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Found 78 results

  1. Ericandblueboy

    Upscale Mexican

    I can get decent tacos at Bamba. Is there a high end interesting Mexican restaurant in DC (some place that isn't relying on fajitas, enchiladas, table side guac, or tacos to draw in business)? Some place that might actually draw non-gringos?
  2. Papi's Taco Joint On an unseasonably cold spring Sunday, with temps dipping below zero, we engaged in some culinary counterprogramming with street tacos and Coronas for dinner. This was my first visit and and my friends' n-th time there. It's a cute place. Full service bar area as you walk in, a small dining room is adjacent (maybe 20 seats) and a covered patio (even smaller) with heat lamps. Collectively we've only ever tried the tacos, which you order from a small printed menu pad on each table, wherein you check off your selections like a sushi menu. They come in orders of two ($5-8.50). I went with braised short rib (probably their most popular) and the ground beef - both with soft shells, with cilantro, onion, radish, lime wedge. Incredibly flavorful meats and fresh veggies. Complimentary chips/salsa are clearly made in house but the former were cold and otherwise unremarkable. Service is quick and attentive. For < $15, I had a very filling meal plus an adult beverage. Just one order of two + chips may be plenty for lunch. I'll definitely be back. Warning: the habanero-based sauces on the table (one red, one green) should be approached like like Caps fans entering the playoffs (with cautious enthusiasm). Anyone been to either of their sister restaurants: Alexander's Tavern (also in Fells) or Huck's American Craft (Canton)?
  3. Four years later, I finally tried this place. Twice in the last couple of weeks and I'm sure quite a few more times in the future. A wide variety of tacos are available from the "normal" options (carnitas, al pastor, carne asada) to some more adventurous choices (buche - hog stomach; tripitas - intestines, I think). They also have goat and lamb and lengua and others. Tacos are under $2 (either $1.69 or $1.79, I can't remember). They also have tortas, burritos, sopas, and my wife ordered chilaquiles today which was good and a fairly large portion (she brought half of it home). There are two types of salsa with decent, but not overpowering, heat and a toppings bar with jalepanos, cilantro, onions, beets, and more. I'm going to call this place "authentic". In our two visits, it was busy both times and we, along with one other person on our first visit, were the only non-Hispanics. The cashier speaks some English but certainly isn't fluent. That didn't stop my wife from trying to ask several questions about her order which I believe went mostly unanswered. When the orders are ready for pickup at the counter, the lady only calls out numbers in Spanish. No worries, though, they recognized we might need a little help with that and made sure we got our order when it was ready. Facebook Page
  4. As a proud former Laurel resident, I've been remiss in not spreading the word about this gem. Tacqueria Los Primos seems to be fairly new, with Yelp reviews spanning back to 2016, as I regretfully hadn't heard of it before moving away. They were packed out the door with hispanic families when I went on a Saturday night, which is of course how I knew they would be good. Part of this is their layout, where you order at a counter directly facing the entrance before getting a number and making your way to a table, which creates a logjam between people coming in and out; nevertheless, the place was popping. Four tacos will run you 8 dollars, and they come loaded with cilantro and onions, with radishes, limes, and interestingly enough thick cucumber slices on the side. The tacos themselves were rock solid (think I had al pastor, lengua, tripe, and chorizo). Other customers seemed to be enjoying their tortas, quesadillas, enchiladas, and other staples. Delicious, authentic, cheap, big portions, what's not to like? Just the fact that I can't pick this up on the way home every night anymore.
  5. Tacos, Tortas & Tequila (TTT), and companion restaurant Buena Vida, will open this Friday, May 4, in the former 8407 space in Downtown Silver Spring: "Tacos, Tortas, and Tequila, Buena Vida Restaurants To Open Friday" by Mike Diegel on sourceofthespring.com
  6. In the space formerly occupied by the credible Pane e Vino, there is now Casa Tequila. It appears to be the second outpost of the original Casa Tequila in Purcellville, and offers what might be the suburbs' most extensive tequila menu. With the same outdoor seating as Pane e Vino and with such a selection of tequila, there should be some pleasant happy hours for the Lorton Station residents. The menu -- which I admit that I have not yet sampled -- looks like a decent attempt at "Mex" with a few "Tex" thrown in to attract the locals. This area is not big on true Mexican flavors, which is a shame, but here might be the place to sample some genuine dishes. The mole ranchero and arroz con pollo will be on my short list when I visit. Which will be soon.
