The first time I dined at cantina mexicana was two years ago for lunch during a work conference in Crystal City. Located on the block of S 23rd St between Eads and Fern nestled among Italian, Thai, Greek, and Ethiopian restaurants. All I remember were the carafes of sangria floating around the table. And on this particular day, a glass filled with fruit, ice cubes, sangria and a plastic straw was an invited refreshment under the warm sun. The beverage was tame but the fruits were yummy.
My co-worker Que and I took a seat out on the patio under a bright red umbrella; though I had to shimmy to the left every ten minutes. Que picked the Chicken Quesadilla after we had a short Spanish "lesson". How do you say? Kay-sa-dee-yah? I didn't get to taste it but I will say with confidence that it was cheesy and delicious. Their specials were written in pastel on the chalkboard; # 1: Chimichangas and #2:Pupusas, and I went with the latter. The corn meal pancake was crisp on the outside and creamy and delicious on the inside. I would have been satisfied with a plate with just a couple of them. Alright, maybe not. There is no denying my appetite. Something about a dish with rice, re fried beans, smoked pork wrapped in a flour tortilla topped with melted cheese, carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Can't...stop...eating.
The service was great; prompt and friendly. One of the best places to go for Tex-Mex in the area and I definitely want to try out other restaurants paying rent on S 23rd. Let's hope it won't be another two years before I make it back to this gem.