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El Sol Restaurante & Tequileria - Alfredo Solis's Terrific Mexican in Mount Vernon Square


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Didn't see a thread for this place, whose Logan Circle location I've been frequenting for dine-in and takeout at least once a week for the last month or so.  I have nothing but good things to say about it.  The menu is extensive with authentic, fresh Mexican food ("Mexican food made by Mexicans") at prices that make it easy to come back often.  I've become particularly partial to the pescado and camaron tacos, each of which are a total steal at $3 and come on two house-made corn tortillas.  The portion of fish and shrimp (big, crisp, fresh shrimp) in each of them is ample, and the slaw in the fish tacos packs a nice spiciness.  The mole poblano is equally delicious, though the rice and beans it comes with are relatively plain.  They advertise brunch, but I haven't been yet.

The staff is always friendly and accommodating, with the owner (a former chef downtown, he told me) often sitting at the bar happy to chat before closing up for the night.  And with the kitchen open until midnight on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends, it's one of the better, cheaper, more delicious late-night dining options that I've found in the neighborhood.  The atmosphere is calm, with Latin soccer games on TV and most of the bar stools and tables occupied, but I've never had to wait for a table.  It's an easy place to have a conversation, unlike it's cacophonous yuppy neighbor down N street.  

In short, you should go to this place if you're in the neighborhood and looking for some good food,

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Just went here for the first time (Columbia Heights location), and this place is PHENOMENAL. The brunch is easily the best deal in the city (and I don't mean "best deal for brunch," but best deal for food, period). You get a starter, a main, and a dessert for $14.95, plus your choice of beverages for $2 each (the Bloody Mary was really good, but the michelada was better).

Every one of the courses was outstanding, and it's almost too much food overall. I had the pozole rojo as the starter, and it's one of the best pozoles I've ever had; excellent depth in the broth. The huevos divorciados for the main were huge and very, very good. And for dessert, my gf and I each got the toreja, which is a lovely piece of french toast with caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, what looked like corn flakes for crunch, and a dusting of powdered sugar. The toreja alone could have been a delicious breakfast.

Total cost for both (including a horchata, a Bloody Mary, and two micheladas): $40 + tax and tip. I'm definitely going to be coming here again as much as I can before they close; I wonder if Mt. Pleasant is in their free delivery area?

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Just went here for the first time (Columbia Heights location), and this place is PHENOMENAL. The brunch is easily the best deal in the city (and I don't mean "best deal for brunch," but best deal for food, period). You get a starter, a main, and a dessert for $14.95, plus your choice of beverages for $2 each (the Bloody Mary was really good, but the michelada was better).

Every one of the courses was outstanding, and it's almost too much food overall. I had the pozole rojo as the starter, and it's one of the best pozoles I've ever had; excellent depth in the broth. The huevos divorciados for the main were huge and very, very good. And for dessert, my gf and I each got the toreja, which is a lovely piece of french toast with caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, what looked like corn flakes for crunch, and a dusting of powdered sugar. The toreja alone could have been a delicious breakfast.

Total cost for both (including a horchata, a Bloody Mary, and two micheladas): $40 + tax and tip. I'm definitely going to be coming here again as much as I can before they close; I wonder if Mt. Pleasant is in their free delivery area?

Based on this review, we went for brunch/lunch today (Columbia Heights) only to find that they weren't serving brunch...at least I think they weren't.  Interactions with our waitress were very difficult due to what I think was a combination of a language barrier (though things didn't improve when I spoke Spanish), and her being very, very young.  Needless to say, she didn't know if they ever served brunch, or if they would again, so we couldn't take advantage of the deal written about above.

Despite the (incredibly aggravating) service issues, the food was absolutely delicious.  My wife's "Pambazos" sandwich was excellent, as raved about by Carman...I was impressed that even as soft as the bread was, it held together without a problem.  My tacos (lengua and pastor) rated highly, with nicely prepared and spiced meats, and delicate tortillas.  Very, very good, and certainly in the same league as Habanero down the street.  I think that either could edge the other out depending on the tiniest of factors that change day to day.  I also had the gordita de carnitas, which was a thick, fried corn tortilla/cake filled with rich carnitas, nopales, and queso fresco.  I loved the combo of meat + cactus, but I think my preference is for the thinner tortilla.  YMMV.

