Friday, December 07, 2012

Quick Take: Taqueria Distrito Federal

With little fanfare, Taqueria Distrito Federal last Friday celebrated the grand opening of its new location in downtown Silver Spring. Located on the ground floor of The Crescent on Wayne Avenue, this is the first of three new restaurants (along with Pete's Apizza and La Madeline) to open on the stretch of Wayne between Georgia and Fenton. Combine these with Ghar-e-Kabab, and you've got some decent dining options on this block, which will in the distant future be anchored by our new library.

Carne Asada Tacos

I don't like to do full-fledged restaurant reviews, as I'm not particularly qualified, but here are my first impressions of TDF:

The Good: 

-  Significantly better option than Skew Works. I overheard another patron tell the proprietor that the former occupant of the space was "the worst restaurant ever." Ouch.

- Serves proper Mexican-style tacos. This is something that I feel downtown S.S. has long been lacking. (Can we get an empanada place now?)

- Tacos were good.

- Serves Mexican Coke and horchata.

- Very friendly staff.

The Not-as-Good:

- Retains some of the operating room ambiance of Skew Works. In fairness, it's early and they have done some re-painting, but eliminating the glossy white walls and installing some softer light bulbs would go a really long way.

- TVs. I get this in a sports bar, but why do so many restaurants these days have TVs installed in the dining area? It's distracting. I don't need to listen to CNN talking heads prattle on throughout dinner. Years ago I bought one of these for that very reason. I need to break that thing out again.

In all, TDF is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I'll definitely be going back, and it probably would make a good takeout option. I grabbed a menu, intending to post it here, but haven't gotten around to scanning it. Will try to do so this weekend.



41 comments:

Terry in Silver Spring said...

Their flan is great. It's made with cream cheese and is sort of a hybrid of traditional flan and cheesecake.

The TV's were going while we had dinner, but were showing the movie Elf. Does that make it an elf bar?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they have a TV. And they play NFL games. With the volume up. That's a rarity around here.

Sligo said...

NFL games are exempted.

Ken Cho said...

The original TDF has a small TV in there for futbol matches. I'm assuming it's for the same reason. The owner is a huge Mexico supporter during World Cup.

Anonymous said...

We just had lunch and it was very good. TVs were not on. I thought the decor has improved quite a bit from Skew Works but still is a bit cold feeling. We will be going back again for sure, service was nice and the food was great.

Kev said...

Sport on TV Volume Troll is the greatest troll ever!

Anonymous said...

Food is fantastic and honestly Skew works was terrible.

Someohow this place with very little decor place seems so much more LIVELY when walking past it on the street. then again that could be because there are actual people eating there.

Casey A said...

Thanks for the review. Put me down as +1 for an empanada place.

AOA said...

How was price point?

Anonymous said...

Beer? Margaritas?

Anonymous said...

The tapas place next to Ray's is also excellent. Great food with great service.

Now all we need is a Beer Garden!

Anonymous said...

Ate there tonight. Really delicious, inexpensive and fantastic warm attentive service. I bet once the big construction projects get going next door this place will be packed with construction workers at lunch seeking authentic Mexican food (even though many of them will be central american).

Anonymous said...

Very delicious! Some one needs get them some rosetta stone english manuals though.

Anonymous said...

I love this place. Unlike a lot of overrated overhyped Silver Spring eats this place is very welcome, original, fairly priced, and GOOD.

Anonymous said...

I thought TDF was just alright. My husband and I tried 6 different tacos, got some bone and cartilage in the pork ones, and everything other than the chorizo was a little bit dry. I think the biggest problem is that we felt unlikely to choose it over our myriad other local Mexican options (even Chipotle), even considering the delicious Mexican Coke. But the waitstaff were very nice and attentive.

We also tried by La Malinche (the new tapas place next to Ray's) which was much better, albeit a little pricey. We loved their bruschetta-type appetizer and the croquettes were fabulous. Good price for a big pitcher of sangria, and we got great service. Definitely we'll be heading there regularly.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy I'm not the only one who was disappointed with this place. 5 of us had lunch there on Tuesday and no one enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

That's because the two anon above me probably haven't tasted authentic Mexican before.

I could be wrong but its sometimes a rather large shock in the difference in how things taste.

Ken Cho said...

Yeah if you are expecting Tex Mex, which Chipotle is, don't bother with TDF. If you want real traditional Mexican, do bother with TDF. Price point was $2.80 per taco, which is a bit high in my book but whatevs. Very tasty and I'm glad they're in DTSS... welcome to the hood!

Anonymous said...

Ken Cho is correct. Tex Mex people just dont have a clue and will probably hate it.

They probably want a don pablos here as well

Anonymous said...

Why are folks comparing a taco place with a tapas place? The two are totally unrelated. Why not compare TDF to Mamma Lucia's or Lebanese Taberna?

Clancy said...

I don't think anyone was comparing the two places, Anon. I think they were merely mentioning the two new places that had opened in DTSS most recently. Both places have been discussed quite a bit in the comments of late.

Anonymous said...

Exactly no one compared them....

Anonymous said...

just tried it last night.

really great

Justafed said...

Has Sligo been eaten by Zombies again?

Anonymous said...

anyone who doesnt like the food here is an uncultured fool

Anonymous said...

Tried last week. The staff was friendly, and the tortillas were pretty good, but the meat in both the carne asada and shrimp tacos was dry and tough. Not braving the more adventurous options (tongue, etc.) if the basics aren't good.

Will give it another chance because, since it's soooo convenient, I really want to like it.

Sligo said...

Re: Has Sligo been eaten by Zombies again?

No, not this time. I am on a brief hiatus until the end of the year. I've also been 5K miles away for a lot of the time, so I was a bit removed from Silver Spring goings-on. I'll be back in the new year.

Anonymous said...

Sligo - does anyone know what happened to the Scion restaurant that was supposed to go into 1200 East West? They were doing work for a while, but all work has come to a standstill since November. I hope they didn't pull out. That would be disappointing.

Sligo said...

That's a good question. I'll look into that.

Easley St said...

Love their food, but hate their taco shells. Can they do some homemade stuff instead of the shells that come out of a package, pretty please? Their fajitas are amazing otherwise. Price points are good - I think it was $12-13 for a whole meal of chicken and steak fajitas with rice.

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modelescortsmanchester said...

Yeah if you're expecting Tex Mex, that jalapeno pepper is, do not trouble with TDF. If you wish real ancient Mexican, do trouble with TDF. value purpose was $2.80 per taco, that may be a bit high in my book however whatevs. terribly tasty and i am glad they are in DTSS... welcome to the hood! http://www.modelescortsmanchester.co.uk/

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