Best of Phoenix®

Best Of 2002

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Food & Drink

La Vida

Megalopolitan Life

People & Places

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Best Of :: La Vida

Best Margarita

What makes a margarita so exquisite, paired with a basket of crisp, salty chips and an assortment of salsas? No doubt it's the bullish grip of lots of good tequila, tart and dusty to complement the earthy tones of our chips and dip. But most important, it's the add-ins that make or break a margarita.

We like a little character with our cocktail, which is why Cabo gets top billing for its oh-so-fine margs. We can build our own from the very best ingredients. First, we've got a choice of almost 20 tequilas. Then, we get a choice of flavors, depending on what's seasonal in fresh fruit. The fruit -- on display in great heaps atop the bar -- is hand-squeezed, including the limes. Best of all, these margs aren't too sweet (although you can get them that way if you want).

The traditional margarita is topnotch, served in a hefty, multicolored glass with a salted rim and a fresh lime wedge. We're partial to the mango, too, puréed like a slushy with a wicked back bite of alcohol. It comes rimmed in sugar, but we get it with salt (trust us, the contrasting flavors are out of this world).

Just two of these strong drinks, and we swear we can hear the waves crashing in our heads.

Readers Choice

BEST SPANISH LANGUAGE TV/RADIO PERSONALITY
Johnny Dilone (Mas Channel 55)
480-607-9222

BEST SOUTHWESTERN RESTAURANT
Z'Tejas Grill
several Valley locations

BEST SALSA
Macayo's
several Valley locations

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT
Garduño's Margarita Factory
8787 North Scottsdale Road,
Scottsdale

BEST MARGARITA
Garduño's Margarita Factory
BEST TEQUILA SELECTION
Garduño's Margarita Factory

Readers Choice

BEST SPANISH LANGUAGE TV/RADIO PERSONALITY
Johnny Dilone (Mas Channel 55)
480-607-9222

BEST SOUTHWESTERN RESTAURANT
Z'Tejas Grill
several Valley locations

BEST SALSA
Macayo's
several Valley locations

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT
Garduño's Margarita Factory
8787 North Scottsdale Road,
Scottsdale

BEST MARGARITA
Garduño's Margarita Factory
BEST TEQUILA SELECTION
Garduño's Margarita Factory

Best Pi?ata Shop

There's no better way to relieve stress than to bash the shit out of someone with a large stick, and you can do this legally at Reyna's Party Place. With a few days' advance notice, and for around $25, Reyna's people can provide you with a custom-made piata -- just bring in a photo or a description of the character you would like to create. Stuff the offender with tiny plastic airplane bottles of scotch and beat your papier-mâché nemesis into a newsprint-and-crepe-paper pulp. Reyna's also rents bouncy castles, helium tanks, tables, chairs and other festive necessities, including mini-handcuffs and stink bombs.

Best Piata Shop

There's no better way to relieve stress than to bash the shit out of someone with a large stick, and you can do this legally at Reyna's Party Place. With a few days' advance notice, and for around $25, Reyna's people can provide you with a custom-made piñata -- just bring in a photo or a description of the character you would like to create. Stuff the offender with tiny plastic airplane bottles of scotch and beat your papier-mâché nemesis into a newsprint-and-crepe-paper pulp. Reyna's also rents bouncy castles, helium tanks, tables, chairs and other festive necessities, including mini-handcuffs and stink bombs.

Best Curandero O Brujo

Boss on your case? Feeling hexed? If you're in need of a quick spell removal -- or a spell installation, for that matter -- Las Potencias Africanas might be able to help. The small storefront next to the Azteca Cafe offers just about anything you might need for a self-help take on the ancient Catholic-and-African-fused method of Santeria -- including its darker cousin, Palo Mayombe. Some practices might call for frog legs and dried hummingbirds, so it's a good thing it has them on hand. Plus it has original artwork by local Latino artists, incense, religious items, soaps, candles and music, along with readings of tarot cards and chamalango (coconut shells). And just to round out your expertise, there are even classes available in spiritual candle- and soap-making, for the more advanced spell-it-yourselfers.

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Best Margarita: Cabo

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