Cheap Eats 2015: Taco Bamba

Where we get our favorite sopes.
This taco with grilled guacamole, chorizo, and skirt steak is a favorite. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

One pebbly tortilla holds skirt steak with a slick of smoky, grilled guacamole. Another encloses an airily fried filet of tilapia striped with squid-ink aïoli. The unusual accessories signal that this isn’t your average taco joint, and that’s thanks to chef Victor Albisu, also behind the excellent (and extravagantly priced) Penn Quarter steakhouse Del Campo. As good as his tacos are here, Albisu’s sopes are an even better vehicle for the high-quality meats—the fried-to-a-crisp masa rounds hold pile-ups of, say, tender carnitas plus shredded lettuce, jalapeños, and crema. The snug, barstool-lined place sits a few doors down from Plaza Latina, the market owned by Albisu’s mother, which he raids for his chorizo and chilies.

Cuisine: Mexican

Where to find it: 2190 Pimmit Dr., Falls Church; 703-639-0505

Also good: Tacos al pastor; El Beso taco, with pork, beef tongue, and charred scallions; tamale with salsa verde; torta cubana, a sandwich with carnitas, ham, cheddar, and pickled jalapeños; elote, corn on the cob with mayonnaise and cotija cheese.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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.