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Favorite Taco Joints?

Hi,

Tacos are getting so popular these days. And I know there are lot of great ones-finally in Washington! What are your favorites? I am looking to get some new ideas. I haven't been to any of the pick-up apartment/home ones yet...

Some of mine are (each different in their own way):

-Mama Chuy's
-El Chucho
-District Taco
-El Chilango
-El Centro

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  1. El Charrito Caminante. Goat and Chorizo especially.

    Taqueria Distrito Federal

    Recently I found a new truck at a work site on the North end of Crystal City. They had some good tacos, but I think they travel from work site to work site. They were surprised to see me in line...

    Edit, anyone been to the one in Fairfax near the 7-11 at 10911 Main Street, Fairfax, VA? I saw it a couple of weeks ago but I was late to an appt. I'll be checking it out sometime soon, but I wondered if anyone had insight already. It might be Pupuseria El Buen Gusto Restaurant, but I'm not sure.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dennis S

      I second Tacqueria El Charrito Caminante (TECC) on Washington Blvd near Rte 50, Jose works hard to make those tacos the best. I really like the cabrito/goat and the lengua/tongue, they are really full of flavor. The chorizo has been hit or miss for me but when it is on it is really good too. Only 6 or 8 stools but in the warmer months Lyon Park has picnic tables just 3 blocks west.
      Jesus' truck down on 14th St off of Rhodes is really good too, I think the truck is named El Chilango? He is another good hardworking small businessman. I like the al pastor tacos there.

    2. I like El Chilango and El Chucho. Also worth trying Super Tacos on Columbia Road -- really good pork, though the tortillas are not as good as at El Chilango.

      La Mexicana out in Alexandria is worth the drive -- absolutely amazing, the goat taco I had there a few weeks ago was jaw-droppingly good.

      7 Replies
      1. re: hamster

        Second La Mexicana. Blows anything I've tried in DC out of the water. Their torta ahogada is one of the best sandwiches in the area. And since they're a bakery, their bollilo bread is fresh and crusty. Everybody raves about the al pastor but my favorite is the fried fish taco. Run by the nicest couple you ever met.

        http://www.lamexicanabakery.net/

        Right up the street, Tacos El Costalilla does a range of fillings like lengua, tripa, cabeza.

        http://greateralexandria.patch.com/li...

        1. re: monkeyrotica

          This (La Mexicana)^^.

          Though I think OP might have been talking about the District only, at which I would only suggest 1) El Chilango (even though it's $20 for some tacos) and 2) Distrito Federal.

          Any CHers been to the Taqueria Juquilita (the place that is apparently someone's apartment and they throw down a key to get in)?

          1. re: mdpilam

            $20 for tacos at El Chilango? It's $7.50 for three tacos.

          2. re: monkeyrotica

            I went to la Mexicana yesterday and tried to order the tortas ahogada, but the woman who took my order thought I wanted something else. When they brought the order up the gentleman who owns the place knew it was not what I ordered. Not sure how. But I got my tortas ahogada and it was really good, but hotter than I had imagined. I knew it was spicy, but this was 'sweat running down my face' spicy. The smokey aftertaste was odd, but all in all it was a very good meal.
            The tables were jammed so I found a corner to stand in and read my book while I waited and a guy over on the other side of the cafe with his family grabbed a chair and brought it to me, which was a very neighborly thing to do.
            I am still laughing at myself about the heat though. I think I am all into spicy food Thai hot, and this sandwich had me sweating like mad. Next time I will go back to a selection of tacos. ;-)

            1. re: Ziv

              That's the thing about authentic, real-deal food. Sometimes it can be authentically painful! That torta is standard soccer match food they serve in Guadalajara. How they eat that burning, spicy wet sandwich with their hands is a mystery to me. I imagine they use it to sell LOTS of beer.

