Tortilla Coast

Bar/Restaurant, Mexican, Tex-Mex
$$$$ ($14 and under)
This GOP staff hangout serves basic Tex-Mex, albeit done nicely.
Mon-Weds 11:30 am-10 pm; Thurs-Fri 11:30 am-11 pm; Sat 11:30 am-10 pm Closed Sundays
(Capitol Hill)
Capitol South (Blue and Orange lines)
202-546-6768
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Editorial Review

A mouth-watering smell of grilled meat greets you when you enter this GOP staff hangout, located practically next door to the House office buildings. The brightly painted walls and comfy booths make it seem classier than most of the standard-issue burger and beer joints in this neighborhood. Basic Tex-Mex, albeit nicely done, is what to expect, from fajitas to chicken enchiladas, but it's worth trusting your nose and ordering from the grill. The kitchen is justifiably proud of its chile con queso, coyly referred to on the menu as CCQ, and included on most combination platters. It's spicy and cheesy and good. However, the "world-famous margaritas" are a bit on the bland side and served in straight-sided glasses instead of the wide-bowled, narrow-stemmed classics.

-- Maryann Haggerty