Latin American


So another friend is leaving the city and so we went out for a last DC meal.  Now she has promised she’s coming back to the city and I am going to visit her, so that will work out.  But it still stinks.

Anyway, we were feeling indifferent on where to go and so she picked Rumba Cafe.

  • Food: We ordered an appetizer to split — the Arepa de Carne Flour corn cake with mild beef stew.  It was pretty good.  My friend ordered the Ropa vieja shredded beef stew with a huge yellow plantain, and rice and beans.  The beef was tender and had good flavor.  I ordered the Mero entomatado which is a filet of Red Snapper with garlic, bell pepper, red onion, tomato, and white wine.  I thought my meal didn’t have a lot of flavor. 
  • Service: The servers have a tendency to hoover around the tables, but they are very nice.
  • Atmosphere: There are 8 very closely put together tables outside, but it is nice place for a leisurely meal.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: While the food was decent, I thought it was a bit more expensive than necessary.  There are lots of other yummy Latin American restaurants I’d rather drop $30-40/person. 

Details:

  • Hours: Restaurant Mon-Fri 5 PM-12 midnight; Sat & Sun 11 AM-12 midnight; Weekend Brunch 11 AM-4 PM; Bar Mon-Thurs 5 PM-2 AM; Fri 5 PM-3 AM; Sat 11 AM-3 AM; Sun 11 AM-2 AM 
  • Address: 2443 18th St NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 588-5501

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m starting to go to places that are a bit more “off-the-beaten-road” in DC.  Perhaps they aren’t too well-known.  I don’t think El Tamarindo falls into the unknown category, but I had never been.  And luckily, neither had one of my friends. 

  • Food: As soon as we sat down, we received a free order of chips and salsa.  The salsa was a bit runny for my taste, but it was spicy.  We ordered a half pitcher of mango margaritas which were pretty good — and almost tasted like summer.  I ordered the steak fajitas and they were really dry and overcooked.  But the chips were pretty good and the mango margaritas would make me go back.  For the fajitas though, I’d hit up Mixtec
  • Service:Nice and attentive servers.
  • Atmosphere: It’s actually much bigger than you would think and with 3-4 TVs throughout the two dining areas, you can even catch a game or two. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I would come here for free chips and salsa and margaritas, but for the main course, I’d rather spend my money at Mixtec

Happy Hour:  Monday-Friday 4-7 PM there’s 2 for 1 lime margaritas and beer. 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-3 AM; Fri 11 AM-5 AM; Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 AM 
  • Address: 1785 Florida Ave NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: (202) 328-3660

Two+ years ago, I went to Ceiba for Restaurant Week.  I don’t remember what I ordered, but since I haven’t been since then…well, you know.

Anyway, I do remember the inside of the restaurant was nice and when I was researching Restaurant Week, I stumbled (no pun intended) upon their happy hour information.

Here it is!  I’ll have to go back sometime and do a review on the food. 

Monday-Friday from 2:30-10:30 PM $5 cocktails (throughout the restaurant) and complimentary bocaditos (appetizers) from 4-7 PM in the bar-area only.  

  • Monday — Drink special: Mojito/bocaditos: mini pressed Cuban sandwiches
  • Tuesday — Drink special: Caipirinha/bocadito: grilled Chorizo and a Chimichurri sauce
  • Wednesday — Drink special: Pisco Sour/bocadito: ceviche & crisp flour tortillas
  • Thursday — Drink special: Sangria/bocadito: assorted Tapas
  • Friday — Drink special: Margarita/bocadito: guacamole, blistered tomato salsa, crisp corn tortillas

Details:

  • Address: 701 14th Street, N.W., Washington DC 20005
  • Ph: (202) 393-3983

I went to LIMA with a group of friends a few weeks ago and had a fantastic time. 

  • Food: I had seen some mixed reviews, but I still wanted to try this Latin-infused cuisine.  We had decided to order some mojitos (which were good) and some appetizers.  Up first was the Ceviche Mixto, which was mixed seafood with lime, hot chilies, onions, and cilantro.  The fish was flavorful, fresh, and had a little bit of a kick.  We also ordered their Taste of Spanish Cured Meats which were also tasty.I had ordered the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, which was perfectly cooked.  From their menu, it says, “sautéed in cashew-cilantro crust wild mushrooms and roasted root vegetables.” It had a nice crisp exterior with a rich flavor.  It might even be the best Chilean Sea Bass I’ve tasted.  My 3 other dining companions got the same dish – the Cuban Dinner with Chicken.  The menu said it was a roasted half a chicken “‘encebollado’ with lime braised red onions steamed aged basmati rice, black beans, and fried green plantains.”  I thought the chicken was really good, moist with excellent flavor. Even my friend who had a rotisserie (will tell that story in a later post) said it was one of the best chickens she’s ever had.  The downside of the meal?  The fried green plantains.  We concurred it was the worst part of the meal. 

  • Service: We had a very nice server who was very nice and offered great suggestions.

  • Atmosphere:We sat upstairs and right by the kitchen door.  It was a bit strange to seat us there since there weren’t a lot of others in the dining room.  Regardless, it wasn’t a bad table. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable upstairs

  • Attire: Business casual

  • Price: $$$

  • Overall: I’d definitely want to go back for dinner.  It seems like a place I’d want to avoid on weekends (unless you’re OK with standing in line to get into a bar).  I have a sense that the atmosphere on the weekends completely changes the audience/crowd too. 

It would be a great place to go for the first date.  In the summer, they have these huge sofas outside so it’s great to grab a drink before dinner.  They have a great wine and beverage list along with a beautiful upscale bar downstairs.                                                                               

The lounge has weekly DJs that play house and dance music.  Bottle service is also available.                            

Happy Hour: 5:00-7:00PM $5 Call Drinks; $4.50 House Wines; $4 Import Beers; $3 Domestic Beers; $4.50 Johnnie Walker Red, Absolut Vodka & Jack Daniels mix drinks; $5 Beef Empinadas

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted and recommended 

  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri & Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sun restaurant is closed but Lounge open 9 pm-2 am.

  • Address: 1401 K Street NW; Washington, DC 20005

  • Ph: (202) 789-2800