  7. I ate dinner last weekend at Sin Fronteras. My Mother and her SO has been raving about the place, so I was glad to get to check it out. The parking lot of this place was packed, which has to be a good sign. My Mom really likes the Margarita Salmon. She told me to get the Chile En Nogoda which is- A toasty poblano pepper, filled with seasoned ground brisket beef combined with raisins and sweet plantains, topped with our delicious, homemade cold creamy Nogada Sauce served with white rice. It was delicious- it had a really good mix of flavors and was savory, but fresh. I thought the combination sounded a bit strange, but it was really good. Not a huge portion, but just right with the chips and salsa and everything else. My Mom got a seafood soup that I tried which was also delicious- it tasted like a latin version of a bouillabaisse. SO had the tilapia which was also very good from the bite I stole. The guac had more cilantro than I like, (but I don't like any cilantro) but was good. The margarita I had was more than acceptable in size. I loved this place, the interior is a bit like a sports bar/diner cross in feel, very casual. The owner was so nice and wanted to make sure we liked everything, which we did. They take a lot of pride in their restaurant and food.
  8. Didn't see a thread for this place, whose Logan Circle location I've been frequenting for dine-in and takeout at least once a week for the last month or so. I have nothing but good things to say about it. The menu is extensive with authentic, fresh Mexican food ("Mexican food made by Mexicans") at prices that make it easy to come back often. I've become particularly partial to the pescado and camaron tacos, each of which are a total steal at $3 and come on two house-made corn tortillas. The portion of fish and shrimp (big, crisp, fresh shrimp) in each of them is ample, and the slaw in the fish tacos packs a nice spiciness. The mole poblano is equally delicious, though the rice and beans it comes with are relatively plain. They advertise brunch, but I haven't been yet. The staff is always friendly and accommodating, with the owner (a former chef downtown, he told me) often sitting at the bar happy to chat before closing up for the night. And with the kitchen open until midnight on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends, it's one of the better, cheaper, more delicious late-night dining options that I've found in the neighborhood. The atmosphere is calm, with Latin soccer games on TV and most of the bar stools and tables occupied, but I've never had to wait for a table. It's an easy place to have a conversation, unlike it's cacophonous yuppy neighbor down N street. In short, you should go to this place if you're in the neighborhood and looking for some good food,
  9. On my eternal quest to truly know tacos, I stopped in at La Fondita Michoacana a few blocks from my house in the Heights the other day and was not disappointed. Situated next door to Tortas El Angel (another place I need to explore), it ain't much to look at, but all of the middle-aged ladies working the kitchen and register were super friendly, even when my halting Spanish wasn't quite enough to meet their halting English. The standard taco fillings are represented, and served on freshly made flour or corn tortillas. The pastor and barbacoa were fantastic on flour, with a good red and green salsa available (I preferred the brighter verde). Enchiladas rojas were done well, with rather tossed-off sides of rice and refried beans. I'd put the tacos a few notches above Tacos A Go Go, a single notch above Chilosos (though I love Chilosos thick tortillas for breakfast) and on par with Unos Pinches. Tierra Caliente is probably still juuuuuuust a little better. That I can easily walk or bike to Fondita means I'll probably eat here more often than any of the others.
