I always felt like the Bethesda dining scene was lacking in a good Mexican restaurant. Not Tex-Mex, not fast food Mexican, but a real, hard-core taqueria with Mexican beers and corn tortillas and elote and green rice and all the other things that make Mexican cuisine so good. Well, that hole has been filled with the opening of Gringos & Mariachis, a dark, casual taqueria with great music, smoky margaritas, and a menu that is overflowing with delicious Mexican fare.
Most of the menu at Gringos and Mariachis is perfect for sharing: chips and salsa (they have ever kind of salsa imaginable: spicy salsa verde, sriracha cream salsa, fiery habanero salsa, and more), chips and creamy, fresh guacamole, sopes, which are masa cakes piled high with beans and veggies and salsa, nachos and of course tacos galore.
The tacos come two per order, so order a bunch and go to town. The huitlacoche tacos are renowned; they feature fried tortillas filled with earthy, meaty huitlacoche, which are Mexican corn ruffles, and then blanketed with crunchy shredded iceberg lettuce and heady salsa, tangy crumbled cotija cheese, and sweet crema. The roasted vegetable tacos are just as tasty with corn and squash and zucchini topped with jalapenos and red-hot salsa. Green rice is a must for the table; the bright cilantro flavor and cooling rice is the perfect contrast to the spicy, acidic salsas that are drizzled on top of the tacos. Elote is also essential to your meal: almost burnt corn on the cob is drenched in crema and cotija cheese. Even the salads are awesome: kale Caesar with fried tortilla strips, grilled romaine with avocado tomatillo, and a veggie-heavy one with corn, spinach, arugula, avocado, jicama, and a sweet and acidic hone lime dressing.
For dessert: tres leches cake that is so moist it melts in your mouth, or of course, crispy fried churros served with a dense chocolate sauce. Also good for sharing. Friends + margaritas + Mexican food from Gringos & Mariachis = a damn good day. Go have a damn good day today.