Restaurants Dish Out More Money for Limes as Prices Soar

April 3, 2014

The price of limes is soaring. The increased cost is being blamed on a poor harvest, infestation and unstable conditions in Mexico, but it's impacts are stretching across the U.S., including Charlottesville.

Mono Loco orders fresh produce every day. Included in the inventory list -- one or two cases of limes, grown in Mexico.

General manager Alisha McLaughlin says a few months ago, one case would cost the restaurant about $10. Today, the same thing costs $45.

It's a big price to pay for an ingredient they use so often.

"Oh, I mean on every cocktail. We're a Latin restaurant, so we serve Latin beers that get a lime, margaritas, mojitos, every drink gets a lime," she said.

But it doesn't stop at the bar. Limes can be found in nearly every dish coming out of the kitchen.

McLaughlin says they're still using the fruit as usual, but the continued price increase has been "food for thought."

She says if prices hit $100 a case, they may have to shake things up and only garnish drinks with limes when customers request it.

Restaurants are hoping prices return to normal by "Cinco de Mayo" festivities, but there's no indication from wholesalers that will happen any time soon.

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