Jeff Johnson had a grand vision, but sometimes (all the time?), Memphis simply isn't about it.
His thinking in opening Agave Maria
originally was a high-end place that pulled from cuisines all over Latin America.
But it didn't take.
Johnson now acknowledges that Memphis is a Margarita-tacos-cheese dip sort of place.
"You know Memphis. Sometimes it doesn't work out," he
Johnson decided to rethink Agave Maria, located Downtown at 83 Union. He closed in October and recently reopened. There are no major overhauls in the decor, but the menu is, yes, Margarita-tacos-cheese dip-friendly.
The new approach, says Johnson, is casual. The menu is "reasonably authentic."
The menu features empanadas, burritos, nachos, and, of course, tacos. The "Tacos Especial" include pork belly, duck, hot chicken, lobster, lamb shawarma, and Korean short rib. Among the "Street Tacos" are a brisket, chorizo, and al pastor. The menu also has desserts and a "not tacos" section.
Agave Maria also offers 25 cent Margaritas during lunch on Fridays. (Or, 4 for a dollar, to borrow a line from Michael Donahue.) These are 8-ounce pours. Not enough to get you sloppy, says Johnson.
Once things get settled and the staff is set, Johnson is planning a free lunch with unlimited tacos for Downtown workers.
Agave Maria is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.