Fresh and tasty Mexican fare free of preservatives, MSG, and mummy crumbs fills the menu at Pancho Villa. Start with a small serving of guacamole and chips ($3) or an avocado caesar salad ($6.25) to jar rusty stomach gears into action. Hang a fang on the super vegetarian burrito, a tightly wrapped torpedo of rice, beans, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, and salsa ($6.25), or dine on chile-verde chicken ($9.35), steak and prawn quesadillas with cheese and salsa ($10.50), or pollo asado ($9.95). For dessert, fluff out your cheeks with flan ($3.75) or a churro ($1.50).
The coffee connoisseurs at The Sunsprite Café conjure warm cups of brew, refreshing smoothies, and delicious desserts to enjoy while viewing local art and live performances, including poetry slams, open-mic nights, jam circles, and espresso-chugging contests. Beverage offerings include New Orleans chicory-blend coffee ($1.55–$1.95) and red rooibus tea ($1.95–$2.45). Sunsprite also carries caffeine creations from the local roasters at Star City Coffee Company, such as the medium and dark roasts of Sumatra or the custom-made Brown's Blend. Patrons can pair those with pastries and treats such as muffins ($1.55) and biscotti ($1.95), which enrapture taste buds with dulcet notes of flavor, and enjoy homemade cups of soup ($3.50), which warm esophagi. Walls peppered with the wares of local artists exhibit creativity, and free WiFi allows customers to entertain themselves with podcasts, news, and their favorite samovar's online journal.
At Don Pepe Mexican Restaurant, an expansive menu of fajitas, burritos, and steaks illustrates the breadth and depth of the Mexican culinary tradition. Nachos in 10 varieties greet diners with juicy morsels of chicken or beef and a crunch that could wake a jet-lagged Rip Van Winkle. Enchiladas team up with tacos or tamales to form hearty combos, or go solo to showcase classic Mexican ingredients such as poblano peppers and green tomatillos. Quesadillas can be stuffed with vegetarian-friendly fillings, such as mushrooms, or meaty delights, such as house-made chorizo. To round out meals, xangos come with a dusting of cinnamon sugar that impresses sweet teeth as much as a coating of edible diamonds.
Though it’s far from the border, Nuevo Mexico Restaurante serves up dishes of traditional Mexican cuisine. The staff rolls seasoned pork or chicken burritos, stuffs taquitos with beef, or grills spinach and tucks it into quesadillas. One of the benefits of their location on the East Coast is the ability to ship in real blue crab from Maryland, granting chefs fresh ingredients for crab salads and enchiladas. One location’s decor unites rich wood accents with exposed red brick, a mural of a matador dodging a bull, and a bar that has three sides, like any argument between a husband and his wife with a crime-fighting alter-ego.
The sounds of sizzling fajitas and lively chatter mingle within Su Casa Mexican Restaurant, which lives up to its name with a menu of home-cooked Mexican and Tex-Mex entrees served in a cozy and convivial dining room. Glasses filled with foamy cerveza and smooth tequila clink against one another to commence meals of oven-baked chicken nachos, steak fajitas, and burritos stuffed with beans and tender meat. Cheese and potatoes fill the piñata-like chili rellenos, whose spice counteracts sips of an icy top-shelf margarita served blended, on the rocks, or filtered through the woven straw of the bartender’s sombrero.