🙂 = Most restaurants in Del Rey close around 2pm and re-open at 5pm for dinner. Los Tios dances to the beat of its own drum and stays open straight through to dinner service. High chairs and booster seats available. Playgrounds within walking distance. Offer coloring kit upon seating for the kiddos.
🙂 = Street parking can be difficult to come by. No kids’ menu offered, but there are a handful of kid friendly options in the appetizers section.
Notes: Open Sun-Thurs from 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat from 11am-11pm. There is also a second location in Leesburg, VA (201 Harrison St Southeast, 20175)
Howdy ya’ll! You diggin’ my southern drawl? Sorry, I just had some fam-bam visiting from Texas which unleashed my inner cowboy and got me all itching for some good ol’ fashioned Tex-Mex.
So we found ourselves in the Del Rey hood of Alexandria and, sheeyoot! This place was almost as charming as me! Almost. I mean, look at this face.
With quaint, little restaurants lining Mount Vernon Ave and boutique shops as adorable as my dimples, I felt like I was in some 1950’s throwback town – or a 2000 and now hipster paradise. But moms didn’t care. Pops said she was “hangry”. And you don’t mess with hangry. So the primary objective was to – as my dear father put it – tame the Hangry Beast. There would be no pleasant stroll. No amiable convo. There would only be silence. And a beeline to the first restaurant that we saw. And wouldn’t you know it – Tex-Mex. Yeehaw!
This place was pretty dope. It looked like a Spanish style house with lots of outside seating and really cool Mexican-themed paintings with colors so vivid they popped…like the collars of my polos. As we headed to our table, all the restaurant workers kept saying “hola!” to me. I don’t know Spanish, but dad said it meant “you better sit down and behave while we eat.” Gotcha daddio. I pick up what you’re throwing down.
My favorite part about eating Tex-Mex is when they bring out chips and salsa while you wait for your food. Today would not be so. Mama housed those poor nachos. They didn’t stand a chance. Me and pop could only look on in amazement…and fear. Mostly fear. Thankfully, they brought out a second batch. The salsa was mildly spicy. I don’t mind a little heat (‘cause I’m a boss), but I like my salsa more on the chunky side. Makes it easier to scoop on the chips. This one was more runny. Still tasted good though.
When our food came out, mama cut up my chicken taquitos before setting sights on her main victim, a helpless seafood chimichanga. She managed a few grunts which led me to assume that she enjoyed it. Luckily, pop ordered the same thing and was able to provide more insight. After his initial and emphatic, “Mmmm! Man, this is good,” he said it was exactly what he was after. Perfectly fried, light, fluffy, and crispy tortilla stuffed with meaty scallops and surprisingly big pieces of shrimp. And the cheese, he said, was like a warm and creamy blanket on his tongue – My dad’s such a Bourdain wannabe. As for my taquitos? DEE-lish! So much better than the frozen taquitos my parents tried feeding me one time. Yea, they feed me frozen food once in a blue moon. Don’t judge. All three dishes came with a side of pico de gallo, guac, and sour cream. I wasn’t really feeling it, but both my folks mixed them all together and just ate it like that. They called it the triple threat. Said it was the best they’ve tasted yet. For dessert, we actually ended with an appetizer – plantanos fritos with sour cream. Crisp outside. Soft inside. Sweet on it’s own. Savory with the sour cream. So good whichever way you slice it.
By this time, the Hangry Beast had been tamed, and the Mama I know and love re-emerged. For that, dad and I owe Los Tios Grill our lives.