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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Casual restaurant

Sun–Thu 8:00am–midnight
Fri–Sat 8:00am–3:00am

Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Adams Morgan
1792 Columbia Rd. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 332-1011
More Columbia Heights than Adams Morgan—and for that, we like it

Geographically, Mixtec is pretty promising. We assumed, given its location on the border between party-centric Adams Morgan and ethnic food-centric Columbia Heights, that it would be a rockin’ good time—either in the traditional sense or gustatorily. Rubbing our hands together in anticipation, we imagined that just beyond its green awning with Aztec-chic fonting might be rows of steamy pollos a la brasa. Or tacos—de lengua, de res, de barbacoa. Or, at a minimum, whiskey shots for $2.

And you’ll long for a cheap shot at about five different points in the course of a meal here. The first might be after you sit down but before water glasses are clunked down in front of you—a process that could take up to ten minutes. The next might be after you check out the menu and fear that neither your authenticity hopes nor your party-riffic dreams will be fulfilled.

Because the menu doesn’t read like one that’s all that authentic. But if you peer into the kitchen in the back, you’ll see an old Mexican woman, and once you taste your food, you’ll understand that this is clearly home cooking. Execution of rice and beans is spot on, and they’re delicious. Chiles rellenos are a good version—appropriately oozy and cheesy, but with an egg batter that’s of a certain lightness, and given life by a touch of piquant pepper. It’s a simple dish, but oh, how it works. Enchiladas, while not so oozy (this ain’t Tex-Mex, after all) are also faithful representations. (Oh, and as for the drinking game? Time to take another shot after you order to tide you through the time that you’re going to wait and wait and wait and wait for your food to come out.)

Service, in fact, is Mixtec’s weakest point. A bare-bones interior we can easily forgive. But staff might at first seem uninterested in your presence, but they can be won over.

And just as you’re riding on that high, you’ll run into your second conceit of the night. Look at all the suckers standing in the line for up to an hour to eat at Pasta Mia, and you’ll be happy with your decision.


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