  10. A couple with local roots will open a taqueria at 7056 Carroll Ave., currently occupied by a Subway sandwich shop, in Takoma Park: https://www.sourceofthespring.com/couple-local-roots-plan-taqueria-takoma-park/
  11. Went to Californios this week for the fourth or fifth time, and it once again blew me away. The food is right up there with the best tasting menus in Mexico City, imo, maybe ranking just-under Pujol in my book. It would not surprise me at all to see this get a second star in the next couple years. Tickets are shockingly easy to come by for cooking of this caliber. Food+tax+service comes to $204/person (at least for the tickets I bought this time) but the wine list is really fun so you'll probably end up spending more. Thankfully, the ticketing system ensures that past-you pays for the food up-front and actually-eating-the-dinner-you only has to pay for booze. You should go. I didn't take photos but this person did: "Mexico + California - The Inventive, Engaging, Stunning Food at Californios [Review + Pics]" on foodtalkcentral.com 3115 22nd Street (22nd & South Van Ness)
  12. Scenes from this weekend: Enchiladas con mole de pollo - sauce of chiles, chocolate, nuts, shredded chicken, tortillas, onion and queso fresco. Tacos de carnitas - two tacos of braised pork, orange, bay leaf, milk, cinnamon, beer, jalapeño, onion, cilantro and tomatillo salsa. Nopalito 306 Broderick Street (Oak Street) http://www.nopalitosf.com/
  13. Houston is a taco-rich environment, and I had come to believe that at a certain level of goodness, all tacos kind of play at the same level, without stand-outs. I was wrong. The tacos at Tierra Caliente are the truth. These are the Platonic ideal of taco. They are the essence of taco-ness. I sampled 3: lengua, pastor, and barbacoa. Both the corn and flour tortillas are excellent, each spending a little time on the griddle before getting wrapped with the meat and a generous sprinkling of onion and cilantro. Both red and green salsa tasted fresh and bright, with a little bite, but not so spicy as to overwhelm the other ingredients. My only quibble was that the pastor veered a little on the sweet side for my tastes. (I prefer the version I had at Taqueria Tacambaro the next day up in the Heights.) Grab your tacos, head over the the Ice House and grab a beer or Topo Chico. If anyone else can think of a place that consistently tops (or even meets) what Tierra Caliente is putting out, I want to hear about it.
  14. Couldn't find a thread here for this place, opening Tuesday. It looks promising: they are importing all their masa and making everything in-house daily. Menu looks interesting and ambitious, but expensive for Mexican food. "PoPville Preview: Espita Mezcaleria Opening Tuesday, 'Showcasing The Best Of Mexican Southern Cuisine'" on popville.com Dinner Menu
  15. A few years ago, Don helped me get in touch with Eric Ziebold, who in his vast culinary background once worked for Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. I was going to San Francisco and wanted to know where the chefs go to eat in their time off. La Taqueria was one of those places. I hit it again on my most recent visit this past week, and the beef head (cabeza) quesadilla was as good as it was when I first tried it a few years ago. The beefy flavor was intense and wonderful, beating the heck out of any ground meat that might find its way into a typical beef quesadilla. The line to get in is a testament to the place's reputation, and the lunch counter ordering and minimal seating have not dissuaded the multitudes from descending on some of the best fast-Mexican food in San Francisco.
  16. The owners of Guajillo and Casa Oaxaca are now in Manassas on Mathis Avenue. Wife and her sister went for lunch last week and were the only customers the whole time they were there. My wife and I were there for lunch Friday and there were three other parties the whole time we were there. I haven't been to Guajillo or Casa Oaxaca, so I can't speak to how it compares to them. I enjoyed my chorizo quesadilla and my wife's five tacos plate (steak, pork, chicken, fish, and lamb). Thin crispy chips and warm salsa were good.
  17. Could folks list restaurants (Middle Eastern, Greek, Mexican, Turkish) that stack their cones with real meat, instead of the processed stuff? I don't care if the meat is frozen; I just don't want it processed. I don't care if it's ground and mixed with spices; I just don't want fillers. I'm talking about something like this: as opposed to something like this:
  18. Is there a thread on Pepita? Google didn't find it. I had lunch there the other day. I had the tongue and goat tacos, the tongue was very soft and had good flavor, but the goat was really a star, the flavor combination was great with a little more texture than the tongue. We had chips and the salsa verde. The salsa verde was one of the best I have ever had- it was thicker in texture than most and had a nice kick to it. I also liked the music selection. $24 total for 2 people- 4 fairly good size tacos, chips, salsa and non-alcoholic drinks. Which isn't too bad. I would like to try the veggie taco because I think overall Mike Isabella restaurants have some great veggie dishes.
