618 S. Exeter St., (410) 234-3782
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Harbor East might not be the neighborhood that springs to mind when eating on the cheap is a high priority, but Taco Fiesta—situated right beside Whole Foods—will keep your belly and your wallet full. The bean and cheese burrito ($5.99) is hefty enough to make anyone feel a little gordo waddling out the door. For an extra $2.79, you can make it “enchilada style”—that is, smothered with red chile enchilada sauce, guacamole, and sour cream. It’s delicious, but unnecessary, because the best thing about Taco Fiesta is the free salsa bar, which boasts eight different kinds of salsa, in addition to jalepeños, fresh cilantro, and chopped onions. Best of all, they have fresh New Mexican green chile. The Golden West Cafe pretty much owns green chile in this town—but instead of turning it into an onion-and-broth-heavy sauce, Taco Fiesta serves the chiles peeled and roasted (and did we mention free!). With this kind of range in the condiments, you can set up anything on the menu to have precisely the flavor you want. The corn tortillas for the tacos ($3.29 each with choice of meat) aren’t Tortilleria-Sinaloa-mind-blowing, but they’re good and house-made. We started to think it all seemed familiar when a sign reminded us that Taco Fiesta was a College Park institution that closed down about a decade ago. It’s been here a coupla years now, and if anything, the time off (or the tonier location) has only improved the quality.