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Total Hole in the Wall place that has great food

Whitemarshjohn Jul 20, 2007 09:30 PM

Hearing about Souvlaki Place got me to thinking about "hole in the wall" type places. Tell me about a hole in the wall restaurant that you eat at (and love) that most people in Baltimore have never heard of.

My place is Fiesta Mexicana, 8304 Philadelphia Road in Rosedale Maryland. You can drive right past them and it's easy to miss. It's a husband and wife team (I believe they're both from Mexico) and it's mostly a take out place - they have about 4 or 5 stools, and a small counter if you want to sit down and eat. You talk right to the Chef (Husband or wife) - they can recommend what is good (to your liking) and they'll cook it for you and bring it over when it's done. My neighbor and I go there for lunch - we've been there 3 times and it never cost over $23 total with 2 sodas each - and we're both big boys who like to eat and we leave full.

  1. w
    Whitemarshjohn Jul 22, 2007 06:00 PM

    Sorry if I was unclear about how much it cost in the above post - $23 is for both of us, so it's never more then $11.50 each.

    1. h
      Hal Laurent Jul 22, 2007 06:17 PM

      I drive by that location semi-regularly, but have never noticed Fiesta Mexicana. What side of the road is it on?

      16 Replies
      1. re: Hal Laurent
        Whitemarshjohn Jul 22, 2007 06:32 PM

        Fiesta Mexicana is on Rt.7 (Philadelphia Road) and shares a building with a Hair Salon in a small building. It usually appears that the salon is doing more business then Fiesta Mexicana. If you're driving south toward Baltimore City it would be on your right. Someone opened another new little Mexican take out place about 1/2 mile down the road on the same side before you get to the Moose Lodge - I don't know of anybody who's tried that one yet though. Let me know if you try Fiesta Mexicana and what you think. My neighbor and his buddies really love their food.

        1. re: Whitemarshjohn
          smt Oct 14, 2007 10:56 AM

          I think Fiesta Mexicana is AMAZING!!!!

          I am surprised it is not discussed more on this board. Given the HYPE about the Peruvian place downtown (which I was not that impressed with), people should love Fiesta Mexicana. It is family owned and operated and they take a lot of pride in their product.

          I urge people to try this place.

          1. re: smt
            Whitemarshjohn Oct 14, 2007 01:03 PM

            I'm glad to hear the rescent update smt. I was just asking a friend about them the other week and he said they are still there and still pumping out good food. The husband and wife team that run the place are really sweet. I'll have to try to get back again soon.

            1. re: smt
              baltoellen Oct 14, 2007 02:09 PM

              What does discussing a struggle little Peruvian place that's located conveniently to a lot of people in SE Baltimore have to do with a Mexican place in Rosedale?

              Basically, I wonder if Fiesta Mexicana is worth the drive from SE Baltimore, where there are tons of Mexican/Central American places, or is just good for where it is?

              1. re: baltoellen
                Whitemarshjohn Oct 27, 2007 12:11 PM

                Seems like everyone agrees that this is a pretty good find baltoellen. I don't know if I would tell people to drive 30 miles to try it, but it is some pretty good food in a semi take-out place where the food will run about $20 for two to eat.

                1. re: baltoellen
                  smt Oct 27, 2007 02:32 PM

                  I am just surprised how much more discussion there was for the Peruvian place (with mediocre food) than for Fiesta Mexicana (with excellent food).
                  We all have our opinions, but I think I am being very objective here.

                  I assumed the correlation between the food quality and the quantity of favorable comments would be highly correlated (in a positive direction!).

                  1. re: smt
                    Hal Laurent Oct 27, 2007 02:53 PM

                    > I assumed the correlation between the food quality and the quantity of favorable comments would be highly correlated (in a positive direction!).

                    Apparently not everyone agrees with you about the food quality. There's no need for you to insist that everyone agree with you.

                    1. re: Hal Laurent
                      smt Oct 27, 2007 03:32 PM

                      I am just surprised...not insistent.

                    2. re: smt
                      baltoellen Oct 28, 2007 08:44 AM

                      <<We all have our opinions, but I think I am being very objective here.>>

                      You write that you were being 'objective' after stating "Given the HYPE about the Peruvian place downtown" ??

                      Let's compare: we're talking about a place in Rosedale, that is Mexican, not the hardest to find cuisine ever, with a Peruvian place, not quite run of the mill. I mean, why not pick any two places to compare, say Fiesta Mexicana with, oh I don't know, the Helmand in Mt. Vernon? That makes about as much sense to me as comparing El Rinconicto with your beloved Rosedale joint.

