Cheap Eats 2009: Surfside

Great food, low prices, lots of fun.

Why go: If the tropical colors and tiki-hut decor don’t lift your spirits, the cooking will. The roster of dishes at this monument to the beach shack is conventional—burritos, quesadillas, tacos. But chef/owner David Scribner brings to the party fresh ingredients and a level of refinement you’d associate with a white-tablecloth spot.

What to get: Guacamole; Nevis tacos (corn tortillas cradling succulent grilled shrimp and a knockout pineapple-jalapeño salsa); grilled fish tacos with bean-and-corn salsa, guacamole, and lime sour cream; make-your-own salads with outstanding green-goddess or honey-peanut dressing; Acapulco quesadilla with grilled chicken, cheese, and mushrooms.

Best for: Feeling better on a rainy day; keeping the party going on a sunny one.

Insider tip: Diners can call ahead for curbside service and have takeout orders delivered to their car.

Open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner.

>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here

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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.