In the Santa Fe restaurant scene, it pays to have a schtick. Owner Al Lucero is a margarita maniac and his dedication to this beloved cocktail has made this 50-year-old restaurant a must-do stop on any tour of the city. Maria's selection of more than 100 margaritas appeals to visitors, while natives get a chuckle out of seeing how many of them-like The Fat Eddie, El Ratón Mickey and The Don Bernardo-are named for people they know. Everyone marvels at La Margarita de Paradiso, a $45 cocktail made from a blend of tequilas aged in cognac barrels and blended by a French cognac blender, mixed with 150th anniversary Grand Marnier and lemon juice. Though people come for the margaritas, they're pleasantly surprised by the food when they get here. The chips are always fresh and the salsa hot. Sopapillas drenched with honey burst with flavor, and the blue corn enchiladas, served layered with beef, red chile and an over-easy egg, are as authentic as they come.
555 W. Cordova Road, 983-7929.
Lunch and dinner daily. $$