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It takes a lot of confi dence to expand the seating in your restaurant by three times in this economy. But then Ismael and Diana Perez, owners of Margarita's restaurant at Marco Town Center Mall, have always had complete confi dence in the quality of their food, as evidenced by their promise you'll agree they serve the best Mexican food on Marco or they'll give you your meal for free!Apparently their confi dence springs both from their customers' comments and the fact that Ismael is the chef and knows that everything, from their beans and rice to their famous salsa, is made fresh daily in house and Diana is in control of front of house and can ensure that every customer is greeted with a smile.So, when so many other restaurants are just coasting along waiting for "the good times" to return, at Margarita's they're going full steam ahead. They've taken over the space next door and now have close to 200 seats, when you include the pretty outside patio area. The decor is very "south of the border", with lots of Mexican pottery (which is also for sale) and a vivid color scheme to match the colorful cuisine on their new menu.Full Bar with over 30 varieties of TequilaThe old entrance way has been converted to a full service bar, complete with fl at screen tvs, four domestic and two Mexican beers on tap and an amazing selection of tequilas. In fact, with over 30 different tequilas on of-fer, they now have a separate Margarita menu which even includes a low calorie option for those of us who want to keep in shape but still join in the fun!Everything made from scratch to orderWith such a large new seating capacity you may think they might start cutting corners a little, but Diana assures me that everything on the menu is still made from scratch to order. So, especially at busy times, don't expect your meal to appear too quickly. However, this is a blessing in disguise because it gives diners the opportunity to enjoy their complimentary homemade chips (hot and crunchy from the oven) and delicious tomato salsa (so popular they went through be-tween three and fi ve boxes of it a day even before the expansion).The new menu includes lots of old favorites as well as some of their most popular specials which customers requested should join the regular fare, like their delicious seafood enchiladas. My favorites include seafood tacos and a wonderful avocado salad topped with succulent shrimp with a light dressing and crunchy taco strips.Cinco de Mayo PartyAnd last, but not least, don't miss Margarita's Cinco de Mayo party with live entertainment, great give aways and lots of surprises. For details call 394.6555 or visit their new website and blog at www.margaritasontheisland.comLocated at 1069 N Collier Blvd, in Marco Town Center Mall, Margarita's is open daily for lunch, dinner and take out

Spring 2011 Page 59SHOPPING...Marco Town Center Mall