Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Secret Taqueria" - Columbia Heights, DC

UPDATE: 8/7/11 - I'm not sure if they are still in business. They had a Facebook page with their contact info and it is no longer up. Sorry folks, I don't have their number either. If someone knows, please tell the rest of us!

"Hey, do you want to try a secret Mexican place with me?" was all I needed to ask. My fun-loving friends were all excited to try this apartment taqueria in Columbia Heights with me. I am all about food adventures, so after hearing great things from two of my blogger friends (Girl Meets Food, The Unpaid Gourmet), I marked it on my calender.

I made reservations for my group of 7 a month in advance because I didn't know what to expect. It's hard enough to get friends together nowadays, plus the place was small so I wanted to make sure we could fit. In the end, we didn't need to do that, but whatever, haha. I'm just going to show up next time.

Our group met up at Sticky Fingers bakery beforehand so we wouldn't make the experience more difficult because apparently previous diners have had keys thrown down to them from the apartment window in order to enter the building. It would have been a hassle to do that more than once. I called to confirm we were on our way and to get the address. Thankfully enough we followed someone into the building who was actually on their way to eat there too!

We entered the tiny apartment with such a warm welcome. The dining room consisted of a single, shared table with the kitchen right next to it. It felt like we were eating at a friend's home with their parents' cooking for us. The other diners were super friendly and told us what their favorite dishes were. You can also watch all of the prep and cooking being done and food gets served very fast.

A small menu in both English and Spanish rested on the table. There were some items the regulars were eating that were not on the menu too. Certain dishes offered less common ingredients like brain, tongue and head. Below are only the dishes my cousin and I ordered because we shared our portion of the bill and food.

'Champurrado (Mexican chocolate drink)' was one of the many cool drink options. It is a thick drink made of chocolate and corn. It was really delicious and warmed me up.

Tamales are one of my favorite Mexican foods, so I ordered a 'tamale with mole sauce' to start off my meal.

Look at the beautiful presentation! My cousin enjoyed her 'chicken tostada', which had freshly pulled chicken.

Ok, some of y'all might think I'm nuts, but this was THE BEST TACO I'VE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. I still think about it and crave it. This 'beef tongue taco (onions, cilantro, homemade corn tortilla)' was seasoned so simply and perfectly. The tongue was tender, the homemade tortilla had great texture and the veggies brought a crisp and fresh sensation. When a simple dish with few ingredients can be this memorable then it's something special. I didn't have to use any hot sauce either!

The cousin and I shared a 'beef steak and cactus taco'. The cactus actually tasted much different alone, but really complimented the rest of the dish as a whole.

Hot sauces! There were about 6 homemade sauces in the middle of the table ranging in color and spice level. I enjoyed the green ones a lot.

Doesn't that look spicy? Someone told me it wasn't that bad. So vibrant!
Thank you to the family for their hospitality. My friends and I had an awesome time that day eating delicious, homemade food in someone's home. There aren't any prices listed next to the dishes, however all of the food I pictured plus a soda ended up making 2 of us super full for around $18. You can't beat that! I can't wait to go back and get a trio of crazy tacos (tongue, brain, head).

Usually I post pictures of the exterior and interior of the establishments I eat at, but I don't want to compromise the family's privacy. So, if you're interested in checking out this place, shoot me an email!

Open Saturdays and Sundays from 7am – 7pm


Anonymous said...

Just curious, was the food made by actual Mexicans, or was this a hipster supper club thing?

Michele said...

You ate the tongue!? Way to go hun!! You are a true foodie :D

Mish you!

Marie said...

Anonymous - This is literally a Mexican family's TINY apartment with photos of their kids, household stuff around and an old black and white film in Spanish on the TV.
All of the diners we ate with were Hispanic as we tried to converse in the limited Spanish we had. It's the read deal, so I def. recommend it.

Ryan said...

Hey, do you by any chance have the address and phone number for this place?

Marie said...

Hey Ryan,

As mentioned in the update at the top of my page, I unfortunately don't have their address or phone number since they closed their page. Good luck!