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Surfside, Seafood-Centric, Fast-Casual Tex-Mex in Glover Park and South Dupont

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My wife, son, and I got take out from the new Surfside on Friday night. The model is similar to another Scribner joint, Jetties: you mark your order down on an order slip when you enter, submit it to the cashier, and wait for your name to be called. While Jetties is sandwiches and salads, Surfside is grilled food of a Tex-Mex bent. The name, I presume, alludes to a beach shack somewhere in southern California selling similar type of food. Overall, we were pretty satisfied and will likely be back, but it is worth noting an important difference between a newly renovated restaurant in Glover Park and a dilapidated beach shack: Surfside is no bargain. The details:

First, a note on the decor. They really have done a remarkable job transforming the run down Apollo Market into Surfside. It's one of those transformations that leaves you wondering where they found all the space. The overcrowded market has been replaced by a very open feeling restaurant with hardwood floors and exposed brick all around. They've also added a rooftop deck, which a sign points out is currently open for food but off limits for alcoholic beverages (below the sign is a petition to try and get that changed).

On the food, my wife had the fish tacos. I had the steak tacos. Both platters were $10 and included two tacos, a side of rice and beans, and a grilled half of a lime. The menu also includes a variety of other similar style salads and entrees.The tacos were well made and fresh. The steak on mine was cooked to a nice medium rare. Both types of tacos came with various toppings including a homemade guacamole. The rice and beans were unremarkable--neither particularly good, nor notably bad. For my son, we ordered a kids meal ($7), which included (from among a few options) a chicken quesadilla, a small cup of guac, and a side of oranges. My son didn't really eat much of it, but I don't think that was any type of statement about the food.

All in all, we were pretty satisfied, and it's a nice addition to the neighborhood. A few closing comments/observations:

-This is not a particularly environmentally friendly restaurant. Having each customer fill out a decent-sized order slip (printed on a heavy paper stock) for each individual order (in other words, I had to fill out three of them) seems kind of wasteful. On top of that, the packaging material for the to go meals was a bit much. Big plastic (unrecyclable, at least in DC) containers in a big paper bag. Nice for the picnic we had across the street in Guy Mason Park, but I felt a bit guilty throwing all that plastic in the trash. Seems like there should be a more efficient way to package up tacos.

-The prices. I didn't fell as ripped off as I thought I would paying $10 for two tacos. They are of a nice quality and size. $7 for a kids plate struck me as bit more questionable. The one thing I did see that would not have made me happy had I ordered it was the appetizer "for two" of guacamole that somebody else ordered. The appetizer included a mound of chips and fairly small plastic cups of guacamole and salsa. For $8. I understand that avocados are very expensive, but that seems a bit much to me.

All in all, this is a nice addition to the neighborhood--a welcome faster food alternative to Rocklands and the forthcoming Z Burger. I suspect once they are open more normal hours (until Labor Day they are only open dinner hours) that they will do a nice business for lunch, dinner, and the playground set across the street.

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My wife, son, and I got take out from the new Surfside on Friday night.


All in all, this is a nice addition to the neighborhood--a welcome faster food alternative to Rocklands and the forthcoming Z Burger.

Your excellent description of Surfside - a combination of Tackle Box and Chipotle Mexican Grill - very much mirrors my own brief experience last night.

At first I cringed when I saw them assembling the Maui ($9.95) - two grilled fish-of-the-day tacos (last night was mahi-mahi), because the fish had just been sitting there in the assembly-line tray. There's a sign up that says the fish is grilled daily, but that doesn't give any assurances as to what time. This fish was, in fact, pretty trayed out, but it was also pretty darned tasty, and with all the evil doings served with it (black-bean and corn salsa, guacamole, cilantro, and lime sour cream, all stuffed into two much-needed rubbery double tortillas, served with a side of red beans and rice and a grilled half-lime), this turned out to be a wet, sloppy taco platter of scarf-joy.



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Rocks, say hi next time.

Looking for a cheap eats dinner and intrigued by a 2 1/2 star early review by Sietsema, my wife and I checked out Surfside for the first time. Sietsema is right in his overall theme: This is a great spot at just the right time. Everything was extremely fresh, properly cooked, refreshingly simple, and full of flavor. Our meal included one order of fish tacos (made with mahi mahi), one order of steak tacos (very medium rare), chips and salsa, and two drinks, which totaled $30. 2 1/2 stars seems like a bit much, but this is a very likeable place.



P.S. I'm sorry to the family in the window that endured me staring at their scallops special with mashed sweet potatoes on my way out. That dish looked awesom.

