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Cheap Eats 2007: El Tapatio
Comments () | Published July 12, 2007
Cheap Eats (2009) Dirt Cheap Eats (2008)

El Tapatio
Address: 4309 Kenilworth Ave., Bladensburg, MD 20710
Phone: 301-403-8882
Neighborhood: Bladensburg
Cuisines: South American, Mexican, Breakfast
Opening Hours: Open daily 10 to 10.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: West Hyattsville
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Chiles rellenos; torta with beer-stewed beef, breaded chicken, or braised pork; seafood and shrimp soups; chicken, pork, or chorizo soft tacos; mole enchiladas; huevos rancheros; chilaquiles; housemade tortillas.
Price Details: Appetizers $2 to $2.50; entrées $10 to $13.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

A few doors down, a storefront that traffics in gaucho wear is selling knee-high boots made from snakeskin. The smell of grilled chickens from a nearby polleria fills the air as clouds of smoke billow above the plaza. The parking lot is jammed with cars and trucks, merengue pulsing from their open windows.

Situated on the outer edges of Little Mexico, this likable diner puts you in another world—you might think you were in Houston or LA. In a city whose Mexican restaurants often are Salvadoran places in disguise, El Tapatio stands out for its authenticity.

The corn tortillas have the rough texture of the genuine article; the puerco asado looks and tastes as though it’s been cooked for hours, falling apart at the touch of a fork; the marvelous sandwiches called tortas, stuffed with the likes of beer-cooked beef and braised pork and topped with stewed beans and avocado, are both light and filling. There’s also a tasty fried quail in green-chili sauce, and a hefty casserole, called chilaquiles, comprising torn tortillas, a lot of red or green sauce, a fried egg, and sometimes a fried chicken cutlet.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.


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Posted at 11:40 AM/ET, 07/12/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews