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Tex-Mex or Latin recommendations


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Help! My college friend is craving Tex-Mex or Latin foods, since she can't enjoy them back in China (go figure). I am very unfamiliar with both Springfield and Lorton options, since her family's in Lorton.

Any suggestions or should I tell her to drive further somewhere else? I did search and find a recommendation for La Hacienda, but what to order there?

This is for tonight's dinner. Sorry - last-minute plans, so last-minute notice.

Thanks all!!

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Got you covered.

I have eaten at La Hacienda and I find the food to be pretty good. It's a nice mix of Central American and Mexican, and it's authentic enough to draw a very Hispanic clientele. And if you want "Tex Mex" (yuk!), there's the minimally adequate Tippy's Tacos across the street.

But my suggestion might be to cut through Lorton to Rt. 1 and head south a few miles into Woodbridge. There are many, many Hispanic restaurants all along both sides. Some of the best char-broiled chicken around is to be had at Don Alberto's. You have to go El Pollo Rico in Arlington to find anything better. It also has a full menu of Latino fare in a spare setting with lots of Latino families in the place.

I've heard good things about El Charro on Dale Blvd. as well, but I haven't tried it yet.

Keep in mind, you're going to pass a lot of places on Rt. 1 your friend also cannot find in China -- Five Guys, Dixie Bones BBQ, and the like -- but the quantity of Hispanic places on Rt. 1 is daunting. Go get lost and have a ball.

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My 2 recommendations, both on (or just off) Rt. 1, slightly north of Ft. Belvoir-

El Paso (Cooper Rd.)-this used to be a (really bad) Chinese restaurant, now it's our goto Mexican, since El Puerto shut down. Standard Mexican combos, friendly service, inexpensive...I had a friend visit recently from Arizona & I was surprised when she wanted Mexican, but she said in AZ, it's mostly 'TexMex' & different...

Taco Jalisco (Lukens Lane, nr GameStop)-more of a hole in the wall, but good food...

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We ended up at La Hacienda, located in Brookfield Plaza in Springfield, a very, very diverse strip mall/plaza area. It is also where the new Ravi Kabob location is.

The overall impression is that the karaoke on a Friday night was quite good, business was sparse, but service was a bit more so -- it was hard to find our server at times. Music is loud, but definitely entertaining, as mentioned, it was Karaoke night. As an alternative, there are several televisions positioned around the dining area for your viewing pleasure.

The highlight of the evening were the chips and salsa. Gebaby heartily inhaled a basket and a half of chips, along with a new "egg salsa" of his own invention; he took an egg off an entree and proceeded to put it on top of his chip with the salsa dip.

Otherwise, the meat was overcooked, they got my order wrong, my friend's horchata tasted sugary-sweet, which made me think it was a mix, BUT this place still has potential, as the ideas were there (the menu descriptions sounded great!), except that the execution, well, not so much.

I'm excited to try El Paso next, though.

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I'm excited to try El Paso next, though.
El Paso also has a restaurant close to Springfield on Commerce St. (that's the original location, the new one is on Cooper Rd.). Standard Tex-Mex but the portions are large, the service is good and the chips and salsa seem to be free-flowing.
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