Ditch the well-known GWorld burrito shops like Chipotle and Sol and head off campus to The Well Dressed Burrito, a discreet restaurant tucked away in a quiet alleyway in Dupont Circle.
Dubbed the “burrito place in the alley” to locals, the restaurant at 1220 19th St. NW lives up to the true definition of a hole-in-the-wall. The narrow entryway leading to a small black door could be passed by as a back exit to a larger establishment, but the large sign of a penguin dressed in a sombrero guides the way to the inside of the restaurant.
The restaurant, which is open Monday through Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., was filled with customers surrounding a counter to place their order. The Well Dressed Burrito takes advantage of its limited space with counters and bar stools that can seat about 30 people. If you can’t snag a seat indoors, there is additional seating outside.
The inside of the compact room may have limited seating, but decorations are not sparse. In the sitting area, one wall is lined with succulents, and the other wall is painted in a mural of penguins in front of a fountain performing activities like roller skating and bike riding. One of the penguins is reading a newspaper stating a joking headline that a GW student fell into a coma after eating a burrito.
The restaurant’s fresh, filling and delicious food lives up to the positive reviews given about it online. The small establishment offers a large menu including tacos ($6.95 to $10.95), nachos ($7.95 to $10.95) and its popular burritos ($5.95 to $6.95). Aside from entrees, the restaurant offers a number of sides like chips and guacamole ($8.95) or beans and rice with cheese and sour cream ($2.95). It also dishes out desserts like fresh baked cookies ($1.95) and Mexican bread pudding ($3.50).
I decided to order a burrito with marinated chicken, which already comes with refried beans, lettuce, rice, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes.
The burrito itself was a bit bigger than a Chipotle burrito in size, and every bite of it was filling. The marinated chicken was juicy and rich with zesty flavors packed into the burrito in generous chunks.
The lettuce and tomatoes were fresh and didn’t overwhelm the burrito, and the sour cream added a creamy taste that leveled out the strong, distinct but delicious taste of the marinated chicken.
For the burrito’s relatively large size, the price was inexpensive and well worth the cost. Everything on the menu costs less than $13, and my order totaled $7.95. Once I was filled up for lunch, I brought home enough leftovers for a second meal.
The Well Dressed Burrito has lived up to my expectations with fresh servings of meat and vegetables. If you have the extra time and are craving authentic food over fast food, then the restaurant is worth the roughly 15-minute walk.