A true neighborhood joint can succeed or fail based purely on their "guy's" personality, which is why Saved by the Bell's Max performed tricks, and Cheers' Sam Malone banged them. Banking on his own: the guy behind Mi Vecindad.
Just opened, Vecindad's a Mexican/El Salvadorian/Cuban mash-up, with Dominican pachata tunes bouncing off sombrero-covered walls and a green limestone front bar, all helmed by a gregarious, tequila shot-happy "owner, manager, bartender, waiter, and bus boy" named Henry, who thinks his jocularity/utility work "is the only way to do things", making him the most likable utility jock since Walt Weiss. Things start off with "entradas" like fried plantains and Cuban-style lemon juice/jalapeno flounder ceviche, plus "tacos y tamales" including shrimp tacos, duck-stuffed cornmeal Tamal de Patos, and a chicken/or steak taco salad with dressing on the side for those on The Zone, unlike dressing right in front of you, for those in the friend zone. "Platos especiales" include the plantain/garlic-marinated New York strip Bisteca Cubana, a buttered filet mignon served with broiled scallops, the shrimp/chicken/chorizo Arroz Combinado, and Camarones a la Diablo: jumbo shrimp cooked in a spicy butter sauce, but not a spicy Butterbean, cause there'd be nothing left once he was done.
To temper it all, Henry's got Latin brews like Pacifico and Pilsener (of El Salvador), plus mojitos and margaritas that're sized extra-generously, recalling at least one of Sam Malone's notable flings, who will remain unnamed. Fine, it's Kirstie Alley. And you know she fat.
Published: July 26, 2010 at 4:00am EDT
1129 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
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