TLO Restaurant Review: Margarita Island

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale of a wanton paradise, a landlocked dive called Margarita Island, way down on 8139 N.W. 10th. Motorcycles line the parking lot out front, while surfer art covers most of the walls; many people would be confused but in Oklahoma City, it’s just another thing we’ve come to mostly expect and fully accept.

The Island, ostensibly, is a motorcycle bar, as many of the area’s bikers and the assorted old ladies that ride in with them fill up on brews and other intoxicants in the atmospheric insides, darkly-lit with an eerie green hue. As I ordered myself an ice cold margarita ($3.75), I grabbed the frozen glass and headed outside to the beach-front patio area.

Every man sitting out there seemingly had a Sam Elliot-style moustache and a Devil-may-give-a-fuck attitude as they sat in the bright light of the setting Sun, smoking Marlboros Red with their hot mamas, many of whom were riding high in Daisy Dukes that allowed just a bit of swollen ass-cheek to pop out, some with a little more bare skin than others…

The outdoor fire-pits now housed old cigarette butts, some still cindering; I made my way over to the small restaurant that was connected to the place, a joint apparently called Just Whatever. Judging by the menu taped to the wall, they served mostly tacos and burgers to the famously rowdy clientele that were sure to be in later tonight.

I pressed the button—hard, per the instructions—and the lone woman in the back opened the sliding window, ready to take our order; my pal Jodie and I figured that the Asada Fries Nacho ($8.00) made for a reasonable enough South Padre-esque snack, along with the coveted massivity of the Big Kahuna Quesadilla ($11.50), promised with sour cream, to complete our order.

Finding a seat among the wrought-iron tables and chairs, we breathed in the second-hand smoke that surrounded us, reminding us both of better times in our youth. As I swirled the ice around in my glass, the alcohol definitely started to mix with my evening pills, giving me a few minutes of lightheadedness that was a memorable momentary high, as legal as I’m able to get these days.

As the cook brought out the food to the table, she assured us we were really going to like the Big Kahuna Quesadilla, which is currently number one on the charts at Margarita Island, ordered by just about everyone who cruises on in. As she set it down in front of me, I could see why: the steaming scent that was coming off the thing gave off a thick greasy aura that you really don’t get in most restaurants these days.

Mostly unable to wait, we dug right in to the Big Kahuna, lifting the large pizza-size slices to our outboard lips, grease and other ingredients spilling down the front; it surely did it not disappoint. The custom-cut tortilla was fully-loaded with ground beef and plenty of cheese-stuffs, along with onions, tomatoes and so much cilantro. This thing was big enough to boogie board with, and twice as tasty.

Additionally, it came with both refried beans and Spanish rice, a couple of needlessly fine side items that, honestly, mostly gathered flies; our attention was better spent elsewhere, like on the Asada Fries Nacho—their spelling.

Mixing a thick layer of refried beans with plenty of tender meat to be shared, they covered an acceptable bed of crinkle cut fries, making the Asada Fries Nacho definitely a floatable appetizer. The fried potatoes however were mostly useless; what people really want and crave was the thorough covering of Mexican accouterments, a skeet-surfin’ wave of both shredded and nacho cheeses, as well as plenty of jalapenos, all with a sting as sharp as Dick Dale’s guitar.

But, really, when it comes down to the wire, the best part about hanging out at Margarita Island—the bizarrely-themed motorcycle bar in the middle of nowhere—is exactly that: just hanging out. Like lounging about lazily on a south of the border beach, it’s the perfect place to kick back and just nosh on a ‘dilla and a drink, exhaust-spewing road-hog sadly not included. Cómpralo ya!


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.