La Sirenita Restaurante II
The Sun's letters page recently asked: "Do you think attracting more immigrants would help revitalize Baltimore?" One letter-writer's answer stood out to us here on the Cheap Eats desk: "My neighborhood of Highlandtown has a suffering business district . . . that could become an international food . . . mecca--if the right people would only come," Jeffrey Kosnett wrote. Amen, brother, we say.
Perhaps La Sirenita can serve as a, well, siren, seducing other ethnic places to the shores of Highlandtown. The restaurant mostly serves East Baltimore's ever-growing population of recent Latin-American immigrants, so traditional Mexican dishes predominate the menu, but there are a few familiar options, too.
We started out with a basket of good chips with very good, nearly creamy salsa ($2.50) and a chicken tamale ($1.50) that, while fine, didn't stand out. Our chicken flautas ($8) were also, if not worth the drive, good enough. Sirenita gets highest marks for its enchiladas de mole ($8)--marinated, shredded chicken-stuffed tortillas covered with thick, choclaty mole sauce, lettuce, real sour cream (the thin, runny stuff), and goat cheese.
We plan to return for some of the more esoteric-to-Baltimore items (fried quail, huaraches, menudo), but what we're really hoping is that La Sirenita traps a really good pho place, or a 24-hour dim sum emporium, or an Ethiopian café with decent hours, or. . .