I was recently invited to taste my way through the menu at the newly opened El Centro on 14th Street. The latest restaurant from Richard Sandoval is broken into the three main areas, the roof deck bar, first floor taqueria (dine-in or take-out) and the basement tequileria. While none of the areas are particularly large, I like the variety of options to choose from depending on what you’re looking for.
We enjoyed our never-ending meal in the basement tequileria a dark but warm and inviting dining room and bar area. The tequileria is a mix of high tables, bar seating and tables where you can dine in and enjoy expertly prepared drinks and tequila flights.
Overall I really enjoyed my dinner and the restaurant feel and am looking forward to heading back soon. I’d also like to point out that I was relieved to see the reasonable prices and large portions. Maybe I’m a cheapskate who eats too much but it feels like I’ve been leaving an awful lot of pricey meals in DC thinking I’ll need a snack when I get home!
Below is a quick review of what I ate, what I loved and what I’d leave off my next order
Made at the Table Guacamole: Nice large portion for the price. Your order could easily serve a group of 4
Ceviche: Fresh and light
Baja Fish Tacos: These were my favorite of the two styles we tried. A standard order comes with 3 tacos, rice and beans for $12.95 (all other non-fish tacos are a $1.00 less) Seems like a great deal these days!
Al Pastor Pork Belly Tacos: Perfectly fine but I’d like to try another option next time which leads me to the question I forgot to ask, “Can you order combos of different tacos?”
Appetizers: We had shrimp quesadillas and a pork carnitas sope. I have to say neither of these would be worth ordering again. Not good, not bad just no need for them. There are plenty of either delicious options I’d spend my money on.
Carne Asada: This dish was enormous and for the most part really good. The steak was incredibly flavorful and really tender and the corn tamal was nice and sweet. My only really issue were the charro beans that were way too salty. I’m fairly certain this will get under control once the kitchen settles in.
Cocktails: I’d recommend either the traditional margarita or even better, the Mojito Mexicano made with a chili-ginger simple syrup that has a spicy kick to it. I would however avoid the Paloma. I thought it was terribly bland although another guy at the table loved it so who knows!
All in all a delicious and enjoyable evening where I went home feeling fully satisfied!
1819 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009