|2933 Wilson Boulevard ·
Arlington, Virginia · 703.812.9352
HOURS: Sun-Thurs 11AM to 10PM · Fri and Sat 11AM to 11PM
History of the Blues... (Mexicali Style)
While conjuring up the idea of opening a Salvadorian-Mexican restaurant in 1997, many ideas were tossed around amongst a group of friends. They quickly reached a consensus that this was not going to be your typical Tex-Mex restaurant. The main differences: fresh ingredients, authentic recipes, an easy-going atmosphere, and a great name. Today, although some of the group of friends has moved on, two of the original owners, Karen Orlando and Ricardo Iglesias, believe that these qualities continue to make their restaurant, Mexicali Blues, a success.
Established in the summer of 1998, Mexicali Blues, with its windowed walls and colorful, fun atmosphere has been a local neighborhood favorite since its inception. Much of the traditional