Restaurants & Bars 3

Trip to El Tapatio in Bladensburg

Andrew Langer | Aug 16, 2004 09:47 AM

Thanks to the posters whose earlier messages helped me decide between El Tapatio and La Sirenita. It was the carnitas mention that really sealed the deal (I'm a big fan).

Went on Saturday - now that we're on the Eastern Shore, we don't get down into the city much, and we're craving good Mexican fare (the Cafe Iguana on Kent Island, despite recs from locals, just didn't do it for us). We had just found Cafe Pachango in Odenton before moving away from Anne Arundel County, and that had spoiled us.

But boy, are we spoiled now!!!!

Tapatio is in a little strip mall in the 4000 block of Kenilworth Avenue, a very tiny place. We were one of two english-speaking tables there, and I was glad that I know more than a little spanish.

The chips were good, if a little salty. We ordered some guacamole dip, which my two-year-old normally adores. For some reason (perhaps because it was a little more chunky than she's used to), she didn't take to it all that well.

My wife ordered the Mole Poblano Enchiladas, and I ordered the Carnitas Ordeno and a Carne Asada taco (I _HAD_ to try the tacos).

We were blown away. My wife hadn't ordered Mole since we lived down in Florida, but even that memory hadn't prepared her for the spicy chocolatey goodness that overflowed here. 4 enchiladas smothered in this rich sauce. I had to dip some of my pork in and get a sample, and while it had too much heat for her, I think our toddler enjoyed it.

My carnitas were slightly dry, but really flavorful. A spritz of lime added to the dish. The pork fat on some of the chunks practically melted in my mouth. Good tortillas - substantial, if small.

Oh, and the carne asada! Fantastic flavor here - I kept dipping my extra tortillas in the sauce to sop it up. It actually reminded me of this Vietnamese dish I used to get at a place in Crofton, before they changed chefs - a little spicy and sour.

Can't wait to go back!

- Andrew

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