Cheap Eats 2009: La Sirenita

Good food, low prices, lots of fun

Why go: Don’t come expecting a happy-hour-style cantina to swig margaritas and munch on chips. But for those who think the plate’s the thing, this roadhouse in Little Mexico is home to the most extensive and authentic roster of Mexican cooking in the area.

What to get: Two-ply tacos filled with chorizo, salty beef, carnitas (slow-cooked, shredded pork), or shredded goat; stewed chicken in mole; chiles rellenos; posole, a meal-in-a-bowl soup with bits of pork, hominy, tostadas, and radish; the hangover-curing casserole known as chilaquiles, topped with a fried chicken cutlet and a fried egg (get the rojo sauce instead of the verde); huevos rancheros.

Best for: A raucous night out—the jukebox pumps out a steady stream of merengue and Latin pop.

Insider tip: Skip dessert and drop by La Flor de Puebla II down the street for cream-filled sugar doughnuts and pastries for 70 cents each.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.