It was about a month ago that I received a call from a friend of mine who was down in Glover Park completing a photo shoot and wanted to meet up for lunch (along with the subject of her photo shoot). The weather was warm outside so I recommended Cactus Cantina thinking it would be a good opportunity to refresh my memory of the place and write it up.
Price – $$
Food – B-
There is nothing really impressive about the food at Cactus Cantina. In fact, I’m sure there are loads of little taquerias throughout DC that have tastier food. The focus of Cactus Cantina however is on providing decent, Westernized Mexican food that appeals to a predominantly white demo so they probably intentionally hold back on some of the flavors.
Service – C
There were loads of young kids working at the restaurant, which is fine but doesn’t make for great customer-service banter (normally) nor does it make for great recommendations. Blank stares abound.
Décor – B-
It is a family-style restaurant, which apparently in the restaurant business means an excuse to scrimp on furniture and décor. The walls are adorned with Office Space-esque flair.
Feel – A-
Despite this subpar review, you can’t argue with results – the place is completely packed at all times. I think they have a number of things going for them including location, family friendliness and universal appeal of Mexican food, that seem to negate the need for top quality service or culinary product. Hey – I still end up going pretty consistently even though I don’t really like the food there. Cactus Cantina is an ideal location for margaritas and fajitas on a weekday night or weekend afternoon particularly for families or large groups.