Tuesday, July 30, 2013

El Centro, DC - Happy Hour

Although I love happy hour, I more often find myself at yoga in the evening than I do at happy hour. When I do go to happy hour, I tend to frequent Masa 14 rather than anywhere else. But, this time I invited my friends to El Centro as I've noticed their rooftop happy hour has gotten really popular lately.

El Centro is a popular authentic Mexican restaurant that I've reviewed in the past. I said that the next time I returned, it would be for happy hour so I'm just keeping true to my promise. Perhaps we went on the wrong night though because when we showed up, there was a Goodwill fundraiser on the covered rooftop, which is where they hold the happy hour. Since there were five of us, we went downstairs to the main level and asked if we could enjoy the happy hour specials at one of the big 6-person tables instead. They told us we could not. They insisted that the happy hour was open for anyone even though the fundraiser was also going on upstairs. So, we went back upstairs at which point we found the Goodwill people giving a speech. We decided not to interrupt and instead spoke with the manager who was nice enough to allow us an exception to enjoy happy hour downstairs.

So we ordered off the happy hour menu. I had the $4 margaritas, which were wonderful.

At the same time, I ordered the spicy guacamole and chips. Well, for some reason our waitress thought we wanted to enjoy happy hour drink specials, but not the guacamole special so she brought us the full-sized $10 guacamole. Since we had never been there for happy hour before, we were none the wiser and we just enjoyed our guac thinking we got a great deal at only $6. Oh, and it was oh so spicy. They make the spicy one with habaneros so it is actually spicy!

I also ordered the Grilled Nopal tacos (2 for $6), which I assumed were mostly cactus, hence the name. Instead I found they were mostly corn (probably loaded with GMOs) and tomatoes with only a little bit of cactus in a corn tortilla. Disappointing. They didn't have much taste so I loaded them with some guacamole to give them some flavor.

When the bill came, we realized we had been served and billed for the regular $10 guacamole so we had to negotiate that down too. In the end, it seemed like a lot of hassle for a happy hour. I enjoyed the drinks and the guac, but not so much the atmosphere. Next time, I'll go next door to Masa 14 instead.

Previous review of El Centro - March 29, 2012

El Centro D.F.
1819 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 328-3131

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