A couple of doors down from Georgetown icon Jules Maes, the new Mexican eatery Fonda La Catrina makes its home in two plate-glass-windowed storefronts. Inside, stools at tall wood counters face busy Airport Way, offering first-class people watching; a smattering of tables draw families (during early dinnertime) and a wide range of locals. There’s also a dandy and roomy patio out back. But despite how much I enjoyed my tamarind-laced margarita, with its smoky salt-and-chile rim ($8.50), and the tender tamales with cheese and jalapeños ($8), and the chunky guacamole ($5, served with jaw-breakingly thick chips)—well, the rest of the menu left me cold. They make their own tortillas here, but when buried beneath the heap of tender yet somehow dry pork in the cochinita pibil, the tortillas soak up too much sauce and tear like wet paper towels. The mole sauce on the understuffed chicken enchiladas is fine, but nothing more; a proper mole sauce should be intoxicating. Prices are very reasonable for the quality; meats come from sustainable farms, which are noted on the menu. If the kitchen can find a less rocky footing, Catrina may be a keeper, but she’s not there yet.
Lunch Tue.–Fri., dinner Wed.–Sat. Georgetown, 5905 Airport Way S; 206.767.2787; fondalacatrina.com $