added a nice body to the drink and was sweet enough to balance the tartness of the tequila without being overly or artificially sweet. It’s a flavor I can always rely on, and I’m glad it could offer me some comfort – and maybe could do the same for you.