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Restaurant Review | Kicking off Grand Rapids Restaurant Week at Fajita Republic

It’s Restaurant Week here in Grand Rapids, Mich., and I kicked it off by dining at Fajita Republic Cantina on Wednesday night.

The Mexican restaurant opened this spring at Knapp’s Corner, and I had heard that I absolutely must try a margarita. So, of course, I did.

From a menu of half-a-dozen margaritas plus tequila- and beer-cocktails, Mexican and Michigan beers, and so many tequilas, I selected a classic margarita. Priced at $7, the Republic Margarita is mixed with housemade limeade — a blend of fresh lime juice squeezed daily and agave nectar. The limeade is shaken with tequila and orange liqueur and served on the rocks in a salt-rimmed glass.

This delicious margarita is made with fresh lime juice rather than sour mix. (Photo by Erin Klema)

This delicious margarita is made with fresh lime juice rather than sour mix. (Photo by Erin Klema)

I’m not much of a margarita fan, but Fajita Republic might have changed that. Usually I find margaritas too tart or the lime doesn’t mask the tequila’s flavor enough. The Republic Margarita was blended so well that I didn’t notice any lingering alcohol taste. Honestly, I think the fresh-made limeade made all the difference.

Besides the margarita, I was really impressed with the food. As part of the Restaurant Week special, two diners can eat a three-course meal for $28, so we had plenty. No need to get popcorn at the movies later.

Mix-it-yourself guacamole at Fajita Republic (Photo by Erin Klema)

Mix-it-yourself guacamole at Fajita Republic (Photo by Erin Klema)

My dinner companion and I opted for the guacamole appetizer. It’s a DIY approach that actually works out really well for dining with friends who have varying tolerances for heat. The avocados are already mashed, and then you can add peppers, pico de gallo, queso and/or bacon to your liking. The guac tasted so fresh. I wish I had been hungrier!

Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken Tacos at Fajita Republic (Photo by Erin Klema)

Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken Tacos at Fajita Republic (Photo by Erin Klema)

For my entree, I selected the grilled tequila-lime chicken tacos topped with guacamole, chipotle ranch dressing, crumbled queso fresco and a roasted poblano-corn salsa. They were so flavorful and quite filling. During dinner I remarked that eating those tacos was like tasting paradise.

The two tacos came with my choice of two sides: cilanto-lime rice, Mexican rice, black beans, refried beans or charro beans. I selected the cilantro-lime rice to keep my lime theme going and the charro beans, which are pinto beans in a tomato sauce and utterly delicious. I think there is bacon in the sauce — something to keep in mind for those of you with dietary restrictions. Everything was delicious. It was just too much food though!

Tres Leche Cake at Fajita Republic (Photo by Erin Klema)

Tres Leches Cake at Fajita Republic (Photo by Erin Klema)

Our third and final course was a sweet Tres Leches cake topped with the smoothest cinnamon whipped cream. It was heavenly.

We had great service from our bartender, and the overall atmosphere was lively. I’d love to go back to try the fajitas or just to sip $3 Mexican beers and munch on chips and that yummy guac at the bar. Plus, the outdoor seating would be nice on a warm summer night.

Fajita Republic Cantina in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Photo by Erin Klema)

Fajita Republic Cantina in Grand Rapids, Mich. (Photo by Erin Klema)

I should also note that Fajita Republic is conveniently located near the Celebration! Cinema, so it’s in a great location for a family outing, girls’ night out or date night. After dinner on Wednesday, my friend and I saw “A Most Wanted Man” starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. I highly recommend the movie if you like spy or political thrillers, though it’s also worth watching for Hoffman’s performance and German accent.

Know before you go to Fajita Republic Cantina …

Menu: Mexican cuisine including quesadillas, tacos and fajitas

Drink List: Margaritas, cocktails, Mexican and Michigan beer, tequilas

Restaurant Week Special: $28 for two people includes one shared appetizer, two entrees consisting of two tacos with two sides, and dessert through Aug. 24

Location: 2183 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Parking: Parking lot

Fajita Republic on Urbanspoon

More info on Restaurant Week Grand Rapids

Happy dining in Grand Rapids!

Wish you were here,


P.S. This is my 100th blog post! Thank you for following along on my travels and dining adventures near and far. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more to come!

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. finding the perfect marg is a tough one for me too. i always THINK i want one when everyone else is ordering them, but then i remember how i need the perfect mix to enjoy it. fresh limeade sounds like the trick!

    ps. congrats!! thanks for sharing with us!

    August 18, 2014
    • Exactly. I’m not sure why, but a margarita is so hard to get right. And, of course, thank you!

      August 18, 2014
  2. Looking forward to trying this place on a future trip to Grand Rapids. The guacamole looks especially tempting. Great food pics.

    August 19, 2014
    • You’ll love the food. The guacamole is delicious and so fresh!

      August 26, 2014

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