(CNS Foodie): Located off the Butterfield Roundabout and North Sound Road, you will find a quaint, cozy cantina-sharing Mexican cuisine and techniques, the only Agaveria in the Caribbean and sharp concept cocktails from a New York cocktail expert at the one and only, Agave Grill. Closed on Sundays, Agave shares the love of all things Mexican from 11am to 9pm Monday-Wednesday and until 10pm Thursday-Saturday.
My colleague and I had a break in our day and decided to head over for a quick lunch … and cheeky margarita – how can I not? I’ve been coming here for years; it’s always consistent and never disappoints.
This time, however, my margarita was subpar and unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for another to have it rectified. The taste was bland and it just seemed watered down, not like they usually are (the classic $8.25). If I’d had time, I would have tried to design my own for an additional $3.25.
The concept of the Agaveria is their exclusive Mexican spirits programme, offering spirits produced from the agave plant from various regions of Mexico. The staff is truly knowledgeable with all the spirits, so if time permits and it’s something that interests you, I suggest you carve out a few hours to explore the world of Agave’s cocktail list (prices range from $8.25-10.00).
The guacamole is always fresh and flavourful with an array of tortilla chips served with it ($9.50). I wish the serving was just a bit more generous or that they offered a combo of guacamole and pico de gallo instead of having to order a la carte, and then you’re up to $16.25 just for chips and dip.
The portion on the locally caught tuna ceviche is very generous, even when sharing, and the balance of lime and arugula make it seem as if you ordered an entrée salad, bursting with zest! It’s hard not to order this every time we go, and if available, they offer wahoo, mahi mahi or snapper as well. ($$$) market price.
We then tried a few tacos. It’s said on the Agave brochure that “Time is our secret ingredient” and their meats are marinated, smoked then slow cooked. This is evident as the Barbacoa Slow Tacos ($9.50) and the Smoked Short Rib ($8.00) were both tender and juicy and full of flavor.
The corn tortillas are handmade and stand up to the juices running from the meat. The Smoked Short Rib tacos (2 per order) have toasted pumpkin seeds, caramelized onion and shredded radish – an absolute perfect combination of textures and flavors. This one was my favorite.
Inside the Barbacoa tacos was marinated pork (or beef, your choice), which is slowly barbequed and smoked. You can taste the smokiness and the flavor was good, but not as jazzed about it as our other option.
After the tacos, ceviche and guacamole, we were stuffed and satisfied and the only drawback was having to go back to the office.
I would like to point out the cinnamon sugared churros with chocolate hazelnut sauce are incredible (big hit with the little ones), but I wish they would offer a kids’ menu.
Even though it’s a small place, sometimes you can’t leave the kids at home so it would be great to not pay $10.00 for a simple cheese quesadilla for a toddler who doesn’t even require any condiments; that seems a bit much. I’m not saying they need to reinvent the wheel here and go all out for kids, but just realize that a few simple gestures go a long way with families.
Agave service has always been friendly and fun in my experience, and I appreciate that. The art on the walls, the overall vibe is very warm and inviting. The tacos may seem small for the price, but we always seem to leave by practically rolling out the door from being so full. I just need to go back and correct that lousy margarita I had.
No gratuity added to bill, except for parties of six or more.
Readers’ ratings for Agave Grill: