Before opening, Tequila's Town Mexican Restaurant at 109 Whitaker St. promised via its Facebook page that it would offer something "different" and take Mexican cuisine "up a notch."
A friend and I made our first visit on Sunday evening, and I'd say that those goals have been attained.
We started with the tableside guacamole ($8), a real treat. It's simply satisfying to watch one's own appetizer prepared at the table.
Next up for me was the Molcajete ($13), a heated "lava rock" bowl with grilled steak, chicken and shrimp. Just before serving, Oaxaca cheese was added to the boiling mixture so it continued melting throughout the meal.
By the time I was finished, the ingredients had settled down into a thick soup that was still hot.
My dinner companion had shrimp in a sauce of mild chili, wine and garlic, served with a small salad and cilantro rice ($12).
The house margaritas were on special when we there. Service was excellent.
Tequila's Town also offers plenty of standard Mexican fare, including tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, burritos and the like. The menu has a section devoted to Tex-Mex dishes too.
Combination lunch plates are just $6, and it would be pretty easy to eat for under $10 even at night.
I suspect the tables at Tequila's Town routinely will fill up quickly. The space has a nice airy openness and lovely light coming through the big windows, but the interior is relatively small.
The site has been home to a number of restaurants mentioned in City Talk over the years, including Barnes BBQ Express, Sawyer's, Bistro Burger and Gravy.
Some longtime Savannahians will remember that back in the last century the building was home to the fabled bar Jim Collins.
There seem to be a variety of reasons why restaurants have had limited staying power in the space.
It's in the middle of a block between the pedestrian corridors of Broughton and State streets, but few folks walk on Whitaker itself.
And parking in the immediate area is severely and unnecessarily limited by anti-terrorism measures taken years ago around the federal buildings on Wright and Telfair squares. Those measures seem especially absurd in the evening when spots like Tequila's Town would most benefit from additional parking.
Still, on Sunday evening, there was a steady stream of locals eager to try out Tequila's Town. I'm guessing most of them will go back.
Tequila's Town is open every day for lunch and dinner. The restaurant closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
City Talk appears every Sunday and Tuesday. Bill Dawers can be reached email@example.com and http://www.billdawers.com. Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, GA 31401.