The fragrance of sizzling spiced meats waft through the brightly hued dining room of Azteca Restaurant and Cantina, enticing diners as they sit at cozy tables and pull cornflower-blue napkins into their laps. Helmed by owners James Burick and Mario Orellana, Azteca Restaurant and Cantina titillates taste buds with generous portions of unusual yet authentic Tex-Mex eats. Diners can rev up their eating engines with the tamales de elote filled with creamy sweet corn before moving on to a beef chimichanga, a roundup of beef, beans, guacamole, and cheese in a tortilla big enough to blanket a replica of the Aztec pyramids. A sizzling plate of lobster-tail fajitas comes with chicken and beef, whereas the enchiladas monterrey provide a meat-free option resplendent with cheese and ranchero sauce.
Samantha's Restaurant melds a variety of Latin American culinary traditions into a single menu rife with fresh seafood, sizzling fajitas, and stuffed poblano peppers. Washingtonian magazine highlighted the masitas de puerco, a traditional Havana dish of bitter orange-marinated pork, as well as the "peppy mariachi soundtrack" that fosters a lively atmosphere. As appetizers of citrus-and-ginger-infused ceviche disappear like a repossessed magic kit, diners can turn their focus to mesquite-grilled fish or a refreshing cocktail from the fully stocked bar.
Tampico Grill's chefs prepare a menu's worth of authentic Mexican appetizers, tacos, enchiladas, and burritos. Combination platters, such as chili relleno with a chicken enchilada ($10.95) or a chicken taco and beef enchilada ($9.50), please tongues distressed by hours spent discussing the best way to skywrite chili relleno. Deep-fried chimichangas ($9.25+) emerge hot from oceans of oil, carrying beef or chicken, and marinated-and-grilled fajitas nestle shrimp ($14.95) and portobello ($10.95) atop beds of sautéed onions and peppers. Refreshing margaritas quench thirst brought on by the flavorful fare and put out any tableside campfires.
Chefs at On The Border sling out a menu of popular southwestern dishes including enchiladas, burritos, and mesquite-grilled fare made from scratch daily with fresh ingredients. Begin a meal with customizable guacamole made fresh at the table using two avocados and choice of tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, onions, and lime juice ($8.99). Dig into a house salad, crowned with corn, black beans, and tortilla strips ($4.69) or the jalapeño-barbecue salmon ($14.99), whose hotness draws inspiration from the fish that swim in active volcanoes. Mesquite-wood-grilled fajitas sizzle delicious secrets at diners with combinations ranging from monterey ranch chicken with bacon, pepper jack cheese, and ranch dressing ($14.99) to barbecue-and-jalapeño-glazed salmon with black beans and vegetables ($14.99). Plates of full-sized or mini tacos burst with simple, robust flavors, such as the brisket tacos ($11.49) or the mesquite-grilled chicken tacos with fried onion rings ($10.99), which arrive with a red chili sauce for dipping or adding zing to boot spurs.
Perch on high-backed chairs to peruse the exhaustive menu of Latin-American flavors and start with a beefy app such as the taquitos ($8.95) or the Mexican pizza with melted cheese, guacamole, and shredded beef and chicken ($8.95). Vegetarians can advance directly to platanos con crema y frijoles ($6.95), an order of deep-fried sliced plantains sided with sour cream and beans for dipping. For heartier appetites, try an order of fajitas for two. The combo platter includes marinated steak, shrimp, chicken, and pork ribs, served with grilled veggies (tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers) and south-of-the-border toppers (guacamole and ranchera sauce), all for $31.95. For an authentic mouthful of El Salvador, stick your fork into a few pupusas ($1.75 each), cheese-stuffed corn tortillas with a choice of six fillings, served with pickled cabbage and carrots. Diners will also find a variety of burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and egg-centric entrees.
Featuring authentic Mexican cuisine fashioned with fresh ingredients, Pica Taco's menu offers a feast of traditional burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and more. Take a seat in either of Pica Taco's casual dining establishments and sip a cold Corona while munching on one of eight soft or crunchy tacos, such as carnitas, pollo, or barbacoa ($2.25 each). A supreme burrito ($8.50) with an order of chips and salsa ($2.75) or plantains ($2.50) silences stomachs long enough for you to get in a word and order another Tecate with lime. The menu makes room for 10 vegetarian items such as the cheese enchilada, veggie taco salad, or veggie sandwich ($6.50 each). Breakfasters can make a fast break for a cheese bagel ($3.25); huevos rancheros ($5.25); or breakfast burrito ($4.50) to prepare themselves for skipping the morning chores.