              1. re: monkeyrotica

                The heat was there in spades, but since I used a fork and knife, not my hands, to eat it, I didn't have to constantly remind my self, "don't touch your face and be really, REALLY, sure not to touch your eyes!" ;-)

                A while back I hurt my eyes the next MORNING by touching them after eating a scotch bonnet the night before at a Jamaican restaurant, but the jerked goat was worth it.
                And I learned that the little orange "jalapeno pepper" on the side of the plate was garnish, and you weren't supposed to eat it. As my Jamaican waitress put it, "Yah don't eat da Scaatch Bahnet, maan!!"
                I wish there was a Scoville meter on the menus of some of these places, the cumin beef at HKP did the same thing to me a few months ago when I asked for it, "with a little heat".

          3. re: hamster

            Truly the best in the DMV, hands down.

          4. Hardly a "best" - I don't think taco joints can be so good that any one can be best - but the new Buenos Grill in Annandale is OK, quick, and pretty cheap. It's across Columbia Pike from the ex-Magruder's/Bloom now vacant grocery store.

            Order at the counter, fill up your drink cup, and find a seat. Tacos and burritos, "tapas" coming soon to come, it says.

            As is the custom, it seems nowadays, pork is kind of sweet. Chicken is decent. Seating is kind of odd - a few large booths, a few tables, and a counter. It looks bigger outside than inside, and there isn't a lot of parking in front (apparently this was an issue that delayed their opening) though there's a bit more in the rear.

            If you don't ask, you get hard shell tacos on what are probably commercial pre-fried tortillas. You can ask for soft tacos. Do that. If you like District Taco, you probably won't switch, but give it a try if you're in the area and you don't feel like eating Korean.

            1. Chinitos Burritos off Florida in Northeast does some good tacos as well.

              http://www.chinitosburritos.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: monkeyrotica

                Flour tortillas tho.... would love to love them but to me a martini is gin, a taco is corn tortilla. Not only flour, but thick doughy flour. Too bad because the salsas and the fillings are super.

              2. Taqueria La Placita in Hyattsville.

                1. El Charrito Caminante in Arlington (for the goat or chorizo) and La Placita in Hyattsville are still tops with me.

                  1. as an Annandale resident I am thrilled to hear you like Buenos Grill - I will try it today! any other NoVa rec's?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: lizmn

                      Don't get your hopes up too high - Buenos Grill isn't anything outstanding, it's there, it's convenient, it's clean, it's not offensive, it's cheap, and it's new. That's good enough for me. Hopefully it'll be good enough for you. Let us know what you think.

                    2. Does Taqueria Nacional belong on this list? A month ago I went and they had a lamb taco special. I ordered one. Fantastic. Very similar to the TECC goat taco, dare I say even better (although I love just about anything lamb.) Based on that I say absolutely yes.

                      But then I returned to the counter to order two more of the same. This time, just 10 minutes later, the tacos were swimming in fat/grease. I would estimate 3-4 tbsp of clear liquid fat in each one, no exaggeration. In hindsight I should have gone back and asked them to remake it -- that's my error. What I did instead was drain all that fat from both tacos and eat them anyway. Too greasy to be enjoyable although the taste was still pretty good. Based on those two tacos, I wouldn't recommend. Take all that for what it's worth.

                      1. A shotout for the taco trucks by the MVA at Gaithersburg, especially the first one Mexico Puebla. Awesome tacos and highly-underrated on this board, though ELCC for goat tacos and some of the taquerias in Hyatsville-Riverdale are right up there.

                        Another place for good tripe tacos is Pepitos in Germantown near the corner of Middlebrook and Rt. 355. Ths guy I think used to own a place in Adams Morgan before. Sometimes his fare is a hit and miss, but if a taco-craving hound in the hood finds himself in the mood for one or two, this is the place to go.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: altan

                          Thanks for the rec. When am I likely to find the trucks there?

                          1. re: Steve

                            Steve...sorry I never replied to this. The trucks park right opposite the MVA; I know for sure they are there 10AM-5PM, sometimes 6, Mon-Sat, and often on Sundays as well

                          2. re: altan

                            Good to hear that Pepitos is still around somewhere. I have been to the now closed AM location quite a few times. Never to the one in MD. I had thought it was in G-Burg and now closed as well, but he's in Germantown? I'm familiar with that intersection well enough.