Spitfire

This Mexican joint has 17 plasma-screen TVs. Thank god the booze is half-price and the Spitfire Sliders are la bomba.

While the sleek modern lines of Spitfire in Belltown speak international chic, the menu sings a south-of-the-border canción with delicious variations on Mexican classics and abundant tequila. Despite a copious and interesting menu of 21 margaritas, only the draft beers and the small-plates menu are half off during the two daily happy hours (4–6 p.m. and 10 p.m.–midnight). We indulged in the margs anyway, enjoying an exotic Prickly Pear ($8.50) and a Zenrita (green tea liqueur, who knew? $7.50). It was the small plates, however, that won our admiration. The ceviche ($6.75 normally) and fish tacos ($6.75) were decent, but, as my companion correctly stated, "The classics are better." The poblano-chile quesadillas ($6) were perfectly smoky and plentiful. The Spitfire Sliders (two miniburgers, $6.75) were spiced chorizo-style and packed a taste easily twice their size. Washing it all down with "The Entirely Too Popular Mojito" ($7) and the house Bloody Maria ($6) was an excellent plan, as the drinks delivered, flavorwise. In curious contrast to the bar's modernist feel and Latin cuisine, several enormous paintings evoked an Andy Warhol–meets–Hieronymous Bosch style. Perhaps these were to balance out the 17 large plasma TVs arrayed around the venue for sports fans. Bottom line: If you can get past the cultural mash-up that is the decor, you should definitely stay for the excellent comida and bebidas. NEIL CORCORAN

 
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