With the number of COVID-19 cases creeping up in the District, opting for takeout seems to be the best option.
D.C. luckily has no shortage of amazing food available through pickup or delivery apps, and my new favorite pick is Muchas Gracias at 5029 Connective Ave. NW. The pop-up restaurant has been serving Latin American fare since April, and it donates a portion of its proceeds to organizations that help support immigrant workers like Tables Without Borders and Friends and Family Meal.
Despite its distance from campus, you can get its food sent to you via Caviar, which is currently offering a free month of delivery for new users. You could also venture to the pop-up and enjoy a meal at its patio seating.
For less of a splurge, Muchas Gracias offers lunchtime-only burritos ($12) like one stuffed with chicken tinga, potatoes, rice and beans or one filled with charred sweet potatoes, salsa, rice and beans. For $2 more, you can add on a agua fresca, a blended fruit drink with water and a dash of sweetener.
The dinner menu is split up into apps, tacos and sides alongside a selection of wine, cocktails and beer. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can also opt for the agua fresca of the day ($5), Jarritos soda ($3) or Top Chico ($3).
Start off your meal with classics like guacamole ($8) with tomatoes, pepitas and queso fresco or creamy queso ($6). Or, keep it light with a tomato salad ($10) served alongside salt-cured squash, cheese and topped off with lime dressing.
Despite all of the options, tacos are the main event at Muchas Gracias. If you’re ordering with friends, you can opt for the family taco night option ($49), which serves two to three people. The deal comes with eight homemade corn tortillas, a pint of your filling of choice – like steak, short rib or carnitas – and an assortment of sides like salsas, rice, beans and a slice of tres leches cake.
I decided on the Baja-style cod tacos ($19), a type of fish taco that originated in Baja California, Mexico, that typically comes with fried fish, shredded cabbage and creamy white sauce.
The dish came expertly packed with the four tortillas and salsas on the side to prevent sogginess during the delivery process. Even the cabbage was placed to the side of the to-go container to ensure the lightly-fried fish stayed fresh.
Each bite of the fish was crisp from the panko crust and flaky and soft on the inside. It quite literally melted in my mouth. The cabbage added a ton of crunch to the taco and an element of freshness. I also loaded the tacos with the creamy mustard-tartar sauce, which added some zing and spice. Flanked between a homemade tortilla, the dish was irresistible.
The rice and beans were bursting with flavor. The rice was fluffy and garlicky, while the beans were slightly acidic from the epazote – an herb used in traditional Mexican cooking – and the sprinkle of cheese on top.
Although I needed to assemble my own tacos, it ended up being a blessing in disguise because I was full from only two tacos and could avoid eating soggy leftover tacos the next day.
The next time you’re craving high-quality takeout in the District, Muchas Gracias should be on the top of your list.
This article appeared in the July 31, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.