I can 2nd the recommendation for the michelada, which came with a straw caked in a tamarind/chili powder/sugar concoction.

All in all a good showing despite the communication issues.

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Weird. When we walked in Satirday morning, they gave us a laminated menu with the brunch prix fixe printed on it (it said the same things that you'll find under "brunch" on their website, which seems to indicate that brunch is served both Saturday and Sunday). One of the two women working there definitely seemed to be inexperienced/tentative/had some language barrier, but she still knew about the brunch menu (she handed it to us, in fact). I wonder what the deal is.

Glad to hear you enjoyed the food regardless, though!

Also, what's funny is that my michelada didn't come with a Tajin-coated straw. But we were definitely at the same location as you.

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I've gotten carryout from here twice, and both times it's been very good, definitely a step up from most places.  for me what makes this place are the sauces, which are very flavorful and different than those i've had at most places, including in hyattsville.  The excellent salsa verde made the chilaquiles here the best i've had in the area, and possibly the best i've ever had, and my vegetarian burrito mojado was very good as well--the beans and rice that filled it were quite flavorful, and the salsa roja covering it was nicely complex. My husband thought that the mole (on the enchiladas) was complex, but too sweet for his tastes, but quite enjoyed the enchiladas verdes, The black beans that come with the enchiladas are very flavorful, you could make a very good meal out of these and rice alone. 

 

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The brunch deal (three courses for $18) is definitely amazing but not sure that menu is where the El Sol standouts are. @MichaelBDC and I stopped by for lunch shortly after 11am on Sunday and between the two of us we ordered: queso fundido, ceviche, breakfast burrito, and breakfast quesadilla. We declined dessert because we were stuffed and they were out of the flan. The queso fundido came out sizzling in a very hot stone bowl with a sprinkling of chorizo and a side of warm flour tortillas. As fans of cheese, @MichaelBDC and I really enjoyed this but looking back, it could have used a little more chorizo and maybe even jalapeno or something to make it seem less like a blob of cheese. Ceviche was good but could have used more acid and a touch of salt as it was not as "bright" as I like my ceviche. Our entrees were good and filling (the breakfast burrito was enough for both of us to split) but definitely needed a lot of the salsa verde to liven things up. Things seemed a bit one note after a couple of bites and I kept digging into the burrito to find something that tasted more than just egg and cheese as the beans were pretty flavorless. Next time, I will try the huevos rancheros or chilaquiles or even order off the regular menu. 

If you go here for brunch, definitely go before noon. When we arrived, there were only two parties seated: a large table of construction workers and a family of three. A little after noon a large party of twenty somethings came in and the place filled up fast and there was a wait by the time we left. 

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Enjoyed a President's day lunch at El Sol. It is a small space so I can see it getting crowded at dinner and on weekends, but fortunately it was pretty empty on the holiday.

Started with the guacamole and chips. I thought it was very good guacamole but I did not notice any spice as folks above have noted. Perhaps they've toned it down. That turned out to be a good thing because the green and brown hot sauces really packed the heat. The brown sauce had a great smoky poblano flavor, but I think I preferred the green which was a little tart.

I really enjoyed the gordita stuffed with carnitas, onions, cheese and chopped cactus salad. The warm, toasted and slightly crispy corn tortilla was the perfect packaging. I wavered on whether to get tacos, but at the last minute ordered the Enchiladas de Mole Rojo. Their mole was on the sweet side so I can see why it might be off-putting to some, but I loved it. I thought it was well-balanced and had a touch of spice that presents itself on the back of the throat. I'd order it again.

I'd love to try Mezcalera Cocina some time, but it's a bit of a haul. And with El Sol near downtown, I'm not sure I feel any pressure.

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