The menu at Austin Grill represents more than 20 years worth of authentic, time-tested Tex-Mex favorites seasoned with 15 different homemade salsas, sauces, and dressings. A belly-filling roadhouse burrito wraps a fresh flour tortilla around seasoned ground beef and beans, all topped with a drizzle of chili con queso and served with a side of rice ($11.99 at lunch, $11.49 at dinner). Put off cumbersome decision-making and sample the country western flavors of the Joe Ely Big Combo, a medley of a grilled chicken taco, a beef barbacoa enchilada with ancho chili sauce, and a hand-rolled chicken tamale topped with Texas chili ($14.99). A multi-colored Bevo Salad blends house greens, cotija cheese, black beans, guacamole, pico de gallo, corn relish, and crispy tortilla strips in tangy cilantro-lime vinaigrette ($7.99 at lunch, $9.99 at dinner). Mosey in on the weekends to lasso southern brunch specials such as the Austin eggs benedict ($11.49) and cornmeal pancakes with eggs and bacon ($9.59). Diners with more particular palates can direct their eyes toward the lengthy gluten-free menu.
Tomatillo Taqueria's menu features quickly crafted Tex-Mex lunch creations. A burrito ($6), three white corn tortilla tacos ($6), or a single taco ($3) can be filled with a bevy of fresh ingredient combinations. Choose from meats including carnitas (naturally raised pork), chicken, or barbacoa (beef rubbed and braised), or vegetarian ingredients such as roasted peppers, onions, black beans, and fresh guacamole. Soft drinks are $2 each, and sides such as chips and salsa ($3) or chips and guac ($4) complement the main course with added Tex-Mex taste. Tomatillo Taqueria serves midday Southwestern fare from a window with friendly customer service, and is great for a quick, satisfying meal.
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.
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.
El Rincon Espanol resembles the courtyard of a Spanish villa, with huge arched windows shedding rays on tile floors, hanging greenery, and framed prints of bullfighters. Whether seated at a wooden table around a pitcher of sangria or at the marble-topped bar with a margarita, guests can dig into Spanish and Latin American dishes such as sizzling paellas and Peruvian-style flank steak. The enormous menu holds options at just about every level of fanciness, from a plate of nachos supreme all the way up to the lobster thermidor, stuffed with shrimp, scallops, and crab. And then there are the tapas: 100 small plates of poultry, grilled meats, seafood, and veggies. Upstairs, the restaurant beckons revelers with weekly live entertainment. Named "The Cave" for its low lighting and status as a popular after-work hangout for spelunkers, the space hosts disco dance nights and, occasionally, live Salvadorian music.
Featuring authentic Mexican cuisine fashioned with fresh ingredients, Pica Taco's menu offers a feast of traditional burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and more. Take a seat in either of Pica Taco's casual dining establishments and sip a cold Corona while munching on one of eight soft or crunchy tacos, such as carnitas, pollo, or barbacoa ($2.25 each). A supreme burrito ($8.50) with an order of chips and salsa ($2.75) or plantains ($2.50) silences stomachs long enough for you to get in a word and order another Tecate with lime. The menu makes room for 10 vegetarian items such as the cheese enchilada, veggie taco salad, or veggie sandwich ($6.50 each). Breakfasters can make a fast break for a cheese bagel ($3.25); huevos rancheros ($5.25); or breakfast burrito ($4.50) to prepare themselves for skipping the morning chores.