I had a wonderful meal last night at Tierras Mexicanas at 31st St. and 36th(?) Ave. in Astoria. As a recent CA transplant, I've been searching for a reasonable sit-down place on par with the Mexican food in the SF Bay Area, and I think I've found it. The chips are restaurant-made and served with salsa roja and salsa verde. My companion and I had margaritas, which were freshly made, tart with lime juice (there was no sign of sour mix), and had a fair amount of tequila in them. The guacamole was chunky and flecked with pieces of jalapenos (we asked for it "spicy"), and as my companion remarked "doesn't seem to be your typical food-processor guacamole."
My companion ordered the enchiladas with beef and tomato-based sauce and I ordered a salad and the tacos de camaron (shrimp tacos). While the salad was somewhat mediocre and limp, the tacos were amazing. They were made with two warm, fresh, soft corn tortillas with a generous bottom layer of juicy, flavorful shrimp, topped with salsa cruda, onions, small amounts of a white sharp cheese, and cilantro. I had a few bites of my companion's enchiladas, which were also delicious, with a very flavorful steak filling. The black beans and rice served with his meal were also great--the beans tasting slightly of lemon. For dessert, we split crepes in a caramel sauce, which were served with a small scoop of ice cream.
I was impressed with the food alone, in that almost everything we had was remarkably flavorful (except for the salad) and also fresh-looking and tasting. In addition, service was attentive and customer-oriented, the interior of the restaurant was comfortable and pleasantly decorated, and the prices were reasonable--most entrees fell between $10-$14. Overall, I had a great gastronomic experience and hope to have more in the future at this restaurant.
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