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Cantina Marina, Popular Water Street Tex-Mex, Cajun, and Creole Cantina at the SW Waterfront - Closed


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This Saturday, a group of us will be down by the waterfront and will need a place to go for lunch where we don't have to be dressed up -- in fact, we're likely to be sweaty and perhaps even slightly dissheveled. We will be close to Cantina Marina, and I had heard decent things about this place when it first opened, but nothing in recent years. So, any opinions one way or the other?

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Funny you should ask -- I actually had a cup of chili, because I thought it would be the least offensive thing on the menu. I considered trying the gumbo first. The server said the owners really think their gumbo is great, but when I asked what kinds of meats were in it, she said "catfish." Sorry, in my opinion, gumbo has to have andouille, at least, if not tasso as well, and shrimp. The chili was perfectly okay, and it didn't kill me to eat it. Our table had a variety of dishes -- blackened chicken sandwich, nachos, veggie burger, BBQ sandwich. There was absolutely nothing served that would make me willingly return, except perhaps the $3.50 beer special of the day. But there's not much to choose from in that neck of the woods, and it was cold and rainy, and we were soaked.

PS the picture must be the gumbo, because of the rice. The chili had lots of beans and some cheese on top, and every little apparent meat.

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Saycheese said:
Funny you should ask -- I actually had a cup of chili, because I thought it would be the least offensive thing on the menu. I considered trying the gumbo first. The server said the owners really think their gumbo is great, but when I asked what kinds of meats were in it, she said "catfish." Sorry, in my opinion, gumbo has to have andouille, at least, if not tasso as well, and shrimp. The chili was perfectly okay, and it didn't kill me to eat it. Our table had a variety of dishes -- blackened chicken sandwich, nachos, veggie burger, BBQ sandwich. There was absolutely nothing served that would make me willingly return, except perhaps the $3.50 beer special of the day. But there's not much to choose from in that neck of the woods, and it was cold and rainy, and we were soaked.

PS the picture must be the gumbo, because of the rice. The chili had lots of beans and some cheese on top, and every little apparent meat.

Cantina Marina's gumbo is not bad...at least the last time I tried it before the winter. I grew up in New Orleans with a momma who makes killer gumbo. Sometimes it has chicken and sausage. Sometimes it has crab and shrimp. Sometimes it has fish and chicken and sausage. It all depends on the cook's preference and what is in the house when the gumbo making commences. So "no meat" wouldn't ever kill the deal for me. A while back Cantina Marina served catfish fingers with a sort of crayfish etouffe dip - it was good - but I don't think that's still on the menu.

I have a soft spot for Cantina Marina because it's where I sat and drank beer to give me the courage to buy a place in SW DC. Best decision I've made in a long time!

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