Tag Archives: chips and salsa

DC: El Chucho

Since we’ve moved to a new neighborhood, we’ve been doing some exploring for new restaurants, coffee shops and stores.  As many cities around the world, I love that DC has a variety of pockets, providing us with different communities, restaurants and vibes wherever you explore.

A little less than 2 weeks ago, it was a beautiful (and warm) DC Sunday.  Sam and I love restaurants that have outdoor seating.  You have a different perspective, and there is the bonus of people watching.  As we were walking towards the Columbia Heights area, we noticed the El Chucho had some open outdoor seating and our tummies were grumbling, so we decided to check it out.

El Chucho 2

This has been on my list to try since the New Columbia Heights Blog mentioned their new covered roof deck and the amazing Monday Happy Hour.  I hope these photos might entice others stop over.

El Chucho
3313 11th Street NW
Washington, DC 20010

El Chucho 1

A lot of the dishes on the menu sounded really good.  I will note, we did not order one of more popular items (a good reason to come back).  One of the top dishes is the corn- Elote Callejero.  It’s a “street-style” corn on the cob, covered with chili, cilantro and cotija cheese.  Sounds and looks delicious!

El Chucho 3

We started off with some chips and salsa.  Now there is a serious lacking of good salsa in DC (or if you have found it, please let me know the secret!).  But I was pretty satisfied with this one, it’s got notes of cilantro, a tad bit of spiciness and the chips were fresh.

El Chucho 4

Of course, beers were mandatory.  It was a sunny and beautiful day, there is no reason not to enjoy a good beverage.  Sam tried a new beer- Chatoe Rogue, from an Oregon brewery.  There are a couple of local beers on tap, some microbrew bottles, and plenty of margarita flavors for everyone to enjoy.

El Chucho 5

What did we order?

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I got the Torta Ahogada, with a side of gloves!  What’s inside?  It’s got marinated ground pork shoulder in adobo sauce, black beans, Chihuahua cheese, onions and avocado.  The sauce covering this sandwich is a smokey arbol salsa and cilantro.

El Churro 6

I won’t lie, that’s probably one of the messiest sandwiches I have ever ordered.  I ended up using a knife and fork.  But it was delicious- and very filling (there were plenty of leftovers).

El Chucho 8

Sam ordered this behemoth of a sandwich, Cemita Classica.  It. was. so. big!  And delicious, I liked his choice a tad bit more (just a smidge).  Cemitas, sandwiches originating from Pueblo Mexico, were noted to be one of the new trends 0f 2013- I’m glad to finally have a chance to taste one.

El Chucho 9

Between the freshly baked bread, was a piece of chicken milanesa, black beans, onions and adobo sauce, to make a very filling sandwich (even Sam had leftovers!).

I’m sure we’ll be back to El Chucho, since I do want to try the corn, as well as the margaritas.  If anyone stops in and finds a perfect dish, definitely let us know!

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Food Matters Project #14: Black Bean & Corn Salsa

It’s another Monday, so we’ll check out what everyone has made for the Food Matters ProjectAlissa from Big Eats Tiny Kitchen has chosen this weeks recipe.  She chose Mark Bittman’s recipes for Five Quick Salsas for Chips, Dips and Other Stuff from The Food Matters Cookbook.  You can find Mark’s original suggestions on page 46 of his book.  To see what other members of The Food Matters Project did, check out their links in the comments section here.

I’m sure many of us celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, so we have all eaten a lot of salsa over the weekend.  I hope there were some great margaritas to go with it!  If you need more Mexican recipes, check out what we had made in the past.

I’m a huge fan of chips and salsa, but tomatoes are not in season, so I chose to do a tomato-less salsa.  To fill the void, I opted for some black beans and corn.  Since we didn’t have any chips in the house, I shredded some lettuce and we ate the salsa as a topping for the salad.  It was very refreshing and filling on a hot day.  I also toasted some tortillas and added those to the salad as well.  (*I did add some sunflower seeds to the salad, feel free to omit)

I’ll be back tomorrow with some fun things about the Eat Write Retreat 2012 conference, which I was at this weekend.  I do have something to look forward to this week- some giveaways!!!  Lots of swag from the conference, and I’d love to share my goodies!

Black Bean & Corn Salsa
A Fifth Floor Kitchen original

I cooked dry black beans for this salsa, and I did not use salt when cooking.  So if you are using canned beans, you might want to scale back the salt (or salt to taste).  Fresh corn off the cob would give this salsa a bit more taste, so if it’s in season you should try it.

3 cups of black beans
2 cups of frozen corn, defrosted
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped peppers (yellows and red give the salsa lots of flavor)
2 jalapeños, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix all of the ingredients.  Chill for at least an hour prior to serving, it’ll allow the flavors to blend together.

Serve with chips, toasted tortilla or on top of salads or roasted chicken.

Spring Salsa

I think it’s official that spring has arrived in DC (or is it summer?).  The cherry blossoms are in full bloom, along with every possible flower.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this!  Although I think everyone is worried that this will be a horribly hot and humid summer.

Yesterday was the first day of the Penn Quarter Farmers Market.  We’ll have many more vendors to choose from this year, which I’m very excited about.  I picked up a jar of Thai Basil Jalapeños from Gordy’s Pickle Jar, they’re the spiciest they have.  I also got some Bison Sticks from Gunpowder Bison Trading Company, one sweet and one hot.  I’m holding on to some purchases until Sam comes back from India, he’ll have something yummy to come home to!

I’ve also bought herbs and potting soil so I can start our little balcony garden.  Can’t wait for fresh basil or cilantro!  Between the colors and warm weather, I’ve been craving some fresh vegetables- especially in the form of salsa.

My friend Carolyn is coming over tonight, both of us love Mexican food, and I thought chips and salsa would be a great way to start off the evening!  I’m definitely ready to start seeing some vibrant colors on my plate.  And this is so quick and easy, you can’t say no to it!

Spring Salsa
This salsa can vary every single time I make it, depends what I have in our kitchen.  Feel free to play around with the ingredients, more or less of some, to your liking.  Possible additions/alternatives: avocado, green/orange bell peppers, habañeros, scallions, or black beans.

1 lb frozen corn, defrosted & drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped finely
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
4 tomatoes, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped finely (for less spice, remove the seeds)
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped finely
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  Stick a chip in, and enjoy it!

Christmas Vacation on a cruise ship!

So you may be wondering where we spent our Christmas.

Well, to give you some hints, we did a lot of this:

watching beautiful sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico

hanging out at the beach and working on our tans!

We got a wonderful Christmas gift to go on a cruise to Mexico.  The cruise left from Tampa, Florida and we stopped in Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico.  It was the perfect amount of sun, naps and relaxation.

While we were in Cozumel, we grabbed a bite to eat at Toro’s Place for some Mexican.  Both of us enjoy eating outdoors, so this place was perfect.  As can be expected, we munched on:

…some chips and salsa!  Washington does not have the best Mexican restaurants, so if we can find something while we travel- we definitely take advantage of it.  This was well worth it, the salsa was a bit spicy and the fish tacos mouthwatering.

Of course, Mexican food always tastes better with a beer and a lime!


It was a great trip where we got to relax outdoors, catch up on some reading and sleep in.  Sometimes it’s nice to get away and enjoy some free time.  Best of all, we got to spend this time with our family!

Have you guys gone on a cruise?  If so, where to?  Where are you planning your next vacation?