Loudoun County is bursting with solid mom-and-pop Salvadoran spots. But for residents of the western reaches of NoVA, finding Mexican food made by Mexicans often necessitates a trip to Prince William County, or at least Falls Church. When Buford’s Biscuits moved to the larger space formerly occupied by Cocina on Market, a game of musical chairs of cuisines took place. La Taqueria opened in Buford’s former Loudoun Street location in May.
But while Cocina specialized in Oaxacan-influenced fare with a locavore approach, the family behind La Taqueria hails from Mexico City. The street food served at the new restaurant doesn’t diverge far from what one would find in North America’s largest city, but is squarely aimed at appealing to Virginia diners. Tacos dominate the menu, and dishes that aren’t tacos are all taco-adjacent comforts.
A standout is the guacamole, which is as zingy with lime as it is pleasantly spicy. It’s served in a mortar at the restaurant, but I recommend getting the creamy dip in plastic to-go for easy enjoyment at home. Elote (identified on the menu simply as “corn on the cob”) is thickly spread with mayonnaise and cheese, but the dominant flavors are sweet, juicy corn and earthy chile.
I tried each of the tacos and found the meats to be under-seasoned on the whole. The major exceptions to the rule are the piquant chorizo and the whisperingly sweet al pastor, which is paired with pineapple. I tried both in tacos as well as some of La Taqueria’s more fun dishes.
The torta is a greasy, griddled stunner that offers up a crisp bolillo roll filled with a diner’s choice of meat and a layer of melty Chihuahua cheese. Even better? On Fridays and Saturdays, the daily special is a pambazo, a torta filled with chorizo, potatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and queso fresco, then dipped in guajillo salsa.
I accompanied mine with a pineapple agua fresca, but there are also soft drinks including Topo Chico, a range of Jarritos, and Mexican Coke. In pricy downtown Leesburg, it’s refreshing to be able to pick up a satisfying plate of tacos for around $10. But I’ll be returning again and again for the $12 torta.
15 Loudoun St. SE, Leesburg
See this: Colorful cutout garlands decorate the historic home on the outside; inside, tchotchkes depicting skeletons and Frida Kahlo abound.
Eat this: Guacamole, pambazo, torta
Open 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday; 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday
Feature image by Alice Levitt
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