The first time I went to El Centro D.F. was for dinner a couple of years ago to meet a friend of a friend for a get to know you sort of dinner. It was a hot day and I got there super early, so I started on the roof deck. she was coming from work out in Falls Church and the metro was moving super slow. She asked me to order her a margarita and I told her to meet me on the roof. When she got there, there was apparently a line for the roof! Apparently I had beat the crowd (it’s a perk of being early, I suppose). So, I met her downstairs with her now melty margarita. We got a table and had an amazing meal. I was sold on El Centro at that point.
El Centro was also one of the stops on a Taco Crawl (a brilliant idea, right?) that a friend was having for her birthday. This sort of turned into a margarita crawl… and El Centro’s margaritas are just really tasty. Just be careful, is what I’m saying. I got a really entertaining story out of the evening involving having to ask an Uber to pull over, but I don’t think the lady was all too pleased with me.
We checked out the Georgetown location for the first time last fall when my mom was in town. My parking garage is just a couple of blocks down Wisconsin Ave., so it was an easy place to go with an out-of-town guest. They have a pretty large menu, so I knew Mom would be able to find something. It was a warm day, so we asked to be seated outside. They led us up stairs at the side of the dining room. I’m pretty sure we went around corners and through tunnels and about 3 buildings back past multiple bars (I may be exaggerating, but it felt epic) to their back patio area where they have string lights and yet another bar on a roof deck. Mom isn’t really picky, but like me she expects food to be good and fresh. She thoroughly enjoyed her meal.
I recently went back for lunch with my boys. It was a nice day, so we had hoped to sit outside, but I think their downstairs dining room was all that was open. Regardless, their lunch menu is a perfect size with just the right number of options and decently priced. I think they also have daily specials. Taco Tuesdays, maybe? I really need to get those on my radar so I can most efficiently experience El Centro.
- What I usually order: The tacos el pastor (because pineapple) and a margarita. The guacamole is excellent.
- Why I keep going back: The food is just plain awesome. They have margaritas for under $5 on happy hour. The Georgetown one is just blocks from my office and even closer to my insanely cheap parking for non-work-hour meals. It’s huge, so getting a table isn’t usually an issue.
- Thing I still haven’t tried yet: A lot of things. I really need to make my way through that dinner taco list. Well, and other non-taco things.
- Fun things about this place: Both of the restaurants are huge with hidden dining areas all around. I was pretty sure we were never going to find out way back out after being lead to the back roof deck of the Georgetown location. The roof decks are awesome. The basement of the 14th St. location feels like a secret. The decor and lighting is pretty great.