In our continuing quest for decent Mexican food in D.C., we found ourselves at Mixtec in Adams Morgan. It was Cinco de Mayo and we were headed to Madrid the next day, not to mention we still hadn't packed, so we just wanted to quickly partake in some margaritas and Mexican food.
We were hoping that Mixtec would be everything that Lauriol Plaza is not, and from the outside and inside it looked promising. It seemed like a nice hole-in-the-wall style, family Mexican restaurant.
We were seated quickly and this was a welcome surprise given the fact that it was 8:30 p.m. on Cinco de Mayo.
I saw a neon sign on the window for fish tacos so I ordered them Baja style. The flour tortilla and bright purple cabbage were a bit of a shock to me as I'm used to Baja style being served on corn tortillas with green cabbage. The fish was fried into a rectangular stick with rather severe edges, so I can't vouch for the freshness of it. Overall, it was flavorful and after a few margaritas, I almost forgot I was in DC. Almost.
B asked the waitress to order for him and she chose the tacos al pastor: classic marinated pork tacos served with a piece of pineapple on top.
Remember when I said I almost forgot we were in DC? Well DC-reality smacked me in the face when I realized how overpriced this place was. They charged $6 for chips that were straight out of a bag (and mostly stale) and a tiny cup of salsa. Don't expect Mixtec to be your neighborhood taqueria with dirt cheap eats. Go to Taqueria Distrito Federal for that (see our thoughts here).
Second Thoughts from B
To say that Mixtec "gets it" would not be off the mark. The problem is that they "get" the basics of economics rather than anything pertaining to fine dining.
We've used this space, time and again, to lament the lack of authentic Mexican food in DC. Usually this statement follows a trip to a place serving Tex-Mex or some Americanized equivalent as an excuse for Mexican food. Mixtec would be the exception. It is authentic Mexican food. In fact, I think I said to J that I felt we had been invited over to someone's grandma's house for dinner. Perfect home-style Mexican cooking. So what's the problem? Grandma wasn't a very good cook.
In my case, the pork was dry and lacked favor. Still, this didn't prevent it from costing $15 at a place that was more hole-in-the-wall than upscale. Seems a bit much when you're seated close enough to the door to check IDs and right underneath a fuse box that tripped 3-4 times over the 60 minutes we were there. Still, the place was packed. Maybe Cinco de Mayo helped but my guess is that it had more to do with simple economics.
When I was little I remember playing a kids video game with my dad where you had to sell bananas to monkeys. It was basically a jungle-style Lemonade Stand that taught the the concept of supply and demand. In this case, Mixtec would have all the bananas in this banana-less city. Unfortunately, that makes us the monkeys...