End of Era Vol. 9 – Mixtec Closes in Adams Morgan

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1792 Columbia Road, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Over the last several days I’ve noticed Mixtec restaurant being closed. Do you know what’s going on with it?”

Earlier this month Washingtonian reported:

“One of Adams Morgan’s oldest restaurants may close after 40 years. Mixtec owner Pepe Montesinos tells us he’s unsure of the restaurant’s future.”

I took a peek in the window on Sunday and plates and dishes were piled up:

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Sadly it seems they decided not to take an extension like next door neighbor Pasta Mia. We judged Mixtec back in 2009. Will update when we learn who will take over the space.

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31 Comment

  • It seems like Adams Morgan is experiencing higher than average levels of turnover on the bar and retail space.

  • It’s a sad day for DC. We’re losing a real gem.

    • I used to lie MixTec, but lately the food is overpriced and mediocre. Not too surprised to see them go.

      • +1. This place was a great cheap meal a decade ago, but prices have gone up dramatically since then and the quality hasn’t kept up. Their very well-documented rat problem also didn’t do them any favors.

      • +2. Last meal I had at MixTec (about 12 to 18 months ago) was horrible. Obvious skimping on the ingredients/cooking, the margarita tasted like a bottom shelf mix, and the place smelled of pesticide. What used to be a rough-around-the-edges “hole in the wall” place got too expensive to be worth it. Lately I’ve seen very few customers in there when I stroll by, so the closure is not entirely surprising to me.

  • I am sad now. I have loved this place for many years.

  • There were several cheaper Latin American places within striking distance of Mixtec, so its not too bad I guess. You mention Pasta Mia, which continues to have lines many nights. Could they expand into this space?

  • Great signage, reminded me of the AeroMexico signage

  • justinbc

    I only ever had the fish tacos from there, several times well into the night, but damn they sure hit the spot when inebriated.

  • I always loved the “idea” of MixTec, but in reality the restaurant could never deliver. For some of the least expensive to prepare but rich in flavor cuisine, the offerings at MixTec were always overpriced and bland.

    Whatever.

    Soon the landlord will stop renewing the lease of all the storefronts on that stretch and wait for the three new large/largish developments to arrive – then accept new retail. Same thing is happening across the street at the Payless and Old City spots.

    • +1

      Every few months, despite protests from my better half, I would give it a shot. Bland and overprice. With a Hotel and other developments, AdMo will change fo’sho

    • The second part of your response is the right answer. I would expect more longtime places to close in Adams Morgan in the next year or so as landlords prepare for the influx of people due to the new developments. Landlords are clearing out the “low rent” businesses in anticipation of charging significantly higher rents to new “upscale” businesses.
      .
      Look at what happened on 9th and 7th Street in Shaw – landlords let the properties sit empty for a year or two (sometimes longer) as they awaited the new developments to come on line. They didn’t renew leases for any existing businesses. And now new stuff is opening over there every month. Same thing will happen to Adams Morgan.

      • So in other words, enjoy old Adams Morgan while you still can, because it’s about to be overrun with charmless, mediocre, overpriced “upscale” bars and eateries like just about every other part of town that has been redeveloped. The heart and soul of DC are almost completely gone, and it’s sad.

        • Yep. Roofers Union is the first of many of these incarnations.
          .
          That said, the existing businesses had a LONG time to make arrangements to purchase property in that area when prices were cheap and they were printing money due to the liquor license moratorium. So while I do feel a twinge of sadness (especially for The Reef), they could have avoided it.
          .
          My guess is that the “NY CLUB” place will be next to be renovated into something truly upscale, as the proprietor just declared bankruptcy.

        • change is sad, but also exciting.
          if you can’t find something you like in this new dc, you’re not looking. lots of great new energy about.

          • Guess I’ve just been here too long & I’m getting old! I miss the way it used to be like 15-20 years ago, when things had just started turning around, but weren’t full-on supperyuppie quite yet.

        • You are nostalgic about “old Adams Morgan”? Which one, in particular? The forlorn, empty AM of the post-riot 60′s-90s? The fratty, vomity, stabby AM of the 90′s-00s? The changes are happening slowly, and they will certainly claim the weak businesses. If they were distinguishing themselves, they would likely still be in business. Mixtec was a joke. At least 1/2 (maybe 3/4?) of the bars and “restaurants” on 18th St. stay open on the back of Fri/Sat night booze fest. Many will continue to disappear. As they do, the strip will diversify away from 80% crap.

  • I’ve never eaten at a place that had more contempt for their customers than Mixtec. That said, it was hit or miss. When it hit, it was solid. When it missed, it was a big womp.

  • Brunch was always great at this place. The tortas and tostadas, perfectly fried eggs with black beans and homemade tortillos, and homemade salsas were always on point. Some dinner items I just knew to stay away from (the burritos were all rice and beans / bland), but the tacos and breakfast items were great. Sad day.

  • They had great Ceviche. Sorry to see them go… :(

  • this place was terrible. super overpriced and not that good. $15+ for two medicore fish tacos?? seriously? glad to see them gone

  • Sad to see a long time business close but it was really overpriced bad food by the end.

  • Its heyday was long ago and even then, it benefited from the low bar for Mexican restaurants in DC.

  • I will never forget an epic experience at Mixtec 15 years ago or so. Stale chips, cafeteria tacos, watered down soda, indifferent service. It was straight comedy. I have always viewed those who spoke highly of Mixtec as a group that is profoundly lacking in any ability to objectively judge a restaurant.

    • Most likely they’re just people (Southerners, Yankees, and Midwesterners) who’ve never had real Mexican food.

      • Of all the ethnic foods that are found across the US, there seems to be more really, really bad examples of Mexican than any other type. I guess it’s really easy to do badly.

    • Those who spoke highly of Mixtec were probably those who went 20+ years ago, when it served ~good~ regional Mexican food for reasonable prices. I’m sad to see it go, mostly because at this point, it deserved to do so.

  • Mixtec was decent back in the early 90′s when it was either them or El Tamarindo for Mexican/Salvadoran food in the neighborhood. Not sure when they started sliding (I stopped going around 2005). Hope something decent lands there.

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