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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Dish of the Week: El Sol’s chicken tinga tacos

Lindsay Paulen | Senior Staff Photographer
The tomatoes and chipotle in adobo in the marinade of El Sol’s chicken tinga tacos give them a bright red color.

For some of the best Mexican food in the District, El Sol Restaurante & Tequileria should be your go-to spot.

The taqueria, located at 1227 11 St. NW in the heart of Mt. Vernon Square, features an array of Mexican cuisine. With two chefs born and raised in Mexico City, El Sol Restaurante & Tequileria is as authentic as it gets – the restaurant even gets weekly shipments of mole straight from Mexico.

Beyond its food, the restaurant has an incredible drinks selection. Along with a lineup of more than 60 tequilas, you can sip on margaritas ($12) in flavors like mango, tamarind or maracuya or a selection of imported beers ($5.50) like Dos Equis, Corona and Modelo Especial.

If you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, El Sol also offers an assortment of Jarritos sodas ($3), horchata ($3) and Mexican Coke ($3).

Start your meal off with an order of queso fundido ($10) – hot, melted Oaxaca and Chihuahua cheeses topped with chorizo and served with fresh tortillas – or a pile of nachos ($12) to share with the table.

With an expansive menu, it might be hard to decide what to get for your main course. But some of El Sol’s specialties include enchiladas de mole rojo ($13.50), which is stuffed with chicken and cheese and topped with mole sauce, and pozole rojo ($13), a slow-braised pork soup.

I opted for an order of two chicken tinga tacos ($3 each). Each taco came topped with shredded lettuce, crema, a sprinkle of cheese and a slice of lime.

The chicken tinga’s bright red color stood out on the plate, thanks to the tomatoes and chipotle in adobo in the marinade. The chicken was super flavorful – with a bit of smokiness and a mild heat from the chipotles – and was literally dripping with excess marinade. Each taco came layered on two delicate homemade tortillas that helped to soak up the chicken’s marinade, keeping the integrity of the taco.

Each topping helped to balance out the intense flavors of the chicken tinga. The lettuce added crunch and freshness, the sour cream helped to bring down some of the heat and the cheeses added a bit more saltiness. A few squeezes of lime added a subtle, tangy flavor that perfected the overall dish.

Authentic Mexican food in the District is few and far between, but El Sol has got you covered with its huge selection of delicious Mexican fare.

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