Food at or near Birchmere
- Jon Parker
We have tickets to the Liz Phair show tomorrow night at the Birchmere. I've never been there before. I know they serve food -- is it good or at least not bad?
Alternatively, is there anyplace good to eat nearby where we could grab some dinner after the show?
The food at the Birchmere is actually quite good. I've only been once or twice but remember having some very good wings there and also a yummy taco salad. The food is pricey, but defintely better than your standard bar food. I think the menu is available on their website.
Another idea not far from the Birchmere would be the Taquiera Poblano on Mt. Vernon Ave. closer to Del Ray. Probably less than 2 miles up Mt. Vernon from the Birchmere. Great Baja style tacos and very quick service.
I think it's pretty bad. I'd go to Taqueria Poblano or Evening Star, both of which are really good and right down Mt. Vernon Ave.
If you want to get a good seat, I'm not sure you can avoid eating there. I disagree with the previous poster about the quality of what my wife and I had, which was something approaching zero. I can't remember, though, what we ordered. It's called repression.
The tacos al pastor at nearby Tacqueria Poblano are an otherwise hard-to-find treat.
The food at the Birchmere is okay for bar food -- the pulled pork, burgers and salads are good choices. For after the show, you might have a problem finding a place that still serves late dinner. One great option that does is the new Del Maerie Grill -- just up the block on Mt. Vernon Ave, in the strip of shops where the Calvert apt bldg is. It's where the Calvert Grill was for years, and has been completely renovated and has great food and service and stays open later for post Birchmere dinners. It's American food with a southern influence. There's also a good Thai restaurant, Po Siam, also on Mt. Vernon, just before the Birchmere, and I'd recommend Los Tios, further down Mt. Vernon, over the Tacqueria for Mexican and Salvadorean dishes -- better service, bigger space and better food.
We tried Los Tios and were less than impressed. I thought it was pricey and the service was just plain bad. I know it is a neighborhood place, but it was obvious to my husband and I that if you didn't come there often enough to be recognized, then they didn't give you the time of day. We won't be going back again to be "recognized" so we can receive decent service.
To the poster who complained about the stingy amount of chips and salsa at the Taquiera - did you ask for more? We eat there quite regularly and have never been turned down when we asked for a refill - which is pretty much every time because we love their tangy salsa!
re: DC Gal
>We tried Los Tios and were less than impressed. I thought it was pricey
I agree Los Tios is no bargain, but pricier than Taqueria Poblano? No way. It cost me a lot less to "fill up" at Los Tios than Poblano. The amount TP charges for a teeny-tiny taco ($4-5, depending on the "filling") is absurd.
> and the service was just plain bad. I know it is a
> neighborhood place, but it was obvious to my husband
> and I that if you didn't come there often enough to > be recognized, then they didn't give you the time of
The two times I've gone to Tios, I didn't notice this to be the case. I'm not saying you didn't get lousy service -- it's a small operation, I think there was only one waiter working the last time I was there, so I'm sure it can be slow, particularly if it's crowded. But, with only two visits, they certainly didn't recognize me, and I got fine service.
> To the poster who complained about the stingy amount
> of chips and salsa at the Taquiera - did you ask for
That was me. And, yes, TP always bring out more when I ask. But, the portions are so ridiculously small -- it can't be more than two tablespoons of salsa and a handful of tortilla strips -- that at some point you just get tired of asking. Which, I suspect, is what they're counting on.
Clearly, we disagree about TP (and Tios, though, frankly, I haven't been there enough times to be counted as a true fan). But, regardless of preferences, at least we can agree that there are credible alternatives in Del Ray to the Birchmere's food...
tacos al pastor - $2.95
crispy taco - $3.25
fish taco - $3.95
Tacos al carbon - $10.95-$11.95 for what would easily translate into 3 tacos, plus rice. Nothing on the menu is over $12.95.
The statement that their prices are high for stuff that will fill you is just not founded. Los Tios and the taqueria also have different focus, so I wouldn't know why it'd be a one or the other kind of thing.
Thanks for looking up the menu - your information is helpful in showing that the Taqueria is a great place for good cheap tacos. We typically get two tacos each (2 beef for me and 2 pork for my hubby). They are absolutely STUFFED with meat, cheese and fresh pico for less than $4.00 each. To me, one of the best bargains around! I agree that some of the other entrees at the Taqueria are pricier, but I stick with the tacos anyway because there my favorite. They make the Washingtonian's Cheap Eats list every year.
As for the service experience - there were at least 4 or 5 people working the dining room the night we ate at Los Tios so the poor service cannot be blamed on low staffing.
But, I agree with you - thank goodness we have so many good choices to argue about in the Del Ray neighborhood!