NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When you go out to a local restaurant or bar you may notice something missing from your margarita – limes. You’ll find the citrus fruit missing at more and more establishments and it’s all because prices for limes are skyrocketing.

Getting that squeeze of lime for your tacos of margarita is a lot harder to do. The garnish is now worth more than the alcohol in some drinks.

You won’t find any limes in the produce section at Roy Pope Grocery – only juice.

Robert Vega, with Roy Pope Grocery, said, “We are a small store and there is no way we can pass that [price increase] along to the customer.”

Owners of the mom-and-pop store say their cost for limes has quadrupled.

But like they say, you can get anything – for a price. In some cases the disappearing limes reappear if you’re will to pay $1 for just one.

Ann Geer says she loves tex-mex food and margaritas. “I probably would pay what I have to pay if I wanted a margarita.”

But some businesspeople don’t like he idea of having their customers cough up more cash.

Lanette Cavazos at Al’s la Família Mexican Restaurant in Fort Worth said, “I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated.” Speaking of the over-the-top price increases her husband, Al, said, “We can’t afford it. We were paying about $22 a case, compared to now it’s $130.”

Experts say you can slice it two ways. The weather in Mexico is to blame, after heavy rains reduced the crop. But the bigger problem is that the drug cartels want a slice of lime profits.

The lime shortage is expected to ease in a few months. Other bars and restaurants contacted by CBS 11 said they’ve done away with limes for now and have replaced them with lemons.

Buyers worry avocadoes could be next – and in North Texas that would be another travesty for any tex-mex lover.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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