Fresca Taqueria

We were winging it on Saturday night, looking around H Street for anything that sounded good and hoping we could find something before we froze to death in the first snow of the season and we happened upon Fresca Taqueria. We were tired, frozen, hungry, and in the mood for tacos, so we went in without much more than a glance at the menu.

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“Will you be dining in or taking out?” asked the cashier in the front. We glanced around at the basic digs, then at each other, shrugged, and said, “Dining in.”

“Well, in that case…would you like to sit in our new sit-down restaurant around back? You can have a table and a waiter, and all the food and prices are the same.” Obviously, we acquiesced.

He led us around the side of the building and into their very inconspicuous new restaurant. From the minute we crossed the threshold, we felt like Jack Torrance in The Shining, like we were walking into a place where everyone knew us because we’d been regulars there for time immemorial. Appropriately, although maybe unwisely, we sat at the bar.

They have a great tap list of mostly local beers, but what caught my eye was the $6.95 margaritas. We ordered two, along with some chips and salsa. The menu is enormous. They have every Mexican specialty you could possibly imagine, along with pupusas and empanadas. I came into this situation knowing I wanted tacos and I still had a hard time choosing. I finally settled on three tacos–one of the recommended shrimp, one pork, and one chorizo. My husband was thrilled to see that they offered Mexican tortas, which he has been dreaming of since our jaunt to Tacos y Tortas in Arlington. Like the margaritas, prices here were extremely reasonable.

Margaritas and chips arrived first. Oooooh this margarita could be dangerous. We sucked those down like nothing. I resolved not to order another one since we were on our way to a get-together with friends. The chips were good, with two salsas which were clearly homemade but fairly standard.

And then….then the entrees arrived. Here are some tacos:

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I started with the shrimp–not a bit chewy, very flavorful, paired well with salsa verde. The pork was second. It was the porkiest pork I’ve ever had–I at first thought that it could have used a marinade, but that would have covered up the sheer meaty flavor. I saved the chorizo for last. You can’t go wrong with this. I paired it with the smoky chipotle sauce and it was all spicy, smoky goodness. I could eat these forever and ever…and ever.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s torta!

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Like the pork taco, the flavor of the beef really shone through in this torta. It was a little plainer than the ones at Tortas y Tacos, but it was packed with toppings and dripping with mayo. It was definitely a winner.

It was at this point in the meal that the bartender who’d been serving us decided, completely unprompted, to whip up a jamaica margarita for funzies and give us a second round on the house. The jamaica margarita was even better than the house one, if that’s even possible. Like I said, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a photo of myself from 20 years ago hanging on their wall.

Price: $15 per person.

Bottom line: Fresca will meet all of your taco craving needs and then some. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself snowed in here for the winter.

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