Thursday, August 9, 2012

DC Spotlight: New Vegetarian Menu at El Centro D.F.

Today's post spotlights El Centro D.F., which recently started offering (upon request) a separate vegetarian menu, thereby earning an asterisk (*) by its name in my list of recommended places on the Washington, DC Restaurants page of this website.

El Centro D.F. serves authentic Mexican food and is one of three Richard Sandoval restaurants in D.C.  It is located on the 14th Street corridor, in between the U Street and Logan Circle neighborhoods, which is a developing area with a lot of new, hip eateries.  Sandoval's other two restaurants, Masa 14 and Zengo, specialize in Latin-Asian cuisine.  I recently wrote about the new rooftop menu at Masa 14, which is located right next door to El Centro D.F.  But my favorite of the three is the more upscale Zengo, which is located in Chinatown and also offers a separate vegetarian menu upon request.  I promise to write about Zengo one day soon.

But back to El Centro D.F., which is housed in an energetic, three-story building.  The main dining room and tequileria (with its extensive tequila menu) is located on the lower level.  A more casual taqueria and take-out counter are located on the ground level, and the rooftop bar is located on the upper level.  The vegetarian menu includes a number of appetizers, entrees, and side dishes, many of which can be made vegan.  The tableside guacamole is excellent, as are the grilled cactus tacos (pictured below).  

Grilled cactus tacos served wtih refried black beans and Spanish rice and red sauce
Vegetable enchiladas served with refried black beans and Spanish rice

UPDATE:  I returned to El Centro D.F. in August 2013 and was saddened to learn that the restaurant no longer offers a separate vegetarian menu, although it still appears on the restaurant's website. 

El Centro D.F. on Urbanspoon