                      BTW, Mr. Baltoellen HAS been to Fiesta Mexicana, since he used to work out there. I just asked him if it thought it better than El Rinconcito, and he said, I can't answer that! They are totally different places!

                      1. re: baltoellen
                        smt Oct 28, 2007 10:05 AM

                        I didn’t mean to get people so upset.

                        I believe that you can compare restaurants if you consider the quality of the food, the freshness of the ingredients, and whether you want to return to a particular restaurant in the future.

                        I visited Peru for three weeks and loved the food. However, the El Rinconcito did not really deliver. While I liked the cerviche and the purple corn drink at El Rinconcito, the fries were soggy and the chicken was fatty and not that flavorful. More to the point, I do not find myself longing to eat there every chance I get (I work less than a mile away).

                        The food at Fiesta Mexicana is always fresh and made to order. I have enjoyed everything I’ve ordered from the menu. Moreover, while I do not live or work in Rosedale, I find myself wanting to return to Fiesta Mexicana for more food. (BTW, Fiesta is about 6 miles from downtown).

                        So, some comparisons can be made. Perhaps I need to return to El Rinconcito to try other dishes, but the level of enthusiasm for this restaurant appears simply unwarranted.

                        1. re: smt
                          JonParker Oct 29, 2007 07:04 AM

                          I have never had fatty chicken there, but YMMV. And if you'll read through the threads on it, no one likes the fries.

                          1. re: smt
                            smt Nov 7, 2007 02:24 PM

                            Well I had lunch at El Rinconcito - a restaurant that, similar to Fiesta Mexicana, could be considered a total hole in the wall place. I visited El Rinconcito with the goal of finding something to like, and there are some very redeeming qualities. Again I loved the chicha morado and the little hominy they served was awesome.

                            Based on other postings, I ordered the Lomo Saltado. I like the sauce which had a wine-like, sweet, and savory flavor that mixed well with the French fries and rice. However, the "target" flavor of the sauce was overwhelmed by significant saltiness (and I am making a big assumption that saltado does not stand for salt - otherwise, maybe the dish was perfect). The restaurant owners are very nice and I would love for them to see success. At the same time, I am devising plans about how to manipulate my wife into going there. To each their own.

                            1. re: smt
                              smt Nov 7, 2007 04:29 PM

                              That should read.....I am NOT devising plans about how to get my wife to go there with me....

                              1. re: smt
                                baltoellen Nov 8, 2007 05:13 AM

                                And, you didn't get the ceviche? ;-)

                                1. re: baltoellen
                                  smt Nov 8, 2007 05:58 AM

                                  I had the cerviche the last time I went and liked it. However, I wanted to try the lomo saltado because it was also reviewed favorably on this board. I would recommend the cerviche over anything else I had there.

                      2. re: baltoellen
                        JonParker Oct 28, 2007 05:09 AM

                        What is a good hole in the wall Mexican place that's open today? I was thinking about cruising over there this afternoon.

                2. a
                  Art Teacher Oct 21, 2007 09:49 AM

                  Ole! Bueno! Love this place. Take the whole family for an inexpensive taste of real Mexican food. It is made right there in front of you - all fresh ingredients. My favorites are the sopes - mmmmm! If the Senora is there you can get a little lesson on Mexico and Mexico City. Delisioso!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Art Teacher
                    baltoellen Oct 29, 2007 06:46 AM

                    Well, we've caught the attention of Elizabeth Large with this discussion. http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/enter...

                    Just to be clear: I was asking if the place is worth the drive from SE Balto AND why someone would compare a Peruvian place to a Mexican one.....but, let's not go THERE again!

                  2. cheftony Oct 28, 2007 08:35 AM

                    I love Peters Carryout in Bethesda. Yes, the food is somewhat classic diner food, but he does some nice salad and wraps. The fun thing is the incredible banter at the counter and how the owner interweaves all his guests together in conversation. Food is great, and the environment is really fun. Gyros, Steak Sandwiches, and don't forget the "Godfather"

                    1. w
                      Whitemarshjohn Nov 3, 2007 08:29 AM

                      I'm so glad to hear that Elizabeth Large has gotten wind of this place. It's nice to see the little Mom and Pop places get the recognition they deserve. If I may once again mention a place called Cousins Cafe that I stumbled upon that I think puts out terrific food when you need something cheap and good (you order at a counter and take the food to your table). They are on Honeygo Drive near Weis Supermarket and Liberatories in the little "Avenue type place" in Nottingham. I wanted to mention them again because I've been there about 4 or 5 times now and it's always good, cheap and I like to see these Mom and Pops get the recognition and success they deserve. http://www.merchantcircle.com/busines...

                      1. m
                        MarcDC Nov 8, 2007 06:15 AM

                        great, thanks for the tip!

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