June 2005

This homey Mexican cafe grew out of a grocery store where owner Pepe Montesinos sold soft tacos over the counter. Demand was so great that he added another room and table service. The wonderful soft tacos are still on the menu, but there are other attractions. One is Montesinos's own invention: The delicious torta is a sort of Mexican sub filled with grilled meat, guacamole, chilies, and sauce.

Mixtec also has some of the best tamales in town–the pork-filled ones are particularly good. If you've made the mistake of drinking too many of Mixtec's very good margaritas, come back for lunch the next day for menudo, a tripe stew that's reputed to be a sure-fire hangover cure.

Mixtec, 1792 Columbia Rd., NW; 202-332-1011.