Tacos, Tamales, and a Telenovela

Every now and then I wish I could go back to my homestay days, where you got just a peek into another family’s life.  One of the closest experiences I’ve had to that so far in DC is having dinner at Taqueria Juquilita in Columbia Heights, an establishment that I had heard whispers of but finally figured out how to visit!

Taqueria Juquilita is located in the tiny two-room apartment of a couple originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, and they open their home to gringos and mexicanos alike on Saturdays and Sundays from 7am-7pm.  All of the dishes were very Mexican, from the classic tacos al pastor and tamales to the harder-to-find treats like quesadillas with flor de calabaza (squash blossoms), huitlacoche (a fungus that grows on corn), and pozole.  Even the refreshments were authentic:  juice made with hibiscus flowers and Coronas!  Señora Rosa, the head of the operation, kept a close eye on us while making all of the tortillas by hand.

Taco con todo

The taqueria only has seats for 10 people along 3 card tables set up in the middle of the room.  Our group took up 6 places, and the remainder were filled by Mexican families and singles looking to get a reminder of their own cities or pueblos.  I especially liked some of the touches that reminded me I was actually in someone’s home– the Virgen de Guadalupe looking down at us, pictures of the children in elementary school, and a very dramatic telenovela set in a hospital blarring on the T.V.  And, not a word of English was spoken to us by our hosts– we all had to dust off the old Repaso Spanish textbooks!  Luckily a few of the other Mexican patrons helped us to deduce the menu and to determine what the best items were to order.

Pozole, a hominy soup

I am almost reluctant to post about Taqueria Juquilita, because I am so happy to have found it!  This little place is truly off the beaten path, and a fantastic glimpse into the lives of two people making a life in Washington, D.C.

To visit:  Taqueria Juquilita, 202-265-0243.



Filed under Deals and Steals, Local Food, Restaurants

3 responses to “Tacos, Tamales, and a Telenovela

  1. SarahAnnMaxwell

    Your post sums it up PERFECTLY! Eating at Taqueria Juquilita was one of my very favorite experiences in DC…Se amo mucho!

  2. Jamie

    Great article, but It concerns me that by publishing the address and phone number that it’s going to speed up the inevitable, which her being shut down. Perhaps it would be to the benefit of Rosa if you removed that info?

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