  19. After reading a short blurb in the Washing Post, we decided to try Mezcalero, the new Columbia heights Mexican restaurant. This one goes in the column of "easy to like, easy to be disappointed." We started with a round of very disappointing cocktails. For a place called Mezcalero, we had high hopes for the mezcal based cocktails on the list. Both were so sweet that we could barely get other flavors. Queso fundido was solid but undersalted. The chile relleno was quite good. We had many tacos including nopales (cactus paddles), mushrooms, salmon, and tilapia. The tacos were solid but also undersalted. Service was lackluster. For a neighborhood place, this is reasonably priced and has some authentic options. But it doesn't impress. And it's a very different experience from something like Espita.
  20. We were absolutely blown away by dinner tonight at Cuchara. A kind of last minute decision, with kids in tow, all we needed was a couple beers, a patio, and adequate food. What we got were aggressive, authentic micheladas, perfectly crafted, soulful Mexican dishes, and...a patio. We started with a trio of dishes to share (and the portion sizes really are ample enough for sharing): huitlacoche quesadillas, nopalitos, and tacos chero. The quesadillas resemble empanadas more than what I've become accustomed to, but were filled with delicious white cheese and huitlacoche. Drizzled with cream, these are served with a small side of a smoky and a bit more than medium spicy salsa. The nopalitos are served essentially as a salsa, the cactus paddles diced with tomato, onion, and cilantro, alongside a plate of crisp tortilla chips. The tacos cheer were my favorite of the starters, 3 crispy rolled tacos filled with mashed potato and topped with an eye-opening salsa verde and crumbled cheese. Addictive. The huachinango Veracruzano comes in a small cast iron skillet. A sweet plantain and amaranth cake is topped with red snapper in a rich tomato sauce with peppers (both fresh and pickled), olives, and onion. The perfect balance of all the flavors here reveals a kitchen that knows their game. Sweet met salty. Sour held hands with rich, and everyone played nicely without a cross word. Bravo. Finally, the mole verde won me over by avoiding the dullness I often find with the sauce. Many times, the pumpkin seeds round out any fun sharp edges of the sauce, but Cuchara's version had plenty of piquancy to compliment the tender cubes of pork tenderloin bathed in it. I love getting blindsided by a delicious meal, and Cuchara completely won me over tonight. We'll be back to explore more of the menu (and definitely to try the unique brunch offerings).
  21. After hearing about this place on Chowhound, I decided to give it a try for a quick lunch today while running errands in the Rio Center. While this is definitely not a restaurant, I thought it was worth a new topic for those craving some quick Mexican near 370 in Gaithersburg. Its easy to find and thats about the best thing I can say for its location, since it is inside a Chevron gas station. The lot is cramped, but on the plus side you can fill up your tank and buy soft drinks or snacks at the main store while waiting for your order from the Taco Bar side retail space. The Taco Bar portions half its space to beer and wine sales, so the dining area is fairly small. They do have 4-6 small tables with chairs. Take out was very popular the entire time i was eating there. The kitchen itself is efficiently layed out, and I personally like the large window area that looks directly into the kitchen so you can see that its clean and well manned by a few Mexican women. Their best dish and the reason I went was the Pozole with Pork. To me, this is the Mexican version of Pho, a very popular hearty homestyle soup served throughout Mexico. This is a long-simmered stew made with Hominy and Pork traditionally, although I think they also had a chicken version if pork's not your thing(it really makes the stew in my opinion though). Their version includes a mild chili sauce mixed in, a Tostada(fried tortilla) for crumbling into bits and adding for crunch, and plenty of lettuce and cilantro on top.. Add in some lime and onions from their condiments bar, and you'll have a wonderful meal full of Mexican flavors for a bargain $6. I also ordered the Chicken Taquitos Platter, which came with four fried chicken tacos topped with shredded lettuce, Mexican Crema and Queso, along with Refried Pinto Beans and Yellow Rice. Their combos all include these two sides and a can of soda for $8. The taquitos were just so-so, somewhat bland, but well fried and they perked up well with some hot sauce and lime. The beans were very good, thick with a strong bean flavor that most places just don't get right. The rice was also cooked well and fine for soaking up other flavors. Finally, we had some Tacos al Pastor(pork and pineapple), Tacos de Bistec and Tacos de Suadero(shredded rib meat). These were all tasty and worth ordering, with two nice firm tortillas used for each taco. The Tacos al Pastor were my favorite, although all 3 were on the dry side, IMO. Again, adding some Pico de Gallo and Salsas fixes this as the flavors are great. Judging from the 10 orders placed while eating next to the register, their Tortas are also very popular and certainly smelled good. If you want fast, inexpensive and fairly authentic Taqueria food, this is a great place to go. I still like El Tapatio II near Shady Grove for other foods, but the pozole here is better and certainly cheaper.
  22. "Blue Corn - From a Mexican Family, 'A Fine Blend of Style and Authentic Substance'" by Craig LaBan on philly.com
  23. Senor Canales's Tortilla Grill and Cafe is not only a tiny jewel on the Hill, but one of DC's best hole in the wall secrets! The Canales family is one of the major players at Eastern Market owning three different stalls: Canales Deli, the stand with the fresh pasta, and Canales Meats. Several years ago the Senor of deli fame opened up a tiny eat in/take out store front serving El Salvadoran/Mexican food directly across the street from the Market. It was an immediate success, with lines stretching out the door. But one shouldn't been surprised when the kitchen staff was ordered to make the food like they would at home and a pork tamale, 2 mixed (pork and cheese) papusas with a side of plantains running you $8.
  24. This restaurant just opened up this week with high hopes, as the executive chef is from the acclaimed gas station taqueria in Elkridge, MD - R&R Taqueria. I absolutely, wholeheartedly love R&R - the devotion to food is incredible there. It was packed at 730. It's the former One Lounge in DuPont Circle and they did a fantastic job with the space. There is red tiled floors, beautiful wood ceilings, exposed brick, a nice bar. Something is different recently in terms of service in this town. Maybe it's a re-expression of what is important in a dining experience, or that people are just nicer, or social media is forcing customer service to be better. In any case, in the District itself, I find myself pleasantly surprised with service. We were told 45 min, and were called back in about 35 for our table for two. I know it's different with these higher end places, but there are not chips and salsa served with the meal - it's 4 bucks a pop. And since a few Yelp reviews stated that the salsa tasted canned and not fresh, I didn't order it. We got the queso fundido and the pozole to start. The queso was not melty goodness. It was silly putty consistency and not tasty. It was too hard to eat - you had to hand pull it to get it onto the tortillas served aside it. The pozole was tasty, fresh with cilantro and spice, but ... served cool! I mentioned it to the waiter, and he said he would tell it to the kitchen. We ordered two plates of tacos. We had the chorizo and the fish. The chorizo was almost as good as the R&R version, but a little different. Only one tortilla instead of two (I don't know why that matters, but it does to me). I don't know if it was masa, but it did taste good. The green sauce they gave with it had a bite, I liked it. The fish tacos were lightly fried and had a nice sauce, the typical white sauce of west coast fish tacos mixed with seasoning so it was brownish and tasty, but heavy feeling. Salsa was a few bucks extra, we ordered it, but they forgot. We didn't mention it. The kitchen was very slow, and the server came more than once to tell us how backed up they were. I'm very sad that this place didn't kill it. R&R is so amazing. The idea that they were going to have a real restaurant 25 minutes from me was so exciting. They don't have the Barbacoa, or the lamb stews. I saw fajitas at the table next to me that smelled and looked delicious. It was sceney- lots of pretty folks here. Nice service. Out of respect of the original location, I'll go back, but not for a few months. One question - does executive chef mean something unique? Does it mean his ideas but he isn't there? Because then it maybe explains away the food/execution. Simul
  25. El Sol de Americas a new Salvadoran and Mexican restaurant on 9th street right below U street, a few storefronts down from Etete. Dropped in the other night to try it out and found a very clean and vibrant layout and a very friendly staff. The waitress said they had been open for about a month now. The menu has the usual selection of Salvadoran and Mexican dishes at pretty reasonable prices. I stuck to the Salvadoran side and really enjoyed the fried yucca with chicharones and the bean pupusa. Both very simple but well prepard and fresh tasting. I also have to give a thumbs up to the exemplary tostadas and salsa. I don't know why it is so hard to produce a warm greaseless chip and a salsa with taste but very few places around here seem to be able to accomplish this. I'm curious to try some of their weekend soups and some of their seafood items. Not a destination restaurant but definitely something to try if you're in the area.
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