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Upscale Mexican in Baltimore or DC???

stephanieg Nov 17, 2013 08:24 AM

Are there any upscale, great Mexican restaurants in the area (preferably Baltimore, but DC would be ok)? Since my husband LOVES Mexican, he wants to celebrate his upcoming b-day at a Mexican restaurant. However, he also wants to eat somewhere relatively nice, with solid service and where we could even dress up. Does such a place exist??? All our favorite spots are pretty much holes in the wall...

  1. s
    Steve Nov 17, 2013 09:13 AM

    In DC, Oyamel (small plates) and Casa Oaxaca are as 'fancy' as it gets. Both place are fine in casual clothing, but nobody would feel out of place in nice slacks and a button-down shirt.

    At Casa Oaxaca I would focus on the mole sauces, the enmoladas with mole negro, the pork ribs with a mole verde, and the skirt steak with a mole colorado.

    At Oyamel, go for the albondigas, the chile en nogado (seasonal), and the ono ceviche with passionfruit.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Steve
      shawington Nov 17, 2013 09:38 AM

      Steve's suggestions are both good ones.

      Depending on your interest in being somewhere that is a bit more of a younger scene, I've always quite enjoyed El Centro DF. It's on the 14th St strip of restaurants, so median age is probably 33-ish. If you get a reservation in the main dining room, I think it's really quite enjoyable. Good food, and nice ambiance.

      I'd also potentially add to the list Rosa Mexicana. It likely get less than favorable press around here as it is a chain, so certainly less interesting. But I've always found the food reasonably solid and it is a bit more towards the "formal" end. If your husband would like a high-end chain spot, I'd consider this too. Plus, there are lots of other nice places in the area if you want to add drinks on to the night (barmini, perhaps??). Given that I like more interesting local restaurants as a personal preference, though, I'd choose Oyamel over here for myself.

      (Not at all responsive, but for cheap taqueria, you can't beat Mama Chuy. I love that place.)

      1. re: shawington
        hamster Nov 25, 2013 02:52 PM

        Do you prefer Mama Chuy to Chilango and Taqeria (on T) and Super Tacos?

    2. s
      stephanieg Nov 17, 2013 03:26 PM

      Thanks so much for your detailed replies! Anyone closer to Baltimore have any insight? We live in Baltimore, so I was hoping to find a place here, but it looks like we may need to come down to DC (less ideal, but ok).

      4 Replies
      1. re: stephanieg
        lawhound Nov 19, 2013 11:17 AM

        Blue Agave in Federal Hill is quite good and would fill the bill of "upscale". Seeing as how you're in baltimore, you should definitely try it.

        1. re: lawhound
          stephanieg Nov 19, 2013 02:13 PM

          We LOVED Blue Agave years ago (and when I say years, probably about 15 years ago). However, the last couple times we went back (which probably was 2ish years ago), we had terrible service and just so so food. Has it changed?

          1. re: stephanieg
            lawhound Nov 21, 2013 07:05 AM

            Their website reports new ownership about a year ago.

            1. re: lawhound
              stephanieg Nov 22, 2013 05:11 AM

              Intriguing! Have you been there recently? Would love to hear a recent review!

      2. h
        Hue Nov 18, 2013 09:57 AM

        Not exactly fancy, but not a hole in the wall, but quite good
        try Papa Joe's in Westminster

        1. z
          Zevonista Nov 18, 2013 11:24 AM

          Can't speak to Mexican in Baltimore, but Azul 17 in Howard County is nice. Not overly upscale, but not a hole-in-the-wall. Ditto for Xitomate off of Route 108.

          1. p
            Pretzelhead Nov 22, 2013 03:06 PM

            Baltimorean here. My husband and I have enjoyed Miguel's:
            although it's been a while. Great view!

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