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Cheap Eats

Pizzeria y Taqueria Tex-Mex Restaurant

3019 E. Baltimore St., (410) 327-7679

Photo: Jenn Ladd, License: N/A

Jenn Ladd

Our hopes were high when we stopped into this charmless carry-out joint, as it possesses an unassuming air of authenticity. Young kids in uniforms were finishing up after-school snacks on a recent afternoon visit. There’s a healthy selection of standard take-out fare (gyros, pizza, strombolis), but the sprawling Mexican menu overshadows those offerings. And for good reason: The carnitas quesadilla—dense with roasted pork and queso fresco, complemented by chopped iceberg lettuce, dressed with a white-cheese sauce, folded between a corn tortilla about as thick as a half a City Paper—was a $4.50 mountain that amounts to simply the best quesadilla we’ve ever had. It was perhaps overly salty. But it was a dream. The chorizo and beef tongue tacos ($2.50 each) also proved exceptional, the meat perfectly seasoned, garnished generously with radish slices and cilantro, served on two wafer-thin tortillas; chicken and fish tacos ($3 for the fish) were less exciting but still quite good. Two Mexican sodas (pineapple and orange) were had for $2 each. We chose to eat at the restaurant, which is undecorated, dimly lit, and equipped with a few small tables and booths, but intimate in a cheap-eats sort of way. When we asked for hot sauce on the side of our order, it took some time for the man behind the counter (possibly the cook himself) to produce it; when he did, however, we were presented with a soup bowl full of homemade green-chili hot sauce, enough to submerge our entire quesadilla. We found ourselves spooning up gulps of it after we guzzled down our meal. It’s hard to let sauce that good go to waste.

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