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Dec 27, 2008 09:26 PM

Have you tried Ixtapa in Rockville?

I drove by Ixtapa today in Rockville, near the Rockville Town Center. Has anyone tried it yet?

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  1. Tried it a few weeks ago. Had a combo plate with beef taco, chicken enchilada and a chicken tamale. The first two items were better than average compared to other local Mexican food I've tried in the DC area -- I'm transplanted from Southern California, and have been searching for something that reminds me of home for the last two years.

    As for the tamale, didn't care for it much. Soggy.

    Nevertheless, I'll be back to sample the rest of the menu when I get a chance.

    2 Replies
    1. re: semicolonman

      Thanks, semicolonman. We'll be trying it next week. There were no semicolons in your posting; that was disappointing!

      1. re: semicolonman

        'Wet' tamales with ingredients mixed-in to the dough are the hallmark of Central American tamales. Mexican tamales (which I much prefer) tend to be firmly packed with the stuffing only in the middle.

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. I feel odd eating at a restaurant when I don't have any idea how to pronounce its name. Are there other things on the menu that I can't pronounce? At a Thai restaurant, I can always say "Number 26" and they bring what I thought I ordered (I guess). <g>

          1. re: MikeR

            You need to be more adventurous! :-) We're going to Ixtapa tonight -- I'll post about it later.

            1. re: Transplanted Texan

              We were also there tonight. I thought it was pretty mediocre. Far better can be had in the area.

              1. re: DanielK

                Where? I find Rio Grande to be the best in the area, with Guapos coming in second and Cactus Cantina rounding out the third place. El Mariachi in Ritchie Center is pretty ho hum, as is Mi Rancho (all locations).

                I'd love to hear some good suggestions for solid tex-mex in this area. I've been to Guajillo next to Ray's the Steaks and thought it was pretty average too.

                1. re: MarcDC

                  My wife is from Texas, and in her opinion, there ISN'T any great Tex-Mex in the area.

                  El Mariachi does very mediocre Tex-Mex, but their other Mexican dishes are pretty good. We agree that Rio Grande is the best of the Tex-Mex chains in the area, though they were much better years ago. Mi Rancho, ugh.

                  Los Chorros in Wheaton and Ay Jalisco in Gaithersburg are primarily Salvadorean food, but their Tex Mex is more than an afterthought, unlike many of the Salvadorean/Mexican joints in the area. El Napolito in northern Silver Spring is also pretty good, especially for seafood.

                  I should point out that one of the disappointing things about Ixtapa was the prices - a burrito plate was $10 for vegetarian, $14 for chicken/meat. It's not expensive, but definitely a couple of dollars more than other local places, and not better.

                  1. re: DanielK

                    We went to Ixtapa yesterday evening. My hubby and I are from Texas and we are always hopeful we'll be find real Tex-Mex here. It hasn't happened yet!

                    We'd rate the Tex-Mex places in this order:

                    1. Rio Grande in Gaithersburg
                    2. Cactus Cantina on Wisconsin Ave.
                    3. Guapo's in Gaithersburg
                    4. El Paso in Arlington
                    5. Austin Grill in Bethesda
                    6. Guajillo in Arlington

                    Even though it wasn't Tex-Mex, we still enjoyed our meal at Ixtapa.

                    Ixtapa has very friendly service. Unlike DanielK, I thought the prices reasonable. We had one appetizer, 2 deserts, a margarita, a juice & a coffee, a fish dish, and an enchilada platter, all for $55.

                    It is definitely not Tex-Mex, Cal-Mex, or anything like that. Nor is it Salvadorean, which is about all you can find around here.

                    The chips were crispy and fresh. I liked the salsa, although I prefer that served at Cactus Cantina and Rio Grande. I had trout in a criollo sauce. The fish was fresh but wow, were there lots of bones! It was a generous portion, served with rice, black beans, & a good bit of broccoli. My hubby had an enchilada trio. None of them were Tex-Mex, but they were good. The beef enchilada was made with shredded beef that had been braised in a spicy sauce. The chicken enchilada was also made with chicken that had been baked or braised in a spicy sauce. They were stuffed with meat quite generously. The cheese enchilada wasn't anything special, but it wasn't greasy.

                    The peach margarita was delish! I really prefer their margaritas to those at Rio Grande. Lots of peach flavor but the liquor was still discernible.

                    The desserts were unremarkable, sad to say. We didn't have the flan, which our server said was very good. Maybe we'll try that next time.

                    1. re: DanielK

                      Have you tried Fajita Coast in Silver Spring (Four Corners area)? I love their seafood enchiladas. Great beans and guac, as well.

                      1. re: Mister Big

                        Oooh! Sounds good. I'll be sure to try it -- thanks!

          2. I am very choosing about Mexican food! I grew up in the Southwest and have spent a lot of time in Mexico. We went to Ixtapa last Thursday evening and it was some of the best I've had in the region. Some of the comments about it may be because it isn't really Tex-Mex, but more like real Mexican food. Much better than Austin Grill (which admits it is Tex-Mex). We have gone to Rio Grande many times but it is loud, busy, and inconsistent. We'll go back to Ixtapa instead. Only complaint is that one of our dinner companions ordered the table a pitcher of Sangria without realizing how expensive it was.
            I had chile relleno and carne asada. Great!
            We also like Los Chorros, but it is really Salvadorian, as most Mexican restaurants here are if they aren't Tex-Mex.