Life is too short to eat bad Mexican or Tex-Mex food. I had my first encounter with Holy Frijoles in Hampden over the weekend. This is one of those places that can get away with serving so-so-bordering-on-crappy food because it has hipster cred and a festive atmosphere. But even the atmosphere isn’t that visually interesting. Plus, the food is inexpensive but in no way cheap. My heaping helping of refried beans had a lot of heat thanks to a dousing of chili powder, but very little taste dimension. If I go back it will be for drinks at the bar and a serving of chips and salsa. The salsa is very garlicky, which I love.
I do have a place to recommend for (divey) atmosphere, great prices, and, most importantly, tasty food: El Taquito Mexicano, 1744 Eastern Ave., in Fells Point. The mole sauce was delicious. I’m looking forward to going back there and also trying a number of other Central American restaurants in the neighborhood.