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Getting to Know Towson! On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina 


On The Border Mexican Cantina and Grill may first come off as your standard college town restaurant, complete with a sports bar and cheap drinks. However, do not be fooled into thinking there’s a lack of quality here. This is a great alternative to the dining hall when you’re craving Tex-Mex, wanting to have a good meal before a movie at the Cinemark next door, or have a drink with friends. 

When you first sit down, you’ll always be given a round of tortilla chips on the house, along with their salsa roja, which is just the right amount of spicy to tantalize the taste buds, but not enough to make you sweat. You’ll be handed your menus, and right away you’ll notice their wide selection of options. 

Their From the Cantina section features an assortment of cocktails, draft beer, and non-alcoholic beverages. They also have another drinks page entirely dedicated to margaritas, which are their specialty, and can either be frozen or on the rocks. Most college-aged folk tend to go for their frozen margaritas, which range from 8.75 to 10 USD depending if you want the regular or grande size. Everyone I have ever known (me included) goes for the grande, as they are absolutely massive, taste great (especially for those like me who are picky with tequila), and can have shots of other spirits added to them for an additional charge. Oftentimes they’ll have a special seasonal grande drink which will lean cheaper, so look for any posters advertising them on your way in. If you’re looking to stay sober, or aren’t over 21, go for a virgin pina colada, a peach or mango iced tea, or a strawberry lemonade, which cost around $3.59. And for those who want the party at home, you can order a fiesta canteen for $12.59, which can contain 15-20 servings of either lemonade, iced tea, or margarita mix. 

(Source: On the Border San Diego)

As for the food, you can never go wrong with guac and queso to start. Both have just the right texture and are made in-house. If you want a hearty entree, go for something from the mesquite grill section. The grilled queso chicken with sliced avocado and sauteed veggies ($14.29), or their carne asada with Mexican rice ($19.99) are both incredibly popular options. The classic fajita platter ($19.49 to $21.59 depending on your meat) is also something to enjoy or even split with friends, which comes with a meat of your choice, pico de gallo, tortillas, cheese, Mexican rice and refried beans, all to assemble yourself into whatever delicious bite your heart desires. And as for their number one specialty, the Build Your Own Tex-Mex grill, where you can pick from two to four items, it’s a good way to save money and sample more items on the menu, but these items will be a smaller portion size. If you’re wanting the strength of two entrees, you’re going to have to get two.

(Source: Business Wire)

However, if there is one thing you should absolutely avoid here, it is their occasional crab specials. When trying the crab tostada and enchilada special, I noticed that the meat was very obviously frozen and then reheated, stringy, and had a distinctly fishy taste/smell. Not even the delicious queso in the enchilada could help it. But then again, most don’t go to a Mexican cantina for crab. Go to a seafood shack instead. Instead, get a shrimp skewer with your fajita entree for an extra five dollars, or just get the honey chipotle shrimp tacos. Or just any tacos, they’re all delicious, and you can get two for $12.30 or 3 for $14.30, which is less expensive.

When it comes to the service, On The Border always delivers. Servers are incredibly helpful, even when you ask how to be cost-effective. Food comes out in a reasonable amount of time, but if you order the giant margaritas or other frozen drinks, it may take a few extra minutes due to the size of the thing, and to get a glass depending on how busy it is that day. If you’re wanting to beat the crowd, go for lunch on a weekday. If you want it busy, go during happy hours (typically 3 to 6 P.M. Monday-Thursday). My personal recommendation: go before or after seeing a movie at the Cinemark theater next door. 

Overall, this place is a good escape from the confines of the dining hall, whether it be for snacks or a nice beverage. It’s also a lovely place to meet up with friends, spend time before a movie, or have a casual date. If you’re craving Mexican food, or maybe just guacamole and queso, On The Border is the restaurant for you.

Disclaimer: This piece was published as a student’s op-ed submission. The Quindecim is a space for all students within the Goucher community to express their views and beliefs. These pieces are released in the name of journalistic integrity and not in an attempt to antagonize or reflect the institution of Goucher as a whole.

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