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By Phyllis C. Richman
Washington Post Restaurant Critic
From The Washington Post Dining Guide, November 1996

| 2319 18th St. NW
(202) 462-8330

Hours of Operation and Prices
Dinner: Sun-Th 5-11, F-Sat 5-midnight; Entrees: $8-$15
Brunch: Sat-Sun 11:30-4; Entrees: $7-$13

Other Information
• Credit Cards: All major
• Dress: Casual
• Parking: Street
• Entertainment: Karaoke Sat 10:30-midnight

Downstairs it's Peyote Cafe. Up a few steps is Roxanne, which feels more like a restaurant and less like a bar. And on the roof is On The Rox. This restaurant may have three names, but it has evolved into one kitchen with mix-and-match menus. Thus Roxanne now serves the hits from Peyote Cafe, some of the best Tex-Mex dishes in town. It's not typical Tex-Mex cooking, but what you might expect if you crossed Tex-Mex with a really good diner and let a contemporary chef lighten the results. Start with shrimp rubbed with tingly hot spices and grilled, then draped over a vivid salad of oranges and olives. Persuade someone at the table to order the calamari, fried to a crunch and combined with diced vegetables that taste like a kind of sautéed salsa. Among entrees, the chicken dishes are irresistible, particularly since they come with world-class mashed potatoes ladled with chili gravy, and, depending on your particular chicken choice, terrific chunky applesauce and corn on the cob or a dull zucchini stir-fry. The only entree that makes me vary my chicken routine is salmon enchiladas, because the salmon has a lovely crustiness and bursts with juiciness. This is Tex-Mex cooking with more flavor than heat.

Roxanne completes its appeal with excellent chips and salsa and such universal desserts as warm, white-chocolate bread pudding with ice cream and a drizzle of fudge. And even if the food were only half as good, the personable service would be an attraction.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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