El Centro D.F.

[ 4 ] January 12, 2012 |


It’s no secret that the 14th and U street corridor are my favorite part of the District so finding a new reason to frequent the area is always a bonus.  El Centro D.F. joined the 14th street corridor last year and has quickly become one of the top happy hour destinations in the city.  Three levels make up the restaurant space with each floor offering a totally different atmosphere.  Stay on the main level if your looking to peek in on the open kitchen action or take down some beers with friends.  Go to the top level for outdoor casual drinking or make your way to the bottom level to have a much needed intimate night with a friend or significant other.  There’s something for everyone.

The menu is the major reason I have made this my new brunch and dinner spot.  It received a head start on my list of faves because the menu contains all Mexican comfort food.  Mexican comfort food plus the fact that it is indeed “good” has turned it into my go-to spot.  Beginning my meal with the guacamole, it was no surprise that the restaurant has taken on the tradition of most restaurants boasting an authentic Mexican menu by making the guacamole at your table.  

Beef Barbacoa Gorditas

The restaurant has added some new items to their winter menu with the beef barbocoa gorditas nabbing my full attention.  A combination of tender shredded beef, refried beans, egg, pickled onions and Mexican slaw, I’m hoping a few other area restaurants take a page from this notebook.  

Pork Pipian

Everyone in the District by now knows my favorite dish is the Pork Pipian via Refinery29 (*smiles*).  The immersion of sweet corn puree with savory shredded pork on one plate can turn the once a year pork eater (*me) into a weekly consumer.   

Chicken Zarape

The chicken zarape is a safe bet for the non-adventurous diner but could make a front runner for the restaurants top dishes because of its accompanying creamy white rice.  As most comfort food meals come to their ends, dessert is sure to follow. 


The churros were a tad more crisp than necessary but the flan turned that frown upside down. 

If El Centro D.F. has not crossed your path, I think its worth adding to the 2012 New Years resolution list…it won’t be long before you’re going to need some comfort food in your life.

El Centro D.F. on Urbanspoon

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Category: restaurant reviews, Washington D.C.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

Comments (4)

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  1. Dedan says:

    I’m sold, lemme know when we’re meeting for happy hour!

  2. Johnna says:

    Umm, ASAP! Want to see what you’ve been cooking lately;-)

  3. L. Denise says:

    God, those Beef Barbacoa Gorditas look GOOD. I would’ve eaten the whole plate. LOL

  4. Johnna says:

    LOL!! @L.Denise, I had to restrain myself because I was sharing with a friend, but next time I might have to order a whole plate for myself.

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