El Mariachi

A homey Latin American dining room hidden in a shopping plaza.

From February 2005 Dirt Cheap Eats

Don't expect to start off the night at the bar–there isn't one. Diners crowd the doorway waiting for a table on weekends, but nobody seems to mind. Sombreros and Latin American art add life to an otherwise plain dining room.

Try not to fill up on chips and salsa–combo platters are huge. We like the Plato Norteno ($8.95), which includes a chicken burrito, cheese enchilada, guacamole, rice, and beans, and the sizzling chicken fajitas ($12.95). Dishes you won't find at most Tex-Mex spots: mussels in sherry wine with ginger and garlic ($5.95), and broiled trout with Acapulco sauce ($12.95), a mixture of shrimp, white wine, lobster, cream, scallions, and Monterey Jack cheese.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.