Mexican (not Tex-Mex)


For five years (since I moved to DC), I had been meaning to go to Super Tacos & Bakery (formerly Tacos Pepitos Bakery II).  But when I would go, they’d run out of meat for the sandwiches.  I finally made it early enough to be able to order their sandwiches.  BTW, here’s some of their menu — the rest can be found here

Super Tacos & Bakery  Super Tacos & Bakery  Cuban Sandwich  Super Tacos & Bakery Sandwich Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Sandwich Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Sandwich Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Combo Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Combo Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Combo Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Tacos Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Burrito Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Fries and Tamale Menu  Super Tacos & Bakery Breakfast Menu

  • Food:I ordered two — the Cubano (photo on the left) and Carnitas (photo on the right).  The sandwiches are absolutely enormous and I didn’t even order the large.  For $7, they are some of the best deals .  There’s fresh tomatoes and avocado — yum.  For me, there were 4 meals — 1/2  a sandwich is definitely enough! 

Super Tacos & Bakery Cubana Sandwich  Super Tacos & Bakery Carnitas Sandwich

  • Service: While Spanish is the predominant language spoken, they do understand English. 
  • Atmosphere: There’s only a few (4-5) stools inside and a couple of tables and stools outside (when it’s nice) so eating in isn’t really an option.  On the right, there’s a huge wooden cabinet full of baked items. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: For those days you’re feeling poor, I’d definitely go here and get a couple of sandwiches for a grand total of $15.40 (tax included).  The good news is that they deliver for free (with a $10 minimum) so anyone who lives in the area can get their fantastic food!  I think next time I’ll try their tacos. 

Details:

  • Hours: Mon-Thu 8 am-10 pm; Fri-Sat 8 am-11 pm; Sun 8 am-10 pm
  • Address: 1762 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-232-7121
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I have found my new favorite restaurant.  This is ridiculously good food at an insanely cheap price.  Why haven’t people been talking about this place more often? 

  • Food:I’ve been here twice in a week and yet I continue to find new and yummy items on their menu.  I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of possibilities!  Everything is outstanding — the fried plantains are some of the best in the city.  The spinach empanadas are also amazing because they’re so light and flaky.  They are a cavernous kind with spinach and garlic — way better (and cheaper) than Julia’s Empanadas.  In the 4th photo, the salad had a tang to it with a pico de gallo type dressing.  The rice was light and flavorful.  So far, the weakest item was the beef burrito because it was ground beef and didn’t have a lot of flavor. 

Photos from left to right are: cheese pupusa; two chicken tacos; spinach empanada; burritos amigos (1 beef and 1 chicken); fried plantains.

Casa Blanca Pupusas  Casa Blanca Chicken Tacos  Casa Blanca Spinach Empanada  Casa Blanca Burrito Amigos  Casa Blanca Fried Plantains

  • Service: They’re very nice and it’s clearly a family-ran joint. 
  • Atmosphere: What it lacks in character with their interior, their food more than makes up for it.  This is a bare-bones kind of establishment where you’ll see a variety of eaters from college students to business executives.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: This is a cash only establishment so make sure you hit the ATM before you go.  So far, I know a half a dozen people who have gone and no one has had given this place anything but fantastic reviews.  This is definitely one of my favorite places and I can’t wait to try everything on their menu!  Speaking of which, here’s their menu: Menu Page 1; Menu Page 2; Menu Page 3.   Oh, and they do say they have delivery, but their service is sporadic. 

Details:

  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM-10 PM; closed Sundays
  • Address: 1014 Vermont Ave NW; Washington, DC 20005
  • Ph: (202) 393-4430

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

I had been to Casa Oaxaca once before with a group of fun people.  Unfortunately, I hated it.  I thought the food was horrible and bland. 

I was relaying this story to a friend of mine who said that I needed to go again and try it with her.   She said I probably didn’t order right.  I didn’t want to give the  place a bad review, so I agreed to go again.

  • Food: This time, my friend (and her fun sister) took over of ordering all the food for my other friend and me.  My only requirement was that I wanted to know what I was eating, but that I’d be game for anything.  First course was Kekas — 3 small blue corn quesadillas with huitlacoche, poblano pepper, and pork carnitas.  My favorite was the huitlacoche, but the others were quite tasty too.   Then we ordered all of the “Los Favoritos de Casa Oaxaca.”  This was the red snapper fillet with sunflower crust in green tomatillo sauce (yum, so crispy!);  grilled flank steak with black beans, guacamole, and tortilla dipped in chipotle sauce (one of the table’s favorites); filet mignon served over chipotle sauce and topped with flambeed Oaxacan cheese (loved the light cheese taste); and large shrimp sauteed with infused Hierba Santa oil and Mezcal (another table favorite).  For dessert, we ordered the Oaxaca coffee (no decaf here folks!) and an order of flan and two orders of churros.  The coffee was sweet (even though I’m a black coffee drinker), I thought it was really good.  While I’m not a huge fan of flan, it was really tasty as well.  Of course, the churros were fried perfectly with a little caramel drizzled on the plate and tons of cinnamon sugar. 
  • Service: Very good and attentive.  My friend (and her sister) were ordering everything in Spanish so it was fun to watch them interact with the server.  I also really wished I spoke Spanish… 
  • Atmosphere: It’s a small two-level restaurant with the bar on the first floor.  I prefer sitting on the first floor in one of the booths.
  • Attire: Casual/business casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: Second time was the charm.  I really enjoyed my meal!  My friend and her sister knew what they were doing (no surprise) and I’m glad they took over the evening.  Here’s what scares me though — if I ever go back, I’d only order what they ordered.   So now I’m going to have to ask my friend if there are other good things that I should try…I’m too scared to venture out on my own since I failed last time! 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours: Tue-Thu and Sun 5-11 pm, Fri-Sat 5-midnight
  • Address: 2106 18th Street NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-387-2272

My favorite Mexican (not Tex-Mex) food is at Mixtec in Adams Morgan.  I’ve been numerous times and have never been disappointed. 

While I know they were closed recently, they’ve re-opened with a little grocery store next door.

  • Food: Seriously, favorite Mexican food.  I don’t care what you get, but you MUST order the fried plantains.  They are the best here.  The tacos are real tacos on corn tortilla, meat, cilantro, and limes.  I have never gotten bad food here (nor have my many, many dining companions).   It’s always a filling, but inexpensive meal.  They’re known for their sandwiches, but I’ve never gotten one.  The only “bad” thing here is their sangria. 
  • Service: Good, although sometimes it’s hit and miss.  It doesn’t even matter if it’s slow or busy. 
  • Atmosphere: It’s incredibly casual and seats only about 40 people.  It’s definitely a little crunched and during busy periods, it’s loud.  But I think it adds to the atmosphere. 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $
  • Overall: Amazing.  Favorite Mexican in DC.  Get the plantains and love them.  You will crave this food.  Oh so good!  Here’s their menu — click on the photo to see a bigger picture.  I’ve only posted a few of the photos here, but on my flickr page you’ll see the entire menu (including brunch). 

Mixtec Brunch Menu 2 & 3  Mixtec Soup, Chips & Salsa, and Nacho Menu  Mixtec Tacos and Mexican Tortas  Mixtec Seafood and Dessert Menu 

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted, but usually not needed.
  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 am- 10 pm Fri-Sat 11 am- midnight
  • Address: 1792 Columbia Rd. NW; Washington, DC 20009
  • Ph: 202-332-1011