Cheap Eats 2010: La Sirenita

100 places that offer great food at low prices.

Why go: This roadhouse at the edge of Little Mexico in Riverdale delivers the best, most interesting Mexican cooking in the region: zesty casseroles, robust meal-in-a-bowl soups, and the finest chile relleno around.

What to get: A small pitcher of melon, a sweet cantaloupe drink; posole, a rich pork-and-hominy soup; chilaquiles, torn strips of corn tortilla layered with zippy salsa rojo and a soft-fried egg; savory, sweet chicken mole; lengua, chorizo, and salty-beef tacos.

Best for: Diners weary of uninspired Salva-Mex who crave more punch and spice.

Insider tip: For those whose Spanish isn’t so hot, there are pictures on the wall of all the dishes.

>> See all 2010 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.