200 River Walk, Ste. 100
The River Walk’s Iron Cactus, an Austin import, claims a vast tequila selection (shots range from $6.50 to $26 for the tony stuff), and they do offer numerous tequila flights (of three) well worth doing. House versions of just about everything (wine, beer, frozen and rocks margs) are only three dollars at happy hour, too. I figured I could put up with tourists in shorts if the tequila flowed like the river. And for their part, the tourists were well behaved, perhaps cowed by one of the river’s best cypress-shaded settings. But the margs needed disciplinary action. The house rocks was sweet, strident, and low on booze — and for better or worse, it was also small.
Desperate to justify my stay, I next picked a full-price drink from the extensive list of house cocktails featuring tequila. The Blueberry Sage Martini ($9.50) is composed of muddled blueberries and sage leaf with Cuervo Tradicional Reposado, lime, and agave nectar. What’s not to like? Plenty: The pre-prepared lime and agave were overpowering, the sage a mere whisper, the tequila MIA … might as well have the $3 model. Meanwhile, the ahi tuna ceviche, also discounted during happy hour, was generous, but needed cilantro and chilis. The flour tortilla chips were also a joke — thick and dusted with an annoying chili powder. Conclusion: Unless straight shots are in order, the shorts-clad set can have this one.