ISO: Good Tex-Mex in NoVa
I recently moved to the area (Loudon County to be exact) and in my typical fashion, I set out to find good places to eat. So far, I have found some really great Italian, Indian and Thai places, but the Mexican, specifically Tex-Mex, has been lackluster at best.
Anita's was recommended to me, but that was barely passable. Their website said they were transplants from New Mexico, but I spent an awful lot of time in and around Albuquerque and Santa Fe and what I had at Anita's would have been laughed out of town.
I was surprised to find an outpost of the Dallas based Uncle Julio's in Fairfax. I went in expecting to get the same food that I would have had in Dallas or Ft. Worth, but was disappointed to say the least.
There have to be some taco carts and taquerias around, I've just had a hard time finding them. If any of you know where I can find some carts, hole-on-the-walls and joints that serve San Antonio/Austin style Tex-Mex Enchiladas, real Carnitas and REAL chili con carne, help a brother out!
In Arlington, near Rosslyn, is Guajillo. (It may be a little more Mex than Tex, but still American-ified) I would give it a better than average for the area. You will not find great Mexican or TexMex around here, at least I have not.
If you have a hankering for more authentic Mexican, there is a small Mexican community in Bladensburg. The one restaurant/taqueria I recall is La Sirenita. It is the real deal. It is not the most outstanding taqueria I have ever been to, but it is the only authentic one in the area.
Good luck. And if you find something really noteworthy, please share.
A frequent question here. The short answer is either no, or very little. The advice is to explore what is here, which is other parts of Mexico, Central and South America (esp. Central America).
A couple of recent threads.
Your best bets are the goat tacos at Taqueria El Charrito Caminante in Arlington (2710 N. Washington Blvd.) Chorizo is also quite good.
Huarache con birria (can you tell I'm a goat fan?) at Guadalejara Tacos y Tortas off Rte 1 way south of Alexandria, and Gaujillo in N. Arlington, which is a pretty good place overall.