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Tortacos, Family-Owned, Authentic Mexican/LA-Style Tacos in Germantown - Gaithersburg Location Has Closed


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BF and I tried out Tortacos tonight for Cinco de Mayo. We stuffed ourselves silly trying out all their taco varieties, including Al Pastor, Carnitas, Lengua (beef tongue), Asada, and Pollo. All of them were good but it was a pleasant surprise to have the lengua since it was not written on the board. You top the tacos at the self serve bar.

They also offer tortas, burritos, quesadillas and sopes. Everything was really fresh. Even the guacamole and chips are homemade. I love that it is a family owned place instead of a chain. I thought it was a good sign that we were the only ones not speaking Spanish there. Two large family groups were eating in and there was a steady stream of carry out orders. They have nightly specials--tonight was $1 tacos. That is an amazing price for the quality of food we had.

The street address is 9629 Lost Knife Road. It's at the corner of Lost Knife and Odenhal, in the same plaza as H Mart.

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BF and I tried out Tortacos tonight for Cinco de Mayo. We stuffed ourselves silly trying out all their taco varieties, including Al Pastor, Carnitas, Lengua (beef tongue), Asada, and Pollo. All of them were good but it was a pleasant surprise to have the lengua since it was not written on the board. You top the tacos at the self serve bar.

They also offer tortas, burritos, quesadillas and sopes. Everything was really fresh. Even the guacamole and chips are homemade. I love that it is a family owned place instead of a chain. I thought it was a good sign that we were the only ones not speaking Spanish there. Two large family groups were eating in and there was a steady stream of carry out orders. They have nightly specials--tonight was $1 tacos. That is an amazing price for the quality of food we had.

The street address is 9629 Lost Knife Road. It's at the corner of Lost Knife and Odenhal, in the same plaza as H Mart.

We were really impressed by this place. The carnitas was fantastic--full of flavor, very tender. The owner was very nice, and we can't wait to go back and do it again.

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This place is great. Shared a handful of tacos and some of the best guacamole I've had with my wife the other Friday. Everything fresh and delicious, and we at for less than $13. Hope business picks up, it was a little slow just before noon. Thanks DCDeb for pointing this place out, we would not have tried it otherwise.

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Thanks DCDeb for pointing this place out, we would not have tried it otherwise.

I thank you too, DCDeb. I hadn't tried them because Tortacos' signage seemed "too professional" not to be a chain. It faces Roy Roger's and is in the old Hershey's Ice Cream space. Social media-wise, they're on Twitter, Facebook with original menu [some prices now higher] and Flickr.

This family business a real find and a great place to take non-chowish folks. It's clean and non-threatening, while still serving fresh, SoCal-Mex food. The "fixin's bar" has a flip-cover and is well-maintained. There's cilantro, sliced radishes, pico de gallo, chopped onions, lime wedges and two really fresh-looking sauces. ICD is right about the guacamole - my Father pronounced it "Excellent" and I agree.

Today for lunch, I had the Burrito Bowl combo with fountain soda, fried flour [wheat] tortilla chips and a side of Guac for $9.91, including tax. I could only finish half of the Burrito Bowl. On my extra day-off, I had a wide choice of lunch options and chose Tortacos.

They have nightly specials--tonight was $1 tacos. That is an amazing price for the quality of food we had.

From reading their Twitter feed, they had a Cinco de Mayo "all tacos $1 each" special. I'm not sure of their future "special offers" calendar, but here's a past example from their Flickr photostream:

5578037832_7f110dd9db.jpg

My new plan is to eat at Tortacos before wading into H-Mart.

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Porcupine and I had lunch today, both ordering the taco combo plate, which is a deal--three tacos, choice of pastor, carnitas, carne asada or pollo, chips and a large drink for $7.99. I got two pastors and a carnitas and paid 20 cents extra for horchata. We also shared a side of guacamole. The pastor was from the dregs of the cone of meat, and was quite dry and if any grilled pineapple was in with the shaved meat, I must have missed it. The carnitas were also on the dry side, but both had good pork flavor. Generous helpings of the red and green salsas and pico de gallo balanced out the dry meat and relative lack of salt on the meat, and the tacos ended up being tasty and enjoyable despite their shortcomings. The guacamole was excellent--the drawback there was that their chips are made from flour tortillas, not corn, and were overfried to boot <blech>. Porcupine came up with the brilliant solution of taking one of the double corn tortillas comprising each of the tacos, tearing it into chip-sized pieces, and eating the guacamole with those. The salsa bar is really good, with chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, separate tubs of chopped white and red onion, pico de gallo, and the spicy red and mild green salsas.

When I go again, and I will, I'll probably pass on the pastor if it's a Monday, and what is on the vertical grill is probably what's left from the weekend and was cooking there all day Sunday. I might've hung around a bit longer, and tried their sopapillas for dessert, but the H Mart across the parking lot was beckoning.

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Anytime I can leave the pizzeria early enough, my first stop is Tortacos. One can sum them up with 4 words: amazing, honest, simple, and fresh. While the tacos are definitely LA-style authentic, I rarely make it past the Chicken Burrito w/ a side of Guac & Chips.

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Hopefully Mr. Sietsema's mention in last Sunday's WaPo Magazine will drive more business their way.

When the recession forced Sergio Espana out of the construction business two years ago, he figured it was time to fill what he saw as a gap in the market and start serving the kind of tacos he enjoyed when he lived in Los Angeles. It took Espana longer than he thought, but Tortacos finally opened in a little shopping strip about a year ago. Its palette is cheerful in tangerine and lime; a tidy open kitchen lets diners in on the action of a hot grill. Tongue, steak, chicken and pork (sweet from its pineapple marinade) are served on two-ply corn tortillas that can be accessorized with a bonanza of fresh toppings from the help-yourself condiment cart. A combination of three tacos, plus house-made chips and a soda, goes for $7.50. Tortacos is a hybrid shop; there are tortas, or sandwiches, on the menu, too.

Definitely need to get there for some sunny, L.A. vibe instead of DC's dreary, wet weather.

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I wish they didn't make their chips with flour tortillas. Though I haven't been out there since July, and that might have changed by now.

We were there for lunch on Saturday 2 weeks ago and the chips are still made with flour tortillas. That's the only real complaint I have about the place. This was our second visit, the first was in August, and we thought the food -- we both ordered the Taco Combo plate with Asada, Carnitas, and Al Pastor -- was as good as on our first visit. They are now serving FISH tacos made with tilapia on the weekends -- saw the sign AFTER ordering, so we didn't sample them. When we arrived at noon the place was completely empty; however, when we left about 40 minutes later it was totally packed. I was glad to see that -- I really want this place to succeed.

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Went for the first time yesterday for lunch with an old colleague who is a very picky eater - i.e. he ate nothing from the condiments bar, while I ate it all. Got the combo tacos and took 1/2 of it home for the kiddo who loved the meat. Also got guac & chips (I agree about the chips but I still ate them) and horchata, which is made fresh and very tasty.

I spoke with one of the owners a bit (proud UMBC grad) and he said they're doing pretty well - they were especially swamped after Sietsema mention on Sunday, and have been busier since then so that's a good sign that they'll be around.

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Another bump for Tortacos. Very good LA-style tacos here, my favorite tacos in the area. Fresh ingredients in the fixings bar (like that the bar had a lid), good house-made guac (happy to spend extra for it). I've been enjoying the fish tacos lately on the weekends, but tried today the Burrito combo using Al Pastor (another winner, huuuge).

Nice to see them recognized recently too.

Look forward to my local Costco runs much more with Tortacos in the area haha.

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I went here for lunch with some of my co-workers based on the good comments here. Really enjoyed my taco platter (though the lengua was a little drier than I like). My colleagues who got the burritos and tortas were quite impressed. I have to admit - the torta looked damn tasty. Wish I had gotten that. So this is a nice, tasty local alternative to the strip mall hell in G'burg.

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The Flaming Pit is right there, and is more child friendly than you might think, but the formality is probably more than you want.

There's a Ricky's Rice Bowl (among other things) south on 355, but I'm hoping your child may be adventurous enough for Tortacos instead. Before you get there, you'll pass an O'Malley's Pub and an Ichiban.

If you head north on 355, you'll hit some shopping centers around Middlebrook Road with an array of informal choices, the Maryland location of X.O. Taste being one of them. Just beyond that on the right is Caspian Kabob.

You could head to the Kentlands area for a wider array of choices, but there's no need because this strip of 355 has plenty of mom-n-pops. Note that Tortacos is off 355, although not far away from where you'll be.

I'd vote for Tortacos too though it has been really dry the last few times we went.

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Trouble is, I always overeat a bit here...it's hard to resist a three taco combo, side of really fresh guacamole, and an horchata (or two).  Their lengua is particularly good, and I don't know of a better use for tilapia than their fish tacos.  The al Pastor is also decent, although it doesn't have the flavor complexity of the ones from Picante (in Chantilly).  I appreciate that they try to put a good griddle sear on the carnitas right before assembly, but it's still too finely shredded to avoid becoming dry...nothing like the carnitas I used to get on the left coast.

They're currently toying with ideas for expanding their menu, so now is the time to offer suggestions at the counter.  But the tiny kitchen is a limitation.

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It's been a few years, but Tortacos is still going strong. Tried a bit of everything and it was all very good. The big pluses were the chicken, al pastor, and the fresh fixings bar with a tasty salsa verde and various toppings. The lengua was pretty flavorful but a few pieces were dried out. The only negative was the steak, which was oversalted. I preferred the tacos to the burrito and quesadilla, but all were prepared well and a great value.

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