In 2018, Bandit Taco opened its first location in DC, in the city’s U-Street Corridor. A Tenleytown taqueria followed, but now the artisan tacos are busting out in the ‘burbs. A location in Village at Leesburg, in the space previously occupied by Flame Kebab, will open this summer.
“DC is a good place, it’s a good spot, but it’s just saturated with so much Mexican,” says co-owner Ricardo Ortiz. “We decided to venture out and go out to the suburbs.”
What sets it apart from other Mexican options diners will find in the Leesburg area is an eye toward craft-made simplicity. There are just three sauces, for example, all made from scratch. A traditional tomatillo salsa verde, a smoky salsa roja and cilantro-speckled habanero hot sauce all benefit from fresh ingredients, says Ortiz. The menu is constantly expanding and he says that the Leesburg options will grow accordingly. Most recently, Ortiz says, chef and co-owner Mauricio Flores Turcios added tortas filled with meats like milanesa, fried cutlets.
The rest of the concise menu is divided into tacos, burritos, bowls and quesadillas. Besides a selection of basics like skirt steak, fish and recently added chicken tinga, Korean beef also makes an appearance in each of the categories. The most popular of the proteins, which also include veggie options like tofu and mushrooms, is San Diego-style fried shrimp. The crustaceans are flavored with Japanese togarashi spice mix, which Ortiz compares to Mexican tajin, as well as lemon-sake sauce, cilantro and scallions. Diners can expect to try their first taste without venturing into the city as soon as July. // 1601 Village Market Blvd., Suite 108, Leesburg
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