Third and Charles Bar and Grill US Map & Phone & Address

202 East Third St, East Cambridge; (617) 547-9310

This hidden gem of a Mexican restaurant is close to, but not in the thick of, the yuppified area that has arisen around the CambridgeSide Galleria. It’s in the older, residential part of East Cambridge, so the atmosphere is a neighborhood bar with friendly service.

The well-stocked bar has plenty of Mexican beers and big frozen marga-ritas on hand. For appetizers, along with the usual, you can get a generous quesadilla ($5.25) filled with your choice of steak and green chili, chicken, or even spinach and broccoli (don’t forget we are still in the Republic of Cambridge here).

The menu dares you to ask for your meal hot or very hot. Mine likes the enchiladas soft corn tortillas rolled with beef, chicken or Florentine (spinach and cheese) fillings, then topped with a zingy sauce and melted cheese. Dinner entrees include fajitas for only $5.95;

“T & C Polio, same price, is a boneless breast of chicken sauteed with mushrooms and bacon in a sour cream sauce, and served on a bed of rice.

There are a few items from this side of the Tex-Mex border, such as barbecued baby back ribs (each $5.95); but the real house specialties are clearly those south of the border. Mine suggests you get your posse on over there and rustle up some grub for yourself. Hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 P.M. Sundays from noon.

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