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10 Buffalo-area stops for National Margarita Day

A good margarita isn't simple to pull off. The preferred mix of tequila, triple sec and lime juice varies by the drinker; some want top-shelf tequila at the front (and the back), others are fine with a sugary beverage to mask the taste of well tequila, while still others demand a delicate balance.

Calling upon pre-made margarita mix might be considered cutting corners for bar-restaurants, but that practice has become less common as bars have taken cocktails and mixology more seriously. Still, your best bet is to let your bartender know what kind of margarita you prefer in terms of taste.

For National Margarita Day, celebrated Feb. 22 (but for some, daily or weekly), Gusto crowd-sourced Twitter to learn some of the best options in the city of Buffalo.

Senor Tequila, 414 Pearl St. 854-1000. Open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The new downtown restaurant celebrates National Margarita Day with entertainment and specials: $3 house lime margaritas and a $2 discount on top-shelf margaritas.

Senor Tequila offers more than 30 flavors of the cocktail, which seems a tad excessive, but will certainly appease most palates. A DJ will spin at 7, while giveaways are planned throughout the day.

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Cantina Loco, 191 Allen St. 551-0160. Open 11:30 a.m. to midnight.

Owned by Chef Mike Andrzejewski, who just topped Bobby Flay on the Food Network, Cantina Loco is another suggested spot for National Margarita Day.

The Allentown spot offers unusual flavors, such as The Ghost Rider (jalapeno tequila, chipotle tequila, housemade loco hot sauce, muddled jalapeno and spicy lime juice), as well as "pear" and "smoky" for non-specialty options. A classic margarita runs for $7 for a glass or $28 for a pitcher.

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Don Tequila, 73 Allen St. 939-2807. Open 11 a.m. to midnight.

Allentown's Don Tequila was among the first restaurants to be suggested during our Twitter crowd-sourcing, and the bar-restaurant is in tune with the special day. House margaritas - served frozen, too - will be $3.50 (usually $7.50), while margs made with select top-shelf tequilas will be $2 off.

Pitchers run for $25, and Don Tequila is one of the few restaurants to sell an even bigger version, the Tube Margarita, for $37 ($30 on Fridays - useful knowledge to file away).

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Casa Azul, 128 Genesee St. 331-3869. Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Victor Parra Gonzalez, just named a James Beard Foundation regional semifinalist, teams up with co-owner Zina Lapi at Casa Azul, which balances a smart beverage program with solid Mexican fare.

House margaritas will be $5 all day, while carafes will run for $20. Charred pineapple vanilla, lime cucumber, blackberry, and watermelon are specialty flavors that will be highlighted.

At Casa Azul, tacos, tamales and mole, oh my

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Lloyd Taco Factory, 1503 Hertel Ave. and 5933 Main St., Williamsville. 863-9781. Open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

While you won't be able to buy margaritas on any of the Lloyd food trucks, you can drop by either of the taco factories for $8 margaritas - made with mezcal or tequila - all day long.

Both the Hertel and new Williamsville locations take their cocktail programs seriously - as you can see from their tiki drinks - so keep your expectations high.

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Suburban suggestions:

Taqueria Los Mayas, 3525 Genesee St. Cheektowaga. 906-3730. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

News food editor Andrew Galarneau raves about Taqueria Los Mayas' authentic Mexican food, which gives this Cheektowaga joint a leg up if you want to munch with your marg. The special for National Margarita Day is all 11 flavors of the drink will run for $3.99.

At Taqueria los Mayas Mexican restaurant, family cooks for families

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Arriba Tortilla, 40 Riley St., East Aurora. 333-0172. Open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The most suggested of the suburban locations for margaritas, the Riley Street bar-restaurant will boast house margaritas on the rocks and the frozen flavored versions for $5, while top-shelf margaritas cost $8 (usually $11).

The Randal Scandal (Casa Noble tequila, poncha, house mix), Back in Black (Hornitos Black Barrel tequila, cointreau and house mix) and The Black Pearl (Hornitos Black Barrel, chambord, fresh orange and agave nectar) are the three specialty offerings.

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La Tolteca, 7530 Transit Road, East Amherst; 4245 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg. Open 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

With both Northtowns and Southtowns locations, La Tolteca is accessible for most of the area. For National Margarita Day, the Mexican restaurant will sell classic margaritas for $3.99, plus specialty Mango-ritas for $4.99.

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Deep South Taco, 6727 Transit Road, Lancaster; 291 Ellicott St.; 1707 Hertel Ave., Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Deep South empire has grown to three locations, with the most recent popping up on Transit at the border of Lancaster, East Amherst and Clarence. All three locations will offer $2 off select margaritas.

National Margarita Day would serve as a smart time to try the new location and pick from the restaurant's six margaritas (including a frozen DST-rita). Get the Stretch is topped with fresh jalapeno for a special zing - there aren't too many spicy margaritas around.

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Other specials (we'll call them No. 10, A & B):

*Tappo Restaurant, 338 Ellicott St., 259-8130. Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., then 4:30 to 10 p.m. Classic and pomegranate margaritas will be discounted to $8 for the entire day.

*Cantina 62, 2723 South Park Ave., Lackawanna. 331-3601. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. While this Lackawanna stop isn't selling alcohol right now, they have a $2 discount planned for burritos.

Email: btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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