Shrimp poblano al carbon at Mariano's Hacienda. Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Mariano’s Hacienda is world famous because the owner, Mariano Martinez, invented the frozen margarita machine in the 1970s — the original now graces the Smithsonian museum. But did you know there is a margarita that isn’t on the drink menu? It will run you about $13, but patrons such as John Garza, who recommended it to us, swear “you get what you pay for — excellence!” Mariano’s staffer Alexis Georgiadis says owner Martinez, a “devout margaritaphile,” came up with the “potent but polite algorithm” himself: 2.5 oz of Don Julio Reposado tequila, Combier liqueur and fresh lime juice. Ask for “The Mariano.”

And though Mariano’s offers a grande menu, there is a delectable dish that ain’t on it. Food and beverage director Juan Sotelo lets us in on the secret menu item people love, the shrimp poblano al carbon: a fresh poblano pepper stuffed with mesquite-grilled shrimp, baby bella mushrooms and Monterey Jack cheese, char-roasted over mesquite wood logs and typically served with rice and fresh-grilled veggies.

6300 Skillman

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