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I went to Surfside on Saturday and YUM. Fabulous ingredients and great combinations. I had the Fiji burrito (rice, mushrooms, spinach, grilled corn, black bean salsa) and it was huge and wonderful. My mother had the Java (Grilled shrimp and pineapple kabob on yellow rice with grilled zucchini, cherry tomato, red onion, bean sprouts and cilantro with a coconut peanut sauce) and in particular the shrimp was perfectly grilled, not overcooked as often occurs. The only complaint is that I thought the rice was a bit underdone. Since I've only been there once I don't know if that's their preference or just an off day. I want to go back over and over and try each item on the menu, it's that good.

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With the welcome respite from all the rain we've had recently I headed to Surfside around 2pm on a Monday to celebrate closing on my new condo (!). Given it was a tad after the lunch rush, I wasn't really surprised to find the place sparsely populated.

I ordered the steak tacos which were done to a nice medium rare with a ton of grilled onions, nice dollop of guac, and some sour cream barely held together by 2 corn tortillas...I couldn't eat them fast enough. As the others in this thread have said, the rice/beans were pretty standard. That said, chased with a cold Red Stripe on the roof deck, it was a great afternoon treat for around 18 bucks (after tax/tip).

I HIGHLY recommend sitting up on the roof deck if the weather is nice...although wait until you order your food before heading up there, since its a pretty large staircase and they churn the food out rather quickly.

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Two thumbs up for this place! I've been here a couple times and the food is fresh and relatively fast, the portions generous, the margaritas good, and the price is right ($10-15 with a drink), although I agree with others that some of the items are overpriced. Bonus points for the free (validated) parking lot and being kid-friendly (esp. the Kids Eat Free Tuesdays). Tacos, burritos, salads and rice bowls made with fresh ingredients, with occasional interesting specials. I've had the shrimp tacos (can't remember the name) and the Cabo San Lucas (the steak fajita tacos). Both were "loaded". The shrimp tacos come with a pineapple salsa, guacamole, cilantro and a seasoned mayonnaise sauce on top of the shrimp which may not be everyone's preference, but it was good to have flavorful toppings since the grilled shrimp were not seasoned, though they were perfectly cooked. The steak fajita tacos come with the same guac and mayo sauce but also with grilled onion and peppers. Both taco plates come with red beans and rice which was a bit dry. The steak fajita tacos were excellent: the beef was perfectly cooked, tender, and bountiful. The yellow rice is tastier than the red rice with beans. Kid's meals come with your choice of taco or quesadilla with topping/filling options, choice of cucumber, pineapple or mandarin oranges, grilled corn, rice and a drink. Also, if you're a fan of fish tacos, this is a good place to get them.

There's no table service but everyone fills out an order slip and pays for the meal up front near the open kitchen, then they give you a buzzer to let you know when your food is done. Water is gratis from a dispenser, kid's drinks are provided when you order, but other beverages are ordered at the bar in the back or upstairs. Upstairs deck will be a popular place with the weather getting warmer.

Surfside also serves brunch on weekends though I haven't been. Menu looked good though.

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We had friends in town so we decided on some take-out Saturday in lieu of eating in since it was 100 degrees outside and last time we ate in it was pretty warm inside. We did not call ahead but it is just as easy to order once you get there as things come out fairly quickly.

We ordered the cheese dip and chips, the cheese has a nice little kick to it. We also had the shrimp tacos, fish tacos, steak fajitas taco and the steak burrito. Everything was fresh and delicious and our friends were jealous that they did not have something like this in their hometown.

The free parking makes the in and out a snap.

One small hiccup was that when we got the food home we notices we were shorted one fish taco order even though we were charged for it. We tried calling back but could not get through to anyone all Saturday night or even on Sunday. Also, tried e-mailing but have gotten no response. Seems a little odd not to be able to get a live person on the phone since they promote call ahead orders.

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I'm not sure when Surfside opened their second location, but they now have one at 18th and N Street in South Dupont, as well as the original location on Wisconsin Ave. in Glover Park.

In the Multiple Locations Dining Guide, I'm listing it under "Mexican and Tex-Mex," rather than "Seafood," even though their Tex-Mex fare is clearly more seafood-centric than most.

Has anyone tried Surfside lately, at either location? This was a regular for me and Matt, but now that he's in college, I haven't been in a long time (plus, I remember that on my last visit, I walked away disappointed, but that could have easily been a one-off, and it was years ago).

Any current information about either location would be much appreciated.

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