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Jul 28, 2008 07:51 AM

DC area Southwestern Grills?

Looking for great grilled southwestern fare...any thoughts?...DC and Suburbs

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  1. I don't know about great ;-) but Austin Grill has multiple area locations. Also, Taqueria Poblano in Arlington and Del Ray.

    1. I've never heard of that as a category! Not sure if this is what you had in mind, but the grilled stuff (fajitas and the like) at Rio Grande Cafe (multiple area locations) is top-notch.

      1. Cactus Cantina is great for this...on Wisc ave at Macomb, just north of the Cathedral. Their sister location in Dupont is Lauriol Plaza which is just a tad more upscale.... both places have outstanding meats, fresh salsa and make Rio Grande taste like Taco Bell.

        1 Reply
        1. re: eyeballs64

          I really have to disagree with this. Rio Grande is not a great place to go for Mexican food (you will likely be disappointed in anything that is not grilled there), but it easily outclasses Cactus Cantina and Lauriol Plaza on the fajita front. Rio Grande's fajitas, ribs, and grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp are, for my money, the best in the area. Lauriol Plaza is somewhat notorious for its lackadaisical approach to food and overwhelming dedication to "coolness" - it's biggest selling point is its lovely rooftop seating. If you want margaritas on a roof, it is probably going to be right for you, but be prepared for so-so food and an awful lot of preppie college kids. Cactus Cantina is a bit more consistent, probably because it lacks the roof deck and has to have better food to keep the crowd coming. But if it's fajitas you want, do the Rio Grande. And do try their ribs - the rib and fajita platter is fantastic.

          To follow up on Ericaandblueboy's comment of below, if you are looking for a Mesa Grill type place, I agree that we do not have a comparable high end southwestern influenced restaurant, although Rosa Mexicano has some dishes that are similar (albeit not executed as well you would find at Mesa Grill). Other options for higher end dining with South and Central American flair (not the same as southwestern, I know) are Ceiba, Cafe Atlantico, and Oyamel.

          I'm guessing you want fajitas though, so check out the Rio Grande.

        2. Are you looking for restaurants like Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill? Most of the recs are just Tex-mex. I'm not sure if DC has anything high-end like Mesa Grill.