Community staple continues to offer up delicious Mexican dishes


Adriana Inamagua

The tacos that El taco Loco are named after are a customer favorite.

An esteemed and culturally welcoming restaurant brings zesty and unique flavors to the city of Columbia Heights, and they’ve been doing it quietly and consistently for a number of years now. 

In 2015, El Taco Loco, a great authentic Mexican food truck, became a brick-and-mortar restaurant located right here on Central Avenue in Heights. Despite its small storefront in an unassuming strip mall, this restaurant has so much to offer. Its wide variety of traditional Mexican dishes available on its menu allows customers to taste iconic dishes from a verifiably Mexican collection of local chefs. With 4.5 stars out of 5 on Facebook and 4.3 stars out of 5 on Grubhub, nearly everyone seems to agree that El Taco Loco is an amazing restaurant with great service. 

A vast and unique menu is one of the most anticipated experiences of checking out a  new restaurant. At El Taco Loco, many items, including standards like tacos, nachos, quesadillas and burritos, amongst many other exquisite and more adventurous items, are available. To kill some time waiting for your main course, wonderful side dishes like chips with freshly made guacamole and pozoleor corn soupcan be enjoyed. Multiple beverages both American and Mexican are also available to freshen the palate before, during and after enjoying your meal. To excite many even more, sweet and creamy delicacies can also be found on the menu, including tres leches cake, tiramisu, cheesecake and more. 

“My experience was great,” customer Dasy Inamagua (class of 2021) said. “The service was polite and quick to deliver my meal. The restaurant was very spacious and clean, while nicely decorated. One detail I appreciated was the background music that was playing while enjoying my meal.”

The first and tastiest option I enjoyed from the menu was a chorizo (or smoked sausage) burrito with a mild salsa verde on the side, though other salsas of varying spice levels are also available. It was very filling, stuffed with beans, rice, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and meat. It was seasoned with salt, cilantro flakes and a finishing touch of salsa verde to spice it up a bit. The second item I ordered was small al pastor (or pork from a pig’s shoulder) tacos. It was marinated in a sweet sauce with a citrusy lime tang.

To refresh myself from all the great combinations of condiments and hits of spice, I accompanied my dishes with cold “Agua de Horchata” (rice water) with streaks of cinnamon and a milky taste. To finish things off and satisfy my sweet tooth just a bit more, I tried the dazzling raspberry cheesecake that was catching my eye. It was creamy and rich, with a sweet and fruity accent. 

Overall, I was very content and satiated from the food I enjoyed at El Taco Loco. Not only did I enjoy my meal, but I felt very welcomed and happy to see the colorful and culturally playful environment. Small decorations like sombreros and small ribbons gave a beautiful and vibrant touch to the interior. I definitely recommend this restaurant to anybody that would like to spice things up and be surprised with a few items from the menu. 

A challenge that you could try to pass would be to boost the spice levels in the dishes you choose and see how much you can handle with each subsequent visit! This is certainly a local hotspot that deserves repeat business.