¡get saucy at El Chilango!
El Chilango, you muy sexy beast! I loved eating here. I love tacos, and El Chilango serves up some darn good ones. I love chips and salsa, and El Chilango’s verde salsa sells itself, even at a fairly steep $4 price tag. The only thing this small, hole-in-the-wall, ‘off the U Street beaten path’ doesn’t serve up is margaritas. That said, they’re in the process of obtaining a liquor license, so hopefully that will be remedied soon. And when they do make margs… I have a feeling they’ll be muy bueno!
Zan and I started our evening last Friday at Vinoteca, where I freaked out over the size of wine glass pours (one bartender actually poured wine back into the bottle when she poured a wee bit too much!). Despite the ramblings of this neurotic woman, we had a great time at Vinoteca and enjoyed all the wines we tried. Tipsy and hungry, without time or patience enough to head somewhere for a sit down meal, we wandered across the street to check out the new taco place, El Chilango.
This joint opened recently between 11th and 12th streets on V NW. Their front room seats barely 20, and they have an unexpected back area (also where their coolers are), that sat a large party the night we were there. I don’t know if that’s a regular service or a special occasion feature.
There are pictures of famous Mexicans lining the wall, and the other decor is what you’d imagine of Mexico City: vivacious, exciting and colorful. Spanish music plays over you, and Spanish is spoken freely.
The food is good. It’s legitimate and authentic and has enough of a kick to keep you wanting to order another horchata. At $7.50 for 3 tacos, the price is fairly standard for DC tacos. However, they do tack on a $.75 additional fee for mixing and matching your taco selection. Zan & I both agreed the chorizo is the best taco, and we tried ’em all. The best part of this place is the salsa bar (not pictured). Load up on ’em all but beware the habanero relish – it’s as spicy as it sounds (and delicious!)
The down side: their chips aren’t homemade. For such legitimate food, that was a disappointment!
The last few weeks I’ve been ooh’ing and ahh’ing and trying to run away and elope with Dulcinea, the small taco/Mexican restaurant across the street from Howard University…and in truth, Dulcinea is still my favorite Mexican in the city. But if someone asked, “Hey, wanna grab tacos at El Chilango?” you wouldn’t hear me say no.
You know, with all these great taco places popping up faster than flip-floppers in an election year, I might just have to hold a Battle of the Tacos, or a Taco Tour!