Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Sep 2, 2008 10:39 PM

Don Panchito's Mexican & Salvadoran Grill

Has anyone been to Don Panchito's in the Cranbrook Shopping Center? Michelle Gienow praises it in the City Paper's Cheap Eats feature. Skeptical me. Though her tamale rave and transcendent cantaloupe licuado pique my interest.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Are there no chowhounds in the vicinity of Cranbrook Shopping Center? Nothing on Don Panchito's?

    1. Hi Treva,

      We got carry out from Don Pachito's last Sunday evening based on Michelle's Gienow's City Paper review. (BTW: when I stopped by, the sign outside still read "Maria de Los Angeles".).

      We tried a bean and a cheese pupusa, steamed (they also offered us fried) New Corn tamales and a veggie burrito. They were out of chicken tamales, but the "New Corn" tamale was quite good, and I'll be returning to seek out the chicken variety. The bean pupusa was terrific, and the side cabbage w/ sauce was tasty. Michelle noted the cabbage sauce tasted of Old Bay -- I'm not so sure, but it did have a celery-salt flavor which was similar. In any case, it worked!

      The veggie burrito was huge and filled with peppers, zucchini, guac, rice and some nice, dark smoky beans painted onto the sides.

      Everything was very affordable. I want to try one of their stews next time, the pork or chicken looked amazing.


      2 Replies
      1. re: placidothecat

        Hello Placidothecat! Thank you so much for checking this out and reporting your findings. Don Panchito's sounds promising. I am eager for your report on their stews and anything else you try. Do they have moles? Proper moles? It's not in my neighborhood, so I wanted to be sure before making the trek from Annapolis. How was the ambience? Should I carry out or eat in?

        1. re: Treva

          I don't recall seeing mole on the menu. It is a modest, store-front kind of place with about 12-15 tables.

      2. I've been to Don Panchito's twice with my folks- it's really good.

        I would recommend the pupusa as well as the chicken tamale- the tamale is light and fluffy.
        We've also had the Guisado De Puerco, a pork stew with onions, peppers served with rice, the Don Panchito Shrimp, a spicy tomato based dish with shelled shrimp, Bistec Encebollado, a beef stew, the lengua tacos, and the cassava with chicharrons. Everything felt like homemade dishes.

        oh, and the refried beans are great- clearly made with lard- yum

        pics here:

        1 Reply
        1. re: 1000yregg

          My wife and I have "carried out" there about 5-6 times since my initial response, and it is always good. I've tried their shrimp dishes, chicken giusado (which was wonderful comfort food), chicken tacos, plaintains, more pupusas and tamales and they were all delicious and very reasonably priced. And yes, those refried beans and corn tortillas are very satisfying!

        2. This thread is as old as the hills, but this place is still excellent. On my last visit I tried the seafood soup. A tangy, bisque-y broth with lots of mussels, shrimp w/ heads, squash, carrots, greenbeans, an oyster and a female crab (sans most of its legs.) Came with a couple of their yummy corn tortillas (nice for dipping in the broth.) It was a meal in itself -- but of course I needed to suppliment it with a bean and cheese pupusa.