Cheap Eats 2016: Taqueria el Mexicano

Cheap Eats 2016: Taqueria el Mexicano
Pork tamales at Taqueria el Mexicano. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Good for Groups Extra-Cheap No Alcohol

Tacos you can get anywhere. You’re here for an authentic taste of Puebla. That’s the ancestral home of owners Bernardo and Clara Vargas, which helps explain the glorious mole poblano, a foundational dish of Mexican cooking believed to have originated in that food-rich region. The complex sauce—of chilies, nuts, chocolate, and more than a dozen other ingredients—that coats the chicken leg and thigh is so aromatic you can smell it from across the table, and so dark you could almost gaze at your reflection in it. Saucing is a specialty here. You see it, too, in the pork in adobo, a frequent special, its tender cut of rib meat drenched in a red sauce so irresistible you’ll be tearing off pieces of house-made tortillas to swab up every last drop.

Also good: Posole; sopes al pastor.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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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.

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.