Hello Tostada Friends
Hey Cool Moms! It’s been awhile—definitely my fault, as I got busy with the holidays and such and slacked off on the restaurant reviews. But fear not, I’ve continued to keep supporting some local restaurants and racking up experiences to share with you all.
This month is February—the month of Valentine’s Day! I’ll admit I personally don’t put much stock in Valentine’s Day. I take the practical approach, which is: if you want to use it as an excuse to celebrate, great! But I don’t feel there should be any pressure, and if my husband for some reason wanted to get my V Day flowers, I’d prefer he way until the 15th when they’re back to their regular, non-price-gouging list price.
If you’re one of those who love to go all out for Valentines Day, more power to you! However, my restaurant review for February probably won’t be the right fit if you’re looking for one of those fancy, romantic dinner type places. Sorry! Now, in addition to Valentine’s Day, this month also includes the second week of DC Restaurant Week. I love Restaurant Week, and it’s a great way to try new places, which is exactly what my hubs and I try to do.
This time, we browsed through the list of participating restaurants and came across a place called Taqueria Picoso, and they describe it as inspired by Mexican street food. We went with their ““dinner for two: tacos and margs” option for $49, because yes please! This let us choose up to four proteins, and then, since it’s all takeout only right now, they give you a make-your-own-taco assembly kit, and you put it all together at home.
We went with the Al Pastor, which is Mexico city vertical roasted pork and pineapple, the suadero (braised brisket), and the barbacoa, which at this place, is actually lamb. I love lamb, but wasn’t sure if I’d like it in a taco, but it’s good! The saudero was solid, as brisket tends to be, but my favorite was the Al Pastor. The pineapple comes in little dried looking strips, that at first I mistook for chicken that had gotten mixed in. But it adds such great flavor! That little punch of sweet with the meat really made it great. All the meat is nice and tender, and in shred-able pieces, and it all comes with “corn tortillas or tostadas, pickled vegetables, verde & morita salsas, cilantro and limes PLUS choice of guac & chips and 16oz margarita OR two elote, rice & beans, guac & chips, and two bottled sodas”. (Yea, I just copy/pasted that, it was easier).
Tacos for 2!
We went with the guac and chips and margarita options, because I don’t drink soda, but alcohol is right up my alley! The salsas were really good, and all three of them had some solid kick—no room for blandness here. The guac was good, though I did wish it had a bit more garlic, but the chips were what really shined. They have some kind of seasoning mix they put on the chips, with a little salt, a little spice, and something else. Not sure what all is in it, though I detected some chili powder, but it was a really unique and very nice touch from other chips I’ve had at other places. I left the bag of chips on the table and just kind of nibbled my way through them for the next couple days, searching for the ones with the most seasoning, because, well, I like the best, ok?
A nice little surprise was a small bag of cookies, with a note….guys, this was their FIRST year in business!! They opened in January 2020….and, as we all now know, what awful timing to open a brand new restaurant. That had to be so difficult, and I give them so much credit for being able to make it with 2020 as your first year, because damn. The three of us enjoyed our meal fresh, and the just-turned-one-year-old and I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch today. And bonus: they’re located at Mark Center, which for us is nice and close, so extra convenient! With lots of items left on their menu, we’ll definitely visit again. And if you’re looking for something fun but casual for Valentine’s Day dinner, or just for any other dinner in February, and you liked tacos (and really, who doesn’t?) consider giving them a shot yourself!
Taqueria Picoso: Shops at Mark Center 1472 N. Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
Author: Carolyn Vernan is a member of our Cool Moms of Northern Virginia group, and first-time mom to an adorable yet exhausting 1-year-old named Kylen. She is also a proud dog mom of two. Fall is her favorite and her freezer is always full of desserts, which she loves to share!
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