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Jun 25, 2008 09:19 AM

Tabasco Tex Mex Rockville: Don't Bother!

From the greasy chips to the unforgivable store bought tortillas, the food is not worth the high prices. I was excited to try this new Tex Mex place which is closer to home then Rio Grande Cafe. I placed an order for carry out that included chicken fajitas and burritos. The meat in the fajitas was overcooked and arrived on an undercooked, almost raw and inedible bed of green peppers and onions. Accompanying them was a side of beans and "mexican rice". The beans were passable but the rice was abysmal, akin to yellow Uncle Ben's. Also included was a meager portion of runny guacamole, sour cream and mushy pico de gallo (the tomatoes should have been in the bin, not served to customers). I don't know what was the worst part about the meal, the overcooked meat, undercooked veg or the stale tasting store bought tortillas. I expected something comparable to Rio Grande or even El Mariachi (the next closest competition) but was very disappointed. I won't go on about the burrito which wasn't much better then the fajitas. In the future, I'll happily drive 10 extra minutes and wait for a table at either Rio or El Mariachi. Save your money and pass on this place.

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  1. Have you tried "Three Amigos" hidden in the Lotte Plaza shopping center at Aspen Hill (on Georgia Avenue)?

    It's a TexMex-Salvadoran place - very nice platters and in my opinion, the best papusas in the Wheaton area. Good chips, but possibly the thinnest salsa I've ever seen.

    Three Amigos is a small, pleasant place. Well managed by the owner who always seems to be watching the business. It's been in business there for a good number of years now - definitely worth a try.

    1 Reply
    1. Thanks for the info, RockvilleFoodie! I was tempted to stop by the other day, but my innate cynicism (or maybe just sad experience) made me decide against it.

      Rio Grande and Cactus Cantina are the closest thing to Tex Mex in NW DC and in the near northwest burbs.

      Have you tried the Austin Gril in Rockville Town Center? It's not as good as Austin Grill in Bethesda when it first opened some 10 years ago, but some dishes are okay. The service is always quick and enthusiastic.

      1. I was surprised by the review above. We ate there recently on a Sunday night for the first time. We thought it was great. Most of the entrees were between $10 - $15, with some reaching the $18-$20 range. The service was great. Our margaritas were very tasty and didn't taste like some cheap mix. The chips were fresh, warm and not greasy. We enjoyed our entrees, including the unusually delicious refried beans. I felt like someone was taking a lot of care in the preparation of our meal. The dinner was topped off by a freshly made Tres Leches (three milks) cake. I ordered a flan, but I couldn't stop eating my wife's cake because it was one of the best desserts I've had in a while. I contacted a couple of local friends to recommend the place the next day.

        It doesn't have a lively atmosphere or an outstanding decor. But, the service, price, food quality and the fact that it is locally-owned all appealed to me. I will definitely return.

        1. Based on this discussion, I decided to give Tabasco a try for lunch today. Located in a small strip mall at the corner of 28 and Georgia Ave (by the way Daniel K you can make a U from 28), it is in a sterile building but the warmth from the waiter more than made up for the lack of architectural interest. The chips were not greasy to my taste, and the salsa was a mix of roasted chiles and ground tomatoes and quite tasty if not complex. I had a shot of Tres Generaciones and a house frozen margarita (too sweet from a pre mix but good execution) and a plate of slow cooked pork served with very good black beans, very poor white rice and steamed broccoli & baby carrots. The pork itself was in a tart jus and quite tender, topped with softened white onions. Good & solid. Given some of the tired cooking we have had venturing away from Pupusas at wome of our Wheaton regular Salvadoran places, this is a nice alternative. The guac was a little bland but of high quality. I should have asked for some chopped jalapeno to spice it up. All in all, worth another visit. Certainly the OP had a far different experience than I did.

          3 Replies
          1. re: deangold

            Tabasco's has been renamed "Cavo's", y es no mas bueno.

            Everything is basically the same as before, but 1-2 grades lower in quality of ingredients, based on my lunch today. It's crossed off my list now.

            1. re: DanielK

              I wonder why the quality went down as it is the same owner. I ate there a few months ago and had the pollo saltado (a new menu item after the name change) and thought it was really good....

              1. re: ciaoda

                I don't know, but we'd been every few months for the last couple years, and this was a substantial step down from our previous visits.

                It was never a drive-across-town destination, but was a decent neighborhood joint for Tex-Mex. No more.