Taqueria Distrito Federal - Petworth
805 Kennedy St., NW
Washington, DC 20011
Cuisines: South American, Mexican, Breakfast
Open Thursday through Saturday 8 AM to 11 PM; Sunday through Wednesday 8 AM to 9 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Georgia Ave.-Petworth
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Goat tacos; chorizo tacos; pork-rib tacos; tongue tacos; Chicken Milanese torta; torta al pastor.
All items, $2 to $6.
A tiny joint like this Styrofoam-service taqueria in Columbia Heights isn’t going to be written about in many food magazines, but the cooking of Margarita Cruz and Luis Marroquin is both memorable and cheap. The $2 tacos are superb, filled with robustly spiced meats, including stewed goat bathed in a sweet and spicy guajillo-chili barbecue sauce; luscious, off-the-bone pork ribs; meltingly tender cubes of tongue; and a zesty chorizo.
There are excellent tortas, such as the Chicken Milanese, a crunchy breaded cutlet slathered with mayo and either avocado or cactus marinated in lemon and salt, and the al pastor—“a secret menu item,” says owner Marroquin. Shaved doner-kebab-style from a hulking round of pork and beef that’s been marinated in pineapple, onion, and jalapeño—the tradition began with Lebanese immigrants in Mexico City—the meat is topped with a sweet slice of pineapple. Wash it down with a glass of fresh tamarind juice.
Marroquin greets all comers with a welcome as warm and homey as the cooking itself.