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MelGold

Los Tios Grill, Del Ray - Tex-Mex Salvadoran Now in Several Virginia Locations

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We had lunch at Los Tios today. The cheese pupusa was excellent and even better with the habanero salsa and pickled slaw. We then had the spinach enchiladas and pollo guisada. Both were very good and nicely plated. There was attention to detail that we appreciated. For example, the slice of avocado on the chicken plate was perfectly ripe, and the sides of beans and rice were nicely cooked entities unto themselves instead of blobs of tasteless starch that seem like afterthoughts. The service was excellent, and the waiter suggested that, to avoid the crowds, lunch was a better time to come than dinner. We both work out of the house quite a bit, and I think we will be walking to Los Tios fairly often.

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A quick, late lunch at Los Tios today offered friendly service, shamefully inhalable chile con queso ($5.95), and shrimp fajitas ($16.95) rich with cumin and other seasonings. Visually, the grilled green peppers and onions on the fajita platter appeared dull and listless, but their savory flavor erased most concerns.

The gratis, house-made salsa was the taste sensation of the meal, however. Thin liquid tomato base, thick chunks of vegetables, and juicy fresh flavor throughout--not everyone's preferred style, but anything with that much true flavor gets my vote.

I want to return here to check out the patio for happy hour sometime. I imagine the entire neighborhood has that exact same idea, so it would have to be early. Maybe this could be an option for an upcoming Virginia HH appearing soon on a calendar near you....

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Long time no posts on the Los Tios thread.

Mr. MV and I have been going on nights that the kitchen gets thoroughly cleaned and I want it to look nice for 24 hours :lol: I just love this neighborhood eatery. Families and locals come to eat affordably and the service is always welcoming.

I've been enjoying LT's burritos, both chicken and beef. Tortilla soup last week was very good and has me wanting to come back to eat more while sitting outdoors on a chilly evening.

We got an order of tres leches cake to take home and it was very moist, yet light.

The free chips and salsa are addicting.

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Los Tios (Del Ray) has gone downhill since my last visit about a year ago.

It's as convenient as it ever was, about an 8-minute drive for me from South Fairlington. Unfortunately, the parking lot adjacent to the property was chained off when I went last Tuesday night. I was able to find a spot on the street around the corner, but I can see where this would pose an inconvenience on busy weekends.

The bartenders were friendly and service was competent and quick. The shorter of the two gentlemen seemed to be in charge of the bar area, while his partner was doing everything from serving drinks to running food to preparing takeout orders for pickup. They were both very attentive to the customers seated at the bar and the whole operation seemed to be running very smoothly, although the place was not super-busy.

The salsa was the highlight; thin, chunky, and spicy, as described above by KMango. Chips were good, as well; hot, crisp, and not too thin, but difficult to tell if they were fried in-house or came from a bag. The margarita (on the rocks) contained alcohol, which is about the best thing I can say about it. The large size I ordered was indeed large, but did not feel like a good value at $11.00. It tasted... well, bad. Not much salt on the rim, either.

I ordered the Lomo Saltado (now $18.95) with some trepidation. I remembered it being pretty good and certainly filling the last time I had it, but knew that the "fried potatoes" it featured would be frozen french fries. I don't remember that being a deal-breaker the last time but, for some reason, this time it almost was. The strips of "prime sirloin" were cooked medium-rare as ordered, but the remaining ingredients (green pepper, onion, and tomato) seemed a bit skimpier than I remembered from last time. The whole dish seemed out-of-balance and lacking seasoning, and the frozen fries dumped on top as if they were an afterthought seriously degraded the overall quality.

I haven't given up hope, since I quite enjoyed the Lechoncito al Horno on another previous visit, and plan on trying it again (maybe I'll order a beer instead of a margarita). Until then, my general impression of Los Tios is one of declining quality and rising prices. Not a winning combination in my book.

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Went last night for dinner. Had been there once before. It was cool outside, but we sat outside any way, as when the weather gets good, the place is a mad house.

Chips and Salsa - the chips are housemade, as far as I can tell. The house red salsa, in my opinion, was more like Pace or other jar salsa. It seemed flavorless, to me. I asked for the house hot salsa, which is a light green-white sauce with habaneros. It's a good taste, not overpoweringly hot, but tasty, much more so than the red salsa.

Salvadorean Fried Fish - so, I have found at these Tex-Mex/Salvadorean places, the Mexican food is pretty bland. I figured I'd try something different. It was fresh fried croaker. I never had croaker before. It's not a big fish and it really doesn't have a whole lot of meat on it, but what I could pick off was tasty. The beans and rice were fine, and something I could have made at home.

Enchiladas with Green Sauce - my date seemed to enjoy it, or maybe not. She really didn't say much about it, finished half.

Also, had a Sol with lime. I know clear glass bottle beer skunks and that's why you put the lime in with it, but some times it just works. And it did. And, they ran out of Bohemia, the only Mexican beer that I really enjoy.

Service was very attentive. They all seemed like nice guys. A few hours later, I saw a bunch of them at Pork Barrel BBQ for half price ribs.

$36 + tip. Not unreasonable. But, I'm only going back for margaritas and nachos when the patio is hopping.

S

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Just spotted a "Coming Soon" sign for Los Tios Grill at the Van Dorn Plaza shopping center (the one at the corner of Stevenson Ave. & Van Dorn with the Gold's Gym and the Safeway).

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On 9/4/2016 at 3:21 PM, u-bet! said:

Just spotted a "Coming Soon" sign for Los Tios Grill at the Van Dorn Plaza shopping center (the one at the corner of Stevenson Ave. & Van Dorn with the Gold's Gym and the Safeway).

There's also a Los Tios Grill in Leesburg, as well as a sister restaurant in Leesburg, Dos Tequilas Grill.

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Went here for a dining for a cause night for a fundraiser for a group I support.  I had the chicken and chorizo fajitas based on a suggestion from a friend.  I found their salsa really bland and watery.  The guac though was very good.  The fajitas were fine, I liked the chorizo, the onions were very caramelized, there were way more onions than peppers. It was ok- I would rather go to Taqueria Poblano though.  

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Not sure how it happened, but my daughter & her friends were supposed to go to Columbia Firehouse for dinner before homecoming at Mount Vernon, but it was closed (or not available for a group that size) & they were redirected to Los Tios.  She was not happy, (& she said the DJ sucked, too).

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