Dirt Cheap Eats 2009: Don Churro Cafe

From the cheery logo, you might think this is yet another slick Tex-Mex chain restaurant. You’d be wrong. The dining room is a warm space outfitted with Ecuadorian art, and the cooking could convince you an abuelita was working the stockpots.

The menu is long and probably too sprawling (it attempts to represent the Andean countries and Spain), but what’s good is very good. Choices include a shareable, brightly flavored Peruvian-style ceviche ($13.95), good arepas ($3.50 to $5.95), and a parillada for two ($43.95) that could satisfy four; featuring crusty-edged ribs with chimichurri, a surprisingly tender flank steak, and coarse-ground, chili-stoked Argentinean sausage, it amounts to a gaucho’s night of gluttony.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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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 Logan Circle.