Cherry Creek North has a lot to offer, but the area has sorely been lacking Mexican food. Until now. Machete Tequila + Tacos opened last month in the space formerly occupied by the Q Worldly Barbeque, and while the spot offers a menu of traditional eats and thirst-quenching margaritas, it needs time to work out some kinks.

My meal started on a high note, with a Spicy Rico’s Rita, a marg made with muddled jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, Cointreau, and agave nectar. It was the perfect blend of spicy, sweet, and tart—and it went down easy on a hot summer afternoon. Sadly, my happy hour excursion went downhill from there. Although it was at least 80 degrees outside, the air conditioning wasn’t working. While the teensy open-air patio was great (if a little warm), service was intermittent, with three servers alternately confused over whose responsibility my table was. And though the small mahi mahi tacos were tasty and fresh (if a little uninspired), the dense chicken tinga quesadilla was completely devoid of the pizzazz that would prompt a return visit.

My advice: Check out Machete for its creative margarita list. But give it a few weeks to smooth out the wrinkles in service, food, and atmosphere.

2817 E. Third Ave., 303-333-1567