Maria’s has been a popular dining and drinking establishment for more than seventy years.
“If you haven’t had a margarita at Maria’s, you haven’t really been to Santa Fe,” says customer Cameron Dezen Hammon, who once realized she had forgotten her ID while sitting at the restaurant and drove to her Santa Fe home to get it so she could be served. “I was having that margarita, and no one could stop me. It was a prize to be had.”
Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen’s margarita menu usually offers as many as 200 margaritas containing different combinations of tequilas and mezcals, but the pandemic brought the list down to forty. Floor Manager Christopher Redmond is working on a new summer list that will increase the offerings to more than one hundred. In addition to purchasing affordable, good-quality tequilas, he wants to offer some fair-trade and organic ones.
Best-Seller: The House Margarita
At Maria’s, the margaritas are made with real tequila (as opposed to any of the myriad counterfeit tequilas that have entered the mainstream market), triple sec and freshly squeezed lemons. According to Redmond, the restaurant’s house margarita outsells the others, five to one. The recently introduced Geezer, made with Jose Cuervo Tradicional Anejo and triple sec, is popular, too.
It’s not uncommon for Maria’s to name a margarita after someone associated with the restaurant or who is important to Santa Fe. The House Masterpiece margarita is a tribute to Anna Houser, one of Maria’s regular customers and the wife of internationally known Native American sculptor Allan Houser. The margarita is made with El Jimador Reposado tequila, fresh lemon and triple sec.
If you’re interested in trying a new tequila, Redmond says, “The Tres Generaciones line is probably one of the most underrated tequilas. They just rebranded and went totally organic.” He adds, “They were an excellent product before and now they’re even better.”
Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen, which started in 1950 as a small take-out space serving traditional New Mexican foods during the Santa Fe Fiestas, has been a popular dining and drinking establishment for more than seventy years. Locals and tourists not only enjoy the restaurant’s extensive margarita menu but also the food, which includes such favorites as green chile stew, chicken fajitas, blue corn enchiladas and chile rellenos. Maria’s is located at 555 W. Cordova Road and can be reached by calling 505-983-7929.