Happy Birthday Girl Friday…Mexican Martini Throwdown!

Because of the half marathon the full on celebration part of my birthday was a bit delayed (there were many different birthday celebrations this yearJ). The best part of my delayed birthday celebration was the birthday Mexican Martini throwdown (Bobby Flay style)! The Mexican martini, lesser know than the Margarita, is a delicious tribute to Tequila!! The rules of the throwdown are that each participant must submit a recipe for the perfect Mexican martini to an independent judge who will ensure there is no recipe duplication and coordinate ingredient acquisitions to ensure maximization of ingredients (for example only one bottle of cointreau, or tequila needed, unless participants require special liquors). The party’s host put together a Mexican feast smorgasbord that delighted the senses…Spicy Bison Taquitos, Refried Bean Chalupas, Flour tortilla appies, queso and chips…yum, yum! The results of the competition are as follows:


The first Martini is the Austin classic (casa Trudy’s) and is an easy drink with well balanced flavours with the secret ingredient being Sprite! The second Martini is the Gayle twist, and is a bit more sour, but I love it…so in short it is a dead heat depending on what you are looking for!! But be careful, these things are addictive!


Trudy’s Mexican Martini (The original, from Trudy’s in Austin)


2 fluid ounces tequila (Herradura Silver)

1 fluid ounce Cointreau liqueur

1-2 fluid ounce Sprite

1 fluid ounce orange juice

1/2 lime, juice of


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Gayle’s Mexican Martini

2 ounces premium tequila (silver, 100% agave)

1 ounce orange liqueur (cointreau)

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce lemon juice (sweetened with sugar to taste)



1. Moisten the edges of martini glasses with a little lime juice mixed with 2 generous dashes of chipotle sauce (chipotle powder in the salt would also work), and then dip moistened edges into coarse salt. Place a decorative pepper in each glass (be careful they aren’t too spicy so they don’t transfer flavour!).

2. Pour remaining lime juice into a cocktail shaker, and then add tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and sweetened lemon juice. Fill shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into prepared glasses.  

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If you’ve made either of the recipes above share your comments or providing ratings!

We’re not singing the blues (we’re slamm’n them)…birthday part 2

Me & Julio
2095 Commercial Drive, Vancouver


This ‘modern Mexican kitchen and cantina’ is the spin off of another one of my Vancouver treasures Lolita’s. So given my admiration of the classic margarita it was a perfect stop for me to kick-off the weekend birthday festivities! And there is so much to celebrate. Spring has sprung in Vancouver, the Canucks are rocking the playoffs, and it is of course my birthday. We feasted over fresh chips and an assortment of yummy salsas and guacamole. I love salsa verde but the mango salsa was my favorite in the salsa trio, and the margaritas were delicious!! Me & Julio is larger than Lolita’s which makes for a nice open restaurant with a great buzz and atmosphere, with bigger tables and space for a party than Lolita’s but with a smaller group or a date definitely try Lolita’s. Me & Julio gets a Very Good, and I’m looking forward to going back and trying a meal.


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Tequila Kitchen
1043 Mainland Street


So in continuing to explore blogging I’m taking suggestions for restaurants from different places, and still looking at enRoute magazine for a few reasons. When I was living in Montreal a friend of a friend, someone who I trust immensely on the topic of food, took us to a restaurant that was suggested in enRoute and it was great. Also, the Calgary restaurants I have been trying in my “Calgary comes of Age?” series have been pretty good. And lastly, it is a popular source of information on restaurants so I want to try it out and report back to you on whether or not we can trust it.

In this month’s magazine it suggested Tequila Kitchen in Yaletown and given my love of Mexican food, I thought I’d give it a go and invite some friends along to try. We made a reservation for three, and then our group grew to 5 and I was impressed that on a weekend night they easily accommodated our request. Less surprised when I arrived at 7ish to find the place was empty. Our server was well informed of the menu, and made thoughtful suggestions. The first of which was to order the classic margarita. On the topic of margaritas, in Calgary (where I’ve been spending a bit of my time these days) when you order a margarita they often say ridiculous things like – “would you like the strawberry flavour or the other one?”, and when you ask what the regular one is just for fun, they don’t know! I appreciated that they have a classic margarita here, and if I hadn’t driven to dinner, I would have easily had more than one because they were yummy. The guacamole was also quite good and very fresh. However, my steak tacos were a bit dry and flavourless. It seemed around the table everyone’s food was okay, but no one was amazed. Although the lamb looked good and if I went back I’d probably get that. I also had the chicken soup, which was spicy more than it was flavourful. I will give the service and the margaritas a ‘Very Good’, but overall Tequila Kitchen gets a ‘Just Ok’. So for now, even though it is small, crowded, and hard to get a table, Lolita’s is still my favourite stop in the city for Mexican food.

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