South Side Grille & Margarita Factory

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242 West Broadway
Gardner, MA 01440

South Side Grille & Margarita Factory Logo
As a bona fide fan of Tex-Mex southwest food ~ and of course, of margaritas ~ I was really looking forward to giving Pulse readers the heads-up on the South Street Grille & Margarita Factory in Gardner…because it gave me an excuse to go to there!

The youngest “child” of the folks who made a name for themselves with their wildly successful Border Grille in Leominster, the Margarita Factory (as it’s called by those in the know) is an updated, atmospheric, happenin’ place for food, friends and drink sitting right off 68 in Gardner just south of Rte. 2.

When you walk into the tastefully done stucco entry you’ll notice that to the left is a nicely lit, relatively upscale southwest restaurant ~ but to your right, just past the 30 gallon vat of spinning frozen margaritas, is a huge bar and entertainment lounge.

We requested a table for two and the lovely hostess brought us to a section of the dining room with a glass atrium wall. The room, a blend of earth tones, has a hand-painted border running around the center of the walls, punctuated with stenciled icons of the southwest. These touches, along with other Cajun and Mexican references, add to the fun of the atmosphere. So careful, Border Grille, baby sister Margarita Factory is out to steal the spotlight!

Perusing the menu, my guest and I moved right to the margarita page…after all, it’s a religion, you either bow to the frozen drink god or you don’t ~ and rest assured, we do! This place has “Margarita” in its name for good reason ~ there’s a huge list of options, including the more than 25 different margaritas offered on this particular night. My guest went for the house margarita and ordered it frozen while I tried the special of the month, the Mango Margarita.

Waitress presenting entrees from South Side Grille & Margarita Factory
Soon we had a complimentary basket of fresh chips and salsa in front of us and, while my guest enjoyed a great frozen (with salt), I luxuriated in one of the best margaritas of my life. Okay, yes, I have been prone to exaggeration, but truly, this concoction was awesome. The Mango Margarita was a perfectly blended, almost-shake drink with not a hint of the ice that had been whipped into it ~ it was just smooth, smooth, smooth and awesome…NOT to be missed!

Oh yeah, and we had food, too, and it was also very well done. I started off with a bowl of chicken gumbo ~ it arrived in a baked bean crock and I dove into it with the complimentary chips ~ which, it bears mentioning, keep coming if you ask, and even better, keep coming with corn bread! My guest ordered the scallops wrapped in bacon. Scallops wrapped in bacon in a southwest restaurant, you ask? Yup, and as we expected, they were well-prepared and almost sparkling from the sweet glaze that adorned their tops.

Moving onto the entrees ~ and yes, another margarita (this one the Black Jack, a heavenly combination {frozen, of course} of tequila, Sweet and Sour, and Chambord ~ and don’t even think about salt on this puppy). For dinner I treated myself to the Rum Soaked Pork Chops ~ boneless pork marinated in rum, pineapple and limejuice and served with pineapple salsa, red beans and rice, and asparagus topped with hollandaise sauce…very nice indeed.

My guest enjoyed the pile of food that is the Mixed Grille ~ 1/2 rack of ribs, jumbo shrimp, and a chicken breast with Jambalaya. If neither of these options tickles your fancy, fear not, there are lots of seafood and chicken entrees as well as full menus of southwest and Mexican offerings ~ and all come with a salad.

So to wrap it up, let’s just say that the South Side Grille & Margarita Factory has a great atmosphere, a great range of entrees and apps, and hands down one of the best margarita menus out there. We’re lucky to have it in our area. The restaurant is perfect for a date and the huge bar area is hip, fun and THE place to check out great drink specials from South of our border – so get yourself there…soon!

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  1. South Side Grille & Margarita Factory | TasteWorcester
    South Side Grille & Margarita Factory | TasteWorcester
    July 18, 2008 at 11:18 am

    […] read our review on this restaurant CLICK HERE. […]

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