Thursday, June 28, 2012

El Chucho opens on Friday! A first look at their food and drink

Yum El Chucho Cocina Superior, the Mexican spot coming to 3313 11th Street NW, is opening this Friday! Great news. Yesterday I poked my head in and was invited to the soft opening/mock service, so we got a chance to sample some of the food and drinks, and now I am even more excited.

Like I talked about before, the menu consists of some traditional Mexican food, and some Mexican items with a bit of an Asian flair. There are tacos, tortas (sandwiches), salads, and more, plus a whole bunch of drinks -- margaritas and cocktails, a wide range of tequilas from inexpensive to super fancy, and soon to be beer on draft, wine, and mezcals (they're still working out what to serve.)

We tried the elote callejero (corn traditionally served as street food),  the pollo (chicken) tacos, and th pulpo (octopus) tacos. All were good, but the corn was amazing. It's grilled and coated with herbs and cheese. The flavor is really in the corn though, not on the outside, and I have a feeling I am going to be eating this corn all the time. The chicken taco was tasty but not your traditional taco, and the pulpo was interesting, kind of chewy (which octopus is) with veggies and green beans. It was kind of sweet, kind of Asian, and worth getting if you like trying new things. Each taco order comes with 2, and they are pretty good sized, which is nice.

Somebody asked me about Mama Chuy's on Georgia versus El Chucho, and to me Mama Chuy is more traditional, and this place is more funky and different. Both are really good though, and I don't see there being competition or overlap. (At least, I hope, because I like both.)

Elote callejero. AmazingThere's a million other things we hope to try too -- the milenesa torta sounds awesome, and co-owner Gordon Banks said the moronga soup (blood sausage) was really good. They also have tacos with carne asada, pastor, tripe, and Mexican squash, so there's a wide range, plus lots of other dishes I want to check out, like the chicken flautas with huitlacoche. The bartender explained that huitlacoche is kind of a Mexican version of truffles, it's a black fungus that grows on corn. The Sonoran dog sounds great too, a hot dog wrapped in pork belly with beans, cheese, pico de gallo and more.


And drinks -- also good. They make their own syrups for use in sodas or to put in margaritas. We tried a blackberry poblano syrup in a margarita, which the bartender suggested, which was really good, and also a blue Curaçao margarita. The blue Curaçao is also house-made. Both were tasty, and there are also three kinds of salt you can pick -- regular, spicy, or cilantro. The spicy went well with the blackberry poblano but didn't work as well with the blue curacao. There's also lots of other cocktails, some designed by Banks, and we really enjoyed the Blue Hawaiian, which is rum pineapple, coconut and blue curacao. Would be a great after-the-pool drink.


The roof deck is open too, they have a little shrine/soon to be herb garden in the front, and there's a canopy too. 


In short, I'm really looking forward to coming back often. You should too.


Here's their Facebook, and lots of pictures below.




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