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Photo Credit: Goranfoto


By: Sarah Berrie

l Centro D.F. (named after the federal district capital of Mexico) is a Mexican eatery, owned by internationally acclaimed Mexican Chef, Richard Sandoval. With over 30 restaurants worldwide, including Ambar, La Sandía, Masa 14, and Zengo in the DC area, Sandoval is a culinary legend having been credited for introducing Latin cuisine to the world to include Dubai, Qatar, and Serbia. First opening its doors in the U street neighborhood in 2011, and most recently, Georgetown in June of this year, El Centro D.F. has quickly become a popular hot spot in the DMV area. Known for its authentic Mexican comfort food and wide variety of tequilas, Washington Magazine recognized it as, “Best Latin American Cuisine” in 2013. One thing that is immediately noticeable at both El Centro D.F. locations is the marriage between rustic and modern. An open kitchen surrounded by bar stools provides a welcoming environment for those looking for a taco (or two) on the run, while the high wooden tables and stools are perfect for lounging and waiting

for friends while you sip some refreshing cocktails from the voluminous tequila, mezcal, margarita, and spirits menu. For a more romantic evening, candlelit tables, and walls decorated with Mexican folk-art transport you to lands far away, as you devour your authentic meal. The first thing I tried at El Centro was the Guacamole, which is prepared right at the table. Creamy, refreshingly cool, and served with a generous portion of chips, this appetizer is absolutely delicious! To accompany my guac and chips, I had a spiced Mango Margarita, blended with Sauza blue, fresh lime, agave nectar, and fresh mango purée. From the appetizer menu, I tried the Chicken Flautas. These chicken taquitos are served with a special mole sauce that elevates them from an ordinary taquito, to gourmet territory! Next up were the Huaraches. These corn flatbread dishes are definitely worth a try. With choices of steak, mushroom, or shrimp, the Grilled Skirt Steak Huarache was one of my favorites. Reminiscent of

an upscale Mexican pizza made with black beans, Mexican cheeses, crema, and salsa roja, the crispy flatbread with tender steak was the perfect combination! When the time came to try the Beef Tongue Tacos, I have to admit I was a bit squeamish at the thought of eating “lengua”. However, I was pleasantly surprised, as this dish actually turned out to be my favorite one of all! Seasoned with onion, cilantro, and salsa verde, the beef tongue is sautéed in butter, giving it a crispy texture on the outside, yet staying oh-so-tender on the inside. The texture of the beef tongue was comparative to a tender steak, full of flavor, and unlike any beef tongue I’ve tried before. I was told that when El Centro’s Chef, Stephen Hartzell comes in to dine with his friends, the Beef Tongue Tacos are his go-to dish. The Cochinita Pibil was the next taco I tried. This slow-roasted pork dish was both spicy and flavorful, infused with hints of onion, avocado, salsa verde, and served with a side of Mexican rice. El Centro also offers a variety of enchilada dishes, an excellent choice for

those looking for something exotic are the Duck Mole Enchiladas. Juicy tender duck meat is wrapped in a corn tortilla, dressed in mole poblano, topped with cotija cheese, and served with a side of Mexican rice for a truly delectable meal. Desserts are plentiful at El Centro, a great choice are the crispy churros served with cajeta, passion fruit, and chocolate sauces. However, would you consider tequila a dessert? At El Centro you can, thanks to their truly remarkable house-infused tequilas. Fresh ingredients such as tamarind, grilled pineapple, peach, strawberry & chile, watermelon & cucumber, and green apple are infused into the tequila for 3-7 days to create one tequila shot that you’ll definitely want to sip instead of shoot! A must try! Whether you’re looking for a delicious meal, a relaxing cocktail, or a vibrant nightlife, El Centro D.F. has something for everyone. Visit El Centro D.F. at 1819 14th St NW or in Georgetown at 1218 Wisconsin Ave. to taste these mouth-watering dishes yourself. For more information visit: www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf/ █

Profile for Kesta Happening

Kesta Happening Magazine January 2014  

In this issue: Jorge Celedon, JarabedePalo, Leslie Grace, Gipsy Kings, Cultura Profetica, Domingo Quinones, Stomp, Belen Barriga, Centro DF,...

Kesta Happening Magazine January 2014  

In this issue: Jorge Celedon, JarabedePalo, Leslie Grace, Gipsy Kings, Cultura Profetica, Domingo Quinones, Stomp, Belen Barriga, Centro DF,...