Level up your Tex-Mex takeout by heading to MXDC Cocina Mexicana.
MXDC, located a block from the White House at 600 14th St. NW, serves up fresh Mexican cuisine including tacos, burritos and quesadillas. The contemporary yet rustic style restaurant is currently open at 25 percent capacity, but it also fulfills takeout and delivery orders, which I opted for in the interest of convenience and safety.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Its menu offers several small plates like shrimp ceviche ($14), salads and entrees with an extensive drink menu for patrons over 21.
For starters, or if you don’t have a big appetite, try out one of its soups and salads like the soup of the day ($14) or the Jicama salad with red chile orange vinaigrette ($10).
If you go for dinner, you could order a plate of three tacos ($14), like the Mahi Mahi tacos or tacos with huitlacoche, wild mushroom and truffled corn salsa. Other dishes include salmon ($12), shrimp ceviches ($14), queso fundido with tortillas ($14) and sides of lemongrass rice ($5), black beans ($5) and smoked chiles ($6).
Its lunch menu includes burritos (about $14) and bowls served with your choice of meat, lettuce, pico de gallo, beans and rice, avocado, crema in addition to a choice of fries or mixed greens. Or, like I did, you could opt for one of three different quesadillas (14) topped with arugula and cotija cheese.
The Huitlacoche Quesadilla grabbed my attention for its combination of truffles and cheese. Unlike a traditional quesadilla, this one was open-faced and made on a crispy corn tortilla. The top of the tortilla was coated with corn, roasted mushrooms and topped with crisp arugula for garnish. The quesadilla featured three types of cheese – mozzarella, mild and salty chihuahua and salty cotija crumbled on top of the arugula.
To complete this vegetarian and gluten-free dish, a bag of tortilla chips and two green tomatillo salsas were served on the side. The quesadilla cost $14, but with delivery fees it came to about $20.
The quesadilla was delivered in a flat cardboard box and was divided into six slices. I initially assumed I would not be hungry enough to finish the whole quesadilla, but each slice tasted so fresh I didn’t want to have it as leftovers.
While the cheese, corn and mushrooms delivered the main, umami flavor, the quesadilla was drizzled in an epazote-black truffle chimichurri sauce that elevated the dish with garlic and vinegar tinges. There was a substantial amount of arugula, chimichurri and crumbled cotija, but none of the toppings were overpowering.
As a fan of extreme spice, I missed the heat that Mexican food usually delivers. The quesadilla was fairly mild. Next time, I might try the tacos with chipotle aioli or the queso fundido with poblanos and chorizo for a stronger punch of heat.
While I’m not old enough to order an alcoholic drink, MXDC sells cocktails, beer and wine. Its list of to-go margaritas looked especially tempting. The house margarita can be purchased in a quart ($40) or half quart ($20) and flavor can be added for $5 and $3 respectively.
For your next takeout night, try out MXDC Cocina Mexicana for distinctive twists on classic Mexican recipes.