Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Sip margaritas during your shopping break at On the Border


In order to be classified as a first-rate dining locale, a Mexican restaurant must have two things: warm, fresh tortilla chips served with a deliciously spicy salsa and queso combo — and kickass margaritas.

Iowa’s only On the Border is located right outside of Jordan Creek Town Center, and it’s definitely worth the stop.

Iowa’s only On the Border is located right outside of Jordan Creek Town Center, and it’s definitely worth the stop.

On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina in West Des Moines offers both, not to mention some of the freshest guacamole to be found in the metro. Though it is a Tex-Mex chain restaurant and therefore doesn’t offer the same menu of classic Mexican dishes found at smaller restaurants, On the Border presents its own flavors and unique qualities.

Among those options that set it apart from other Mexican restaurants are the “Border Smart” menu with calorie-conscious entrees, border-style and create-your-own combos, and a weekend brunch menu that includes bloody marys, mimosas, micheladas and sparkling margaritas.

Speaking of margaritas — you know, the reason people love happy hours — On the Border offers more than 10 different options on the menu. For the more traditional drinkers, try a swirl or fruit margarita in sangria, strawberry, mango or wildberry. In the summer, On the Border offers a refreshing watermelon margarita to top all others.


For guests looking to partake in the fun but without the guilt, the bar offers a Fresh Lime Skinny, made with Hornitos Plata tequila on the rocks for just 100 calories. Also try the Fresh Lime Agave, made with agave nectar — another unique flavor not found in most local restaurants.

There’s also a “meltdown” option, to top off any margarita with various liqueurs and tequilas; the Cactus Margarita that uses “prickly” pear juice and agave nectar; and the Jalapeno Popper, a spicy beverage with fresh jalapeno and cilantro, Cointreau and agave.

The margaritas and guacamole might be enough to pull most people in, but don’t forget about On the Border’s convenient location in the Lake District of Jordan Creek Town Center. After a long day of shopping, it’s a great place to unwind and grab a bite, especially in warmer weather when the patio overlooking the water is open. In the summer it’s one of the more beautiful views around, with the sun glimmering off the water, but even a window seat near the frozen landscape is a picturesque sight.

The two happy hours at On the Border — from 3-7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9-11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday — present one of the best deals in town, with $2 beers, $3 margaritas and appetizers starting at $2.

Other weekly specials are Enchilada Mondays with two enchiladas for $5.99, Taco Fix Tuesdays for tacos starting at $2, and Fajitas & Ritas Wednesdays with chicken fajitas for $7.99, $3 house margaritas and $5 CoronaRitas. Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees start at $5.99 and mimosas and bloody marys are $2 and $3, respectively.

Of course, On the Border doesn’t just cater to the tequila-loving crowd. It also carries a variety of domestic, draft and import beers, a couple wines and cocktails. The Mexican mojito, Texas cosmo and red sangria carry on the theme of unique flavors, using more agave nectar and spiced rum to add something special to the classics.

The freshly seasoned foods, specialty margaritas and waterfront location make On the Border the perfect post-shopping destination. All it needs is a beach and all-inclusive hotel, and it’d be a vacation. CV


On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
140 S. Jordan Creek Parkway
West Des Moines
Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Happy hour: Mon.-Fri. 3-7 p.m.; Sun.-Thurs. 9-11 p.m.

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