Rosa Mexicano and Down Time

I am happy to report that this weekend I had an entire day with no meetings, appointments, or commitments of any kind. Three thoughts came to mind when I realized this:

#1) I’m not entirely sure how I managed this.

#2) I need to figure out how to do this more often.

#2) And this meme.

Credit: Quickmeme.com

Credit: Quickmeme.com

So I sat down to double check my schedule and email to make sure I wasn’t overlooking anything. And when I found out I wasn’t, it quickly turned into aimless browsing (am I the only one this happens to?), which is how I found out it was Restaurant Week at National Harbor.

Never one to give up the opportunity to go out to eat (ok, let’s be real, to eat in general), we decided to check it out. I picked Rosa Mexicano because we had never been there and I have heard great things.

We were not disappointed! The restaurant is beautiful. It is located on the waterfront overlooking the Potomac River. One side of the dining room has floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Washington, D.C. and Old Town. The decor has a decidedly modern feel with brightly colored details throughout, but also includes authentic Mexican art and pieces like framed cloth ponchos, Amate Paper Gods, and folk art masks.

OK, let’s talk food. In a word, it’s delicious. Everything we tried was boldly flavored (my favorite kind of flavor) and each item we tried had a different mix of spices and tastes and they all complemented each other.

We started with Flautas de Pollo. I have had flautas before and these are some of the best ones I’ve enjoyed. I think the sauce really set this dish apart from the rest. It’s made with pasilla de Oaxaca chiles and added a deep, smoky flavor and richness that completed the dish. Also worth mentioning: the tortillas stayed crispy until the end.

Flautas de Pollo

We also had the Chicken Skillet Tacos. I loved the divided plate for all of the different ingredients. It made for a great, clean presentation (can you tell I have a slight touch of OCD?). I thought it helped to make building your own tacos easier too.

Chicken Skillet Tacos
We moved on to the Costilla de Res/Beef Short Rib Enchiladas. This is the perfect example of my favorite kind of comfort food. It was rich and filling, but also had bold flavors from the mestiza sauce (made with tomatillos and smoked chipotles), cheese, and tons of cilantro on top.

Beef Short Rib Enchiladas

This being brunch, the meal wasn’t complete without a boozy drink and the Horchata Especial did not disappoint. It’s made with Herradura añejo, coffee liqueur, horchata, and espresso. I was hoping for more texture from the ground almonds, but the flavor was great.

Horchata Especial

I’m not embarrassed to say that even after all this food, we managed to have some dessert. Enter Espresso Flan. You can’t see it in this picture, but the flan had a thin ancho chile brownie on the bottom which added some great flavor and texture to the dessert.

Espresso Flan

Overall, it was a great meal made with lots of spices and bold flavors. Outside of the Restaurant Week menu, I think the prices are pretty affordable when you consider the quality of the food. When we left I noticed they also have outside seating and I can’t wait to go back and send many a summer afternoon sipping margaritas and people watching on the waterfront.

After doing some research, I found that you can purchase many of the sauces used in Rosa Mexicano’s menu items at it’s online shop. Clearly the folks at Rosa Mexicano know they are on to something with these sauces…

Have you been to Rosa Mexicano? I’d love to hear your experience. What’s your favorite Mexican place?

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