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Poca Madre (Formerly Del Campo), Upscale Mexican in Penn Quarter in the Former PS7s Space - Closed


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Definitely interested in trying a Taco Bamba in DC! 

I think it's a bit of a stretch to call 7th and I Penn Quarter, isn't it? I'd just call it Gallery Place, but I may be defining Penn Quarter too narrowly. Either way, I'll try to get there soon.

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On 4/4/2018 at 5:52 PM, Escoffier said:

The new concept is CLOSED.  Windows papered over, Del Campo seems to be no more.  i guess even Taco Bamba didn't help.

On 4/4/2018 at 7:05 PM, Escoffier said:

I work close-by and the daytime traffic was never very large.  I hope the newly christened Taco Bamba works out.  

Any idea which it is?

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1 hour ago, Genevieve said:

Definitely interested in trying a Taco Bamba in DC! 

I think it's a bit of a stretch to call 7th and I Penn Quarter, isn't it? I'd just call it Gallery Place, but I may be defining Penn Quarter too narrowly. Either way, I'll try to get there soon.

Hey! if people in Rockville can call that Potomac North, we can call 8th and I st. NW Penn Quarter.  :D

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Poca Madre.  From urban dictionary.

literal:"motherless
mex.slag. 
1/ used for descrbe something is really fucking cool 
2/ used to describe a bad situation or something that a person ("asshole"in that moment) did to you, by adding "que" before "poca madre"
1.1.-that movie was "poca madre" 
1.2.-did you see John face? / it was "poca madre" 
2.1.-shit man! fuck you, "que poca madre" 
2.2.- that was lame dude, "que poca madre" 
1.3.-no dude, it was sweet it was "poca madre" hahaha
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On 7/10/2018 at 10:51 AM, Mark Dedrick said:

We ate at Poca Madre a couple of weeks ago and it was absolutely fantastic. Everything we ordered was delicious, in particular the Pato al Pastor. Strongly recommend it. 

What else did you order?  Anyone else been?

The menu is interesting and leaves me with lots of questions.

NOT ‘GUACAMOLE’ tempura avocado, shishitos, epazote, citrus - is  this mainly avocado tempura?

PULPO LAMINADO crispy octopus, mole blanco, ink pepper jam, artichoke - how is the octopus crispy?  battered and fried?  

CRISP SWEETBREADS VERACRUZANA scallop, tomato, olives, caper - battered and fried sweetbread? how does the scallop combine with sweetbread?

BURRITO ‘THE KING’ wagyu, lobster, caviar, robiola, black truffle-black beans - super decadent burrito?

Maybe I'll have the answers by the end of the week.

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I went. Enjoyed the huitlacoche risotto, the crudo, the duck tacos (although they were a bit dry) and another dish I can’t remember.  We also had the suspiro mexicano, which was tasty. As someone who travels in Latin America A LOT I thought it was very good. Trying to be similar to Pujol. I appreciated the wide selection of Mexican wines. It’s expensive.  Especially with a cocktail and a few glasses of wine. 

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I went too.  It's a little hard to arrive at the Taco Bamba sign, prominently displayed on eye street, and go around the corner into the discreet Poca Madre entrance.  The sign was pulling me in.

I like the idea though.  Kind of like 'party in the front, business in the back,'  a fine dining option next door.  I would not have minded if I could order pozole from next door though.

For the food, I agree with Rieux.  I enjoyed the risotto and the hamachi crudo.  The duck tacos were good, but dry and I was left wanting more to add to them.  Liked 'The King" burrito. It arrives on an Elvis plate (old rhinestone elvis), which is a nice touch.  It comes as two pieces that are easy to split with someone.  The ingredients made it seem a little silly to me at first, but it was darned delicious.  

The service was bumpy - forgotten entree and drink order, a spill, slow - but despite this I enjoyed it and the food.

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9 hours ago, Sluggo said:

I went too.  It's a little hard to arrive at the Taco Bamba sign, prominently displayed on eye street, and go around the corner into the discreet Poca Madre entrance.  The sign was pulling me in.

I like the idea though.  Kind of like 'party in the front, business in the back,'  a fine dining option next door.  I would not have minded if I could order pozole from next door though.

For the food, I agree with Rieux.  I enjoyed the risotto and the hamachi crudo.  The duck tacos were good, but dry and I was left wanting more to add to them.  Liked 'The King" burrito. It arrives on an Elvis plate (old rhinestone elvis), which is a nice touch.  It comes as two pieces that are easy to split with someone.  The ingredients made it seem a little silly to me at first, but it was darned delicious.  

The service was bumpy - forgotten entree and drink order, a spill, slow - but despite this I enjoyed it and the food.

Unless they've made a recent change, the posole is not available at the D.C. location of Bamba.

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After happy hour at DBGB on Friday, we went to Poca Madre for dinner.  

We started with the HAMACHI CEVICHE (hibiscus agua Jamaica, garlic, chile serrano, corn).  This isn't ceviche.  It's raw fish in a hibiscus flavored water.  There's no citrus juice to "cook" the hamachi so the fish stayed raw, with a hint of fishiness which goes away if you make sure to cover the fish with hibiscus water.  It wasn't bad, just not terribly good either.

NOT ‘GUACAMOLE’ is tempuraed avocado.  Nicely battered and fried but the flavors are muted.

CRISP SWEETBREADS VERACRUZANA came with scallops.  Individually, the sweetbread and the scallops are nicely cooked and tasted fine.  I liked the sauce, which tasted a bit like XO sauce.  I remembered getting some awesome sweetbreads at Del Campo - these weren't nearly as good.

PULPO LAMINADO - one smaller tentacle that was crispy, two larger tentacles that were very tender.  Great flavors from the mole, and having different textures from the octopus showed off the skill of the kitchen.

PATO AL PASTOR - half a deboned duck.  The duck was tender, fatty, and unctuous.  If you like the lamb at Komi/Tails Up Goat, you will love the duck.  It's packed full of flavor that comes with the fat and skin of the duck.  

We were told they didn't like the first attempt at the duck so there was a bit of a delay, during which time they sent us a free risotto (which itself was a bit undercooked).  But their second attempt was spectacular.  Best duck in DC (haven't tried the duck at Spoken English yet).

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We just made a visit.  Overall the food was really good, the service was pleasant but inconsistent and scatterbrained (we had to ask 3 different waiters over a timespan of about 30 minutes to bring a dessert menu, the first two promising to do so and then nothing).  They need to notify Google  Maps that they exist so people can find them.

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38 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Those had better be some darned good tacos!

Blurb from Washington City Paper:

Chef Victor Albisu is launching a taco omakase menu on Dec. 4. Borrowing the word from the Japanese, which translates to, “I’ll leave it up to you,” the modern Mexican restaurant will serve a 12-course taco tasting menu on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $90 per person. It will include up to seven tacos, along with other masa-based dishes like sopes and tlayudas. Drink pairings include beer, tequila, and mezcal. Albisu’s goal is to show guests the variety of ways Poca Madre uses corn, and the flavor they’re able to coax out by grinding and cooking the masa in house. 

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Went for a late dinner after the Caps game (ugh) last night.  Really enjoyed it and will be returning.  Highlights:

- The duck was unbelievable, possibly one of the better renditions I've had anywhere in DC.  Great textural contrast with the crisp skin and perfectly cooked meat.  Really liked the house made corn tortillas as well.

- Taco of the day was goat - nice level of spice.  Between this and the duck, the "taco omakase" sounds like it could be a lot of fun

- The cuttlefish / shrimp noodles with a coconut broth were interesting, if a little challenging to eat.  

- Butternut squash with a peanut mole wasn't something I'd naturally order but was really good.  It was between this and the charred cabbage and we went with the waitresses recommendation

- Crisp octopus was another great combination of flavors - though the octopus may have been on the chewy side.

All that said - no "misses" in the entire meal and things trended towards "awesome" vs. "ok".  They started off the meal with a gratis shooter of watermelon and mezcal - which simply confirmed that I'm not a mezcal guy though they happily subbed out mezcal for regular tequila my margarita (which was well made)

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