We went to Andale this week... I had read good things on this board about their churros and hot chocolate and I wanted to check them out.
I'll start with the positive...
The ambiance of the place is nice. It's relatively quiet (even when crowded) and has some nice niches that create a feeling of privacy and intimacy.
Their carnitas torta wasn't bad. The bread seemed pretty close to the real thing. The main problem with it was that it was smothered in sauce, which rendered it impossible to eat as a sandwich. I've never had this problem in Mexico, but usually your torta would be wrapped up in paper and you could eat your way through it that way. In my mind, if a sandwich needs to be eaten with a knife and fork, something is out of kilter in the universe. I don't think I'd order it again.
The churros y chocolate. Good god, these were just awful! The churros were clearly cooked in oil that wasn't hot enough. They were gooey on the inside and greasy and burnt on the outside. An abomination--I've had better churros served out of a van by the side of the road in Tampa (these are actually really good, if you ever find yourself in Tampa and see the "churroman" van, stop immediately and order a dozen). The hot chocolate was mostly milk, no discernible chocolate flavor. Nothing at all like what you would find in Mexico. A major disappointment.
I'm not sure if I hit the place at a bad time or if they were having problems in the kitchen. I don't think I would go back again, given all of the other great places in the neighborhood... And for churros y chocolate, I'll definitely stick with Churreria Madrid (on Champlain in Adams-Morgan) their churros are light and crispy and their cafe con leche and hot chocolate are a nice complement.
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