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  1. I couldn't find a thread for La Malinche, the tapas restaurant on Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring, and it's not in Don's dining guide "“ so, I will start one! The place calls itself "Spanish and Mexican" tapas, and while it is certainly not as polished or refined as someplace like Jaleo, it fills the need for a quality neighborhood spot like this "“ I can't think of any other small plates place in downtown Silver Spring off the top of my head. That may be why it has lasted for over three years in an area that sometimes turns over non-chain restaurants pretty quickly, but I do think it is an above-average choice, particularly in one area (that I'll get to momentarily). I'll try and be comprehensive, since I'm starting the thread and have eaten there several times. I returned the other night for dinner, and the food was very good, but as is often the case with small plates, is not necessarily a great value at that time. We wanted to keep it relatively small, so we only ordered four tapas between the two of us "“ the basic patatas bravas, tortilla, and then the scallop and salmon preparations. The basic dishes are tasty, but not standout, although I will say that they are pretty generous with the potatoes for a tapas place (bigger than dishes I've had elsewhere for around the same price point). The fish dishes were very good "“ the fish seemed very fresh and well-cooked, and the sauces (a corn salsa for the scallops and a tequila sauce) were flavorful but not overwhelming. They did not ask how we wanted either dish cooked, which is probably more relevant for the salmon. I'll note that value proposition may come into question for some here "“ the fish dishes were each $10, with three medium-sized scallops and a relatively small piece of salmon (on top of purple potatoes and Brussel sprouts) "“ and that is certainly the path to a high bill at a tapas spot. On previous trips, I've enjoyed various other preparations, including both meat and veggie dishes, - I've never ordered anything that I disliked or had to turn back, though I also can't remember a standout dish either. Dinner is not where the restaurant thrives, in my opinion "“ it's in some of the value propositions they offer at various times. The happy hour is good "“ a collection of $3 and $6 tapas and $3 drinks, though limited to the bar only. They have a special $20 prix-fixe lunch (which includes 20+ choices, though if I recall some of the more pricey fish and meat dishes are not included), as well as an $30 prix-fixe brunch menu on weekends , including alcohol. While there are some other solid brunch offerings in Silver Spring, La Malinche is one of the only ones that offers that sort of deal "“ and considering the quality and variety of the choices (though the options may sway a bit more towards the lunch end of the spectrum, if I recall), as well as the included alcohol (which is mimosas and bloody Marys, but also sangrias and draft beers), you can certainly get more value than you might at standard lunch and dinner sittings. Anyway, wanted to finally put this place on the board here "“ Don, while I don't necessarily agree with everything about the dining guide order in Silver Spring (and I'd be happy to parse that with you elsewhere), I think you can safely put this place in the middle of the pack (non-italicized) until you or others have a chance to explore it and chime in.
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