Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cantina Marina

Cantina Marina has a lot going for it: waterside location, lively atmosphere, large bar area, TVs to watch your favorite sport, great people watching.  Just don't go for the food.

Those of you who have lived in DC through your 20's are probably thinking, "What idiot goes to Cantina Marina to eat? These idiots."

After hitting the driving range at East Potomac Park, we were in search of dinner.  Cantina Marina fit the bill since it was A) close, B) had available street parking, and C) would accept us in sweaty golf clothes.

We hovered around for about 10 minutes waiting for a table to open up.  I'm not a fan of places that you have to pounce on tables.  I'd prefer to put my name on a list and wait in an orderly line.  We practically had to sit in these poor girls' laps while they paid their bill so we could score a seat.
We were starving and immediately ordered a couple of drinks and tacos.  Fish tacos for B and shrimp tacos for me.  To tell you how much B liked this meal, when he was uploading photos for this post he said "Hey, what was the name of that place with the terrible tacos?"

With a location so close to the fish market, why did the fish and shrimp taste pre-frozen? There was nothing redeeming about these tacos except the view we enjoyed while eating them.  The chips and salsa that we paid $4 for featured straight-from-the-bag stale chips and salsa that could be mistaken for Ragu tomato sauce (maybe it was?).

Grab a drink and soak in the view at Cantina Marina, but if you get hungry, do yourself a favor and walk down the road to the fish market and eat dinner there.

Second Thoughts From B

Whether you're a biblical scholar or child of the 60's, you know that "to everything there is a season."  There is "a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to weep." And yes, there is a time to go to Cantina Marina... but for the married couple in their 30s looking for food and not digits (or whatever the kids exchange these days), that time has passed.

Expectations are a funny thing.  We came in thinking the kitchen would take full advantage of the seafood bounty next door.  Rather, its purpose was to help soak up the booze and keep the party going.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not surprised that Cantina Marina was packed and I wouldn't even be surprised if I found myself back there again.  As a place to gather with a group of friends, watch the game, enjoy a beer or 8, and relax on a warm summer night, there are few more appealing locations.  I can't vouch for the margaritas, but the place seems like it would make Jimmy Buffett proud.

In other words, romantic place to celebrate your anniversary while watching the sunset?  No.  Bar to celebrate your kickball team's championship?  Yes.  Place to take your parents when they come visit?  Probably not.  Late night destination when your frat brothers are crashing on your couch for the weekend?  Definitely.
Cantina Marina on Urbanspoon

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