|Grilled Salmon @ Django|
Within the past few months, however, they've done a much better job on all fronts and it's now one of the area's best choices for a weeknight, inexpensive dinner. The back patio -- with live music at least one night a week -- is perfect right now before it turns cold.
Maybe one reason this restaurant found its groove has to do with the competition, now that Northside has developed a critical mass of tacos joints: there are two others within a very short walk. But IMHO Django wins the crown for best all-around place to eat and drink in this section of Hamilton Avenue. (The only better version of tacos-and-beer-or-booze would be Bakersfield in OTR, but that's a different story.)
Django is doing Sunday brunch, weekday lunch and dinner Monday - Saturday. Dinner is the most fun, at least for me, if only because I'm not going to drink alcohol at lunch very often. In addition to serving dozens of interesting beers, there are the usual margaritas and another cocktail I've come to like that mixes a shot of Jameson with (alcoholic) ginger beer--a drink that was sneakily potent even though it went down like ginger ale.
The dinner menu isn't complicated; it consists of a few chips-and-dips type starters, a selection of five different tacos (beef, veggie, shrimp, etc.) available on flour or corn tortillas [I still don't understand why anyone would have a taco on a flour tortilla, but maybe that's just me], and a handful of entrees. Since I'm picky about tacos and much prefer house-made tortillas -- which very few local restaurants do -- I've been ordering from the entrees list.
There's a hearty, shrimp-and-tomato based stew called Molcajete ($18), which is enough for two people to split if you've already polished off some chips and guacamole. This is a great dish for cooler weather but I haven't ordered it in recent months.
The Chiles Rellenos -- a deal at $9 -- is massive and quite tasty; I couldn't finish it.
My favorite though is the Grilled Salmon ($12), with a smoky flavor and lots of delicious ingredients sharing the plate, such as guacamole, spinach, onion, tomato, rice and a few pieces of crispy bacon.
There are a couple of desserts on the menu but I've never finished my meal with an ounce of room to consider ordering one of them.