Springing from the mindparts of CEO and founder John Kunkel, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill combines the tasty flavor of Mexican fare with a dedication to healthy eating and responsible food sourcing. After cutting its teeth in the mean streets of Miami's South Beach, Lime Fresh spread its delicious message across the country, stuffing organic beans, colorful veggies, homemade salsas, and humanely raised meats into tortillas made from non-genetically-modified corn and flour. Chefs grill quesadillas, roll burritos, and sizzle fajitas before customers' eyes, and they can easily convert each item on the menu into a vegetarian-friendly feast or a makeshift futon. As guests content themselves with mouthfuls of flavorful tacos, fresh salads, and cheesy scoops of nachos, Lime Fresh Mexican Grill's dedicated staff works hard behind the scenes to build strong community relationships through contributions to local charities and nonprofits.
When two neighbors decided they’d put their Mexican cooking skills to use and start a food truck, they didn't know what they were getting into. Their signature Yucatan style of Mexican cuisine took off faster than they could manage, with customers lining up around the block to get a taste of their tacos filled with carnitas, barbacoa, and the breakfast-friendly egg, potato, and cheese. Before too long, the pair opened an additional two brick-and-mortar locations where guests could grab their favorite burritos, tacos, and quesadillas without tracking down the ever-moving food truck. Whichever location they choose, customers can still customize any of the Yucatan favorites with one of six meats and nearly a dozen toppings. Guests can alter their dish’s spiciness factor with the four salsas at the salsa bar, ranging from the mild tomatillo to the habanero, a sauce so hot it's only served if you specifically request it or present a birth certificate stating you are one quarter chili pepper.
Following Baja Fresh’s ethos set in 1990 as a healthy take on fast food, never-frozen meats sizzle atop the grill before they're tucked into made-to-order tacos and burritos. Grilled corn and flour tortillas embrace fish, carnitas, chicken, and steak, and smoky queso fundido sidles onto nachos and into burritos. Between bites, chips scoop up salsa made from farm-fresh produce rather than poured out of a can or fabricated in a space-age replicator. A complimentary salsa bar ensures no mouthful goes unspiced, and guests can scoop up their favorites as they await their dine-in, takeout, or catering orders.
The challenge: eat a burrito in 45 minutes or less. But not just any burrito. A burrito that weighs four pounds. A burrito so awe-inspiring it even has a fearsome name: El Toro. One Saturday per month, Pica Taco holds a contest for any brave and hungry customer ready to take on the El Toro burrito challenge. Packed with the challenger’s choice of chicken, beef, or pork, the burrito is so huge, it must be wrapped in multiple full-size tortillas. Anyone who conquers the four-pounder gets their picture on the Wall of Champions, a $15 gift certificate, a champion t-shirt, and souvenir tostada molded in their likeness. And, of course, their burrito is on the house. But the El Torro isn’t the only thing that makes Pica Taco special. It’s also the friendly service and authentic Mexican cuisine created by owner Maria Villalta with recipes and techniques passed down to her from her mother. She also has a knack for remembering the faces and orders of repeat customers, and begins to prepare their favorite orders the moment they walk in. While regulars tend to stick with favorites like chorizo tortas or chicken enchiladas, Maria still tempts them with a changing daily special, which could be mole enchiladas or chicken flautas, depending on the day.
When Jose and Betty Reyes emigrated from El Salvador to Washington D.C. in the 1980s, they were excited to set down their roots and start a new life. One thing was missing from their new neighborhood, though: the rich flavors of traditional Central American cuisine. Rather than trying to grow a ceviche tree, the couple set out to rectify the problem by opening El Tamarindo. Thirty years later, their eatery still serves time-tested recipes with house-made sauces for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as fresh margaritas and other cocktails. Guests savor bold flavors in traditional Salvadoran pupusas?handmade corn tortillas stuffed with a choice of toppings?or plates of bone-in chicken topped with mole sauce.
Starting with its bright green exterior, Don Lobo's Mexican Grill broadcasts festive vibes out onto M Street. Inside, red-checkered tablecloths, papel picado banners, and red, white, and green tiling on the walls reinforce the restaurant's jubilant atmosphere as visitors gather around spicy burritos and combination platters during lunch and dinner. Among the grill's most popular dishes is the camarones al ajillo, large shrimp sautéed in garlic butter, white wine, and lime juice. After meals, diners satisfy their sweet tooth by eating fried puff pastries coated in honey butter sauce instead of emptying sugar packets directly into their mouths.