My usual stop for Mexican food in Del Ray is Taqueria Poblano. Overall, I hear mixed reviews about the location in Arlington, and more positive reviews of the Del Ray location. Our last meal (in Del Ray) was very good and I was tempted to get drawn back to my old standby, but alas my DH and I walked a little further up the Avenue to try a new place.
Los Tios is a casual Mexican and El Salvadoran restaurant located on Mount Vernon Ave., which offers indoor and seasonal outdoor seating. As we were greeted, the indoor space expanded before me as we were led into the rich Southwestern toned cantina . In front, there is a bar with a large screen tv. Two dining rooms, one behind the other, are painted with Corals and accented with turquoise. Noise bounces easily off the walls which are punctuated with Tuscan urns and large paintings evocative of a more light-hearted de Goya.
We ate early, before 6 pm (and no, my hair is not blue..yet) and were seated right away. Our waiter greeted us shortly after and took our drink orders. A basket of warm tortillas accompanied by a thick and chunky salsa arrived in shortly after.The salsa vegetables seemed fresh in the thick picante type sauce.
I ordered the Pollo Mexicano. The thinly pounded chicken breast and shrimp were topped with a fresh salsa consisting of red onions, diced fresh tomatoes, cilantro and parsley The salsa was dressed with a bit of lime and perhaps olive oil. Accompanying the chicken and shrimp were white rice and steamed broccoli which retained a verdant color and crunch. On the side, I was served black bean soup. The soup had a nice broth with a hint of cumin. It was enjoyable, if a bit on the salty side.
Both main dishes were light and clearly made with fresh ingredients where vegetables and herbs are concerned. The fresh and healthier ingredients left us feeling good that we did not weigh our meal down with cheese and sour cream. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We do “south of the border” runs from time to time. Don’t judge us……..
Overall the service was very friendly. A salsa and chip refill came before we finished our first complimentary serving. My lemonade was also refilled quickly.
As we departed, we were sent on our way by the staff who thanked us warmly and held the door open as we left. It was a family friendly feeling. Speaking of family, there were many children of all ages, and highchairs were available.
Noise can be a factor if you want intimate conversation.
We opted to walk off a bit of dinner to get to dessert at The Dairy Godmother. More on that later!
Powder your nose - The ladies room was a large, clean single bathroom with a diaper changing table.
Credit cards - yes