Guero’s Hair of the Dog Rita

28 Feb

Caitlin and I go on our fair share of double dates, but this weekend we got to have our first double date weekend, as my high school (and college) friend Sam and his wife Brittany came from Indianapolis to make the weekend of it in Austin*. Sam’s a loyal reader of the blog and insisted we get ‘ritas. We were more than happy to oblige. On Friday, he and I overdid it, to say the least.* If you read that footnote, you’ll understand why we didn’t want to drink on Saturday. Even though the gents were still hungover in late afternoon, we had to try the old “hair of the dog” trick and tried the raspberry, sangria and strawberry ‘ritas at Guero’s on South congress.

*I went to three liquor stores to track down some Austin Beer Works for us. We had three each before heading to a delicious dinner at 2nd Bar and Kitchen, where we had another beer. Then it was off to Halcyon for two top shelf bourbons on the rocks and then a treacherous trip down 6th street where we stopped off for every appealing “$1 wells!” shout out from door guys. Big mistake. Sam got sick two songs into Quiet Company’s show and I was pretty much blacked out on my walk home with Caitlin**.

*Sam and Brittany were absolute joys to host; easygoing and up for pretty much any and everything. We hope to visit them and their dog Treat when we are able to get up to Indianapolis!

**It was freezing cold on our close-to-two-mile walk home, to the point where I lost feeling in my fingers and nose, but Zack kept trying to stop us in the middle of the walk to profess his love. Normally adorable, but perhaps a touch misplaced. Still, I love that he is affectionate when he’s been…ahem…enjoying himself.

I’ve been attempting to try the unique flavors at all our ‘rita stops, so the Sangria was an easy choice among the standard strawberry, mango and raspberry options. While we waited, we munched on some pretty spicy salsa and chunks of tomato and onion on a couple baskets of chips. Even though none of us had that thirst for booze, we were ready to dive into our salty ‘ritas. These were definitely on the smaller side, but at a good price. The first thing we noticed was the half-assed salt job.

I’m a sucker for raspberry-flavored things, so I decided a raspberry margarita was just what the doctor ordered. I was disappointed in the salt on my rim (or, more accurately, lack thereof) but still enjoyed myself.

Raspberry ‘Rita: 

Taste: 7/10. Again, perhaps it is my virgin taste buds, but I hardly tasted a difference between the raspberry margarita and any ol’ strawberry one I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it’s just that the tequila is too overpowering or what, but I can only really get a hang of the flavor of margaritas when I get to the syrupy bottoms. (Insert a Zack joke here about ‘syrupy bottoms’ – yikes, that sounds terrible.)

Value: 7/10. It was nice to not feel robbed by this ‘rita, particularly because, as Zack points out, we were on SoCo. Still, it wasn’t a heaping helping, and didn’t taste too much different from a Freddie’s marg.

Presentation: 5/10. Bad salt job, normal glasses, and my ‘Rita in particular wasn’t particularly colorful – there was barely a swirl of color in there.

Overall: 6.5/10. It was a tasty enough ‘Rita and I would stop in again if I were shopping on SoCo in the hot summer months, but I’ll never be heading down there purely and purposefully for this ‘Rita.

Sangria ‘Rita:

Taste: 7/10 I liked it, but I guess I’d have preferred either a regular margarita or a regular glass of sangria with floating fruit. The combination never quite came together for me. It was pretty enjoyable, but it’s like putting bacon on a taco. It sounds like a better idea than it is. 

Value: 9/10 $5.75 is the least expensive ‘rita we’ve had by several dollars. And on S. Congress? A steal. I felt nary a buzz from mine, but I did get a brain freeze. They could have easily charged $7.99 and I wouldn’t have batted an eye. I appreciate that they didn’t join the usual S. Congress price gouging ritual.

Presentation: 5/10 Not much to write home about here. In fact, we have these glasses in our apartment. They’re not even my favorite water glasses. And as you may have noticed, the salt rims were weak at best. After the plastic cup and no salt disaster at Iron Cactus, it was a nice improvement, but adding a lime and half-ass salted rim to a boring glass? Meh.

Overall: 7/10  I wouldn’t recommend going there as a destination, but  if I was on S. Congress and wanted an affordable drink and some chips and salsa, I’d go back again.

(The following review is from Sam, loyal reader, and ‘rita enthusiast, great friend. We both decided green should be his color.)

Taste: 7/10 The margarita had an appropriate amount of alcohol and the taste wasn’t affected, which is one of my biggest pet peeves with ‘ritas. However, I’m not sure I could have really identified the flavor as strawberry if I didn’t order it myself.

Value: 8/10 It was a good size and quality drink for the price. Also, our waiter kept the chips and salsa coming, giving us a good mid-day snack as well.

Presentation: 6/10 The under-salting was an issue, as salt on the rim of the glass is one of my favorite parts of a ‘ritas taste. My ‘Rita also had a single piece of strawberry in the middle of the glass that looked out of place. While having actual fruit in the glass is great, the single piece with no other hint of strawberry looked a lot like a bug. It might have just been me, but it was an odd visual.

Overall: 7/10 I was not tempted to get another one (which was certainly partially due to the night before), but it was a solid ‘Rita and would have been especially good on a very hot summer day.

Company: 10*/10 Both Brit and I had so much fun that weekend and wish we spent more of our vacation with Zack and Caitlin in Austin. They were both such great hosts and did an awesome job showing us around the city and campus. We left the weekend wishing they lived closer to us and can’t wait to see them soon. You are both more then welcome to visit us in Indy any time!

*You’re too kind. I think an 8 is more accurate. I shouldn’t have encouraged you to get drink until you got sick, and a 10/10 is reserved for a dog who owns a parrot. 

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