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The GW Hatchet

AN INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER SERVING THE GW COMMUNITY SINCE 1904

The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Dish of the Week: Pink Taco’s OG Pink Taco

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Dish of the Week: Pink Taco’s OG Pink Taco

The vast Mexican food scene in the District has everything from savory enchiladas to zesty salsas, but the trendy Pink Taco offers something you can’t find anywhere else: a signature taco served in a flashy, pink corn shell.

The Los Angeles-based chain, with other locations in Miami, Boston and New York City, opened its doors in Navy Yard last summer to serve Mexican-inspired dishes like classic burritos and fajitas while offering its own modern flair through taco bowls and lobster enchiladas. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Just a block away from Nationals Park, it’s hard to miss the restaurant and its massive neon pink sign, displaying the restaurant name in a gothic font that stretches around the corner of M and First Streets SE. The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows reveal the pink LED lighting and Day of the Dead holiday-inspired murals to passersby on the street.

After walking in, the entirety of the restaurant is unveiled with its large, open dining room filled with dark booths along the walls covered with pink decor, simple tables in the center and a circular bar situated in the front of the restaurant. My friends and I visited late on a Monday night, and we were seated with ease in a booth toward the back, spaced far away from the few other people visiting the restaurant at the time.

The lunch and dinner menu is split into appetizers, soups and salads, burritos, enchiladas, tacos, bomb plates and fajitas while the cocktail menu offers house-made margaritas and classic cocktails as well as a list of tequila, beer, wine and nonalcoholic alternatives. Their brunch menu is available Saturday and Sunday until 3 p.m. with a menu of mimosas ($7) and pink churro pancakes ($14).

Pink Taco also runs specials during the week with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. on weekdays featuring discounted drinks and D.C. Taco Tuesday from 5 p.m. to close each Tuesday with specials on individual tacos and small plates.

I knew I was in the mood for tacos when I stopped in, so I scanned the menu and immediately jumped down to the section offering 10 different options, ranging from coconut shrimp ($21) to birria tacos ($20). Each dish comes served with three tacos, pinto beans and Mexican rice.

My two friends both opted for the Vampiro Taco plate ($12), with one ordering chicken while the other tried the carne asada. The tacos were comprised of two tortillas topped with their protein choice, jack cheese, jalapeños, guacamole, chipotle mayo, cotija cheese, pico de gallo and pickled red onions, served with Mexican rice and pinto beans. The Vampiro Taco is one of the bomb plate options on the menu, so instead of it being served as a classic taco with a folded shell, the tortillas were placed flat on the plate and the toppings were set as a mound on top.

I eventually landed on The OG Pink taco ($17), their signature entrée made of reliable toppings like shredded chicken, jack cheese, romaine, avocado, pickled red onions and avocado salsa. But what really drew me into this option is the shell the taco is served in — a hot-pink corn tortilla, the restaurant’s namesake and an ideal social media post.

When the tacos arrived, all three appeared to be nearly overflowing with chicken, avocado and lettuce from their bright shells. While the colored shell initially made me nervous since I was unsure what to expect, I was relieved that it tasted like a typical corn shell, lightly salted and soft with crisp edges.

The classic toppings like the romaine, chicken and avocado were relatively neutral flavors, but the lettuce contributed a refreshing crunch which combined with the creaminess of the avocado and jack cheese. But the pickled onions and salsa cut through the base ingredients, contributing sweet-yet-tangy bursts of flavor to the dish.

The three tacos and sides made for a perfect dinner portion, leaving just enough room to try some dessert. To wrap up our meal, we split a tres leches churro ($10), one long churro wrapped around a scoop of vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream and pink sugar crystal sprinkles. The plate was covered with a pink tres leche sauce and garnished with a blush-colored flower. The intense notes of cinnamon in the churro were the main focus in the dessert, but the creamy vanilla served to compliment the dish through its thick texture and sweet taste.

Next time you find yourself in Navy Yard, whether you’ve got tickets to a Nationals game or are headed to the Capitol Riverfront, check out Pink Taco for a hearty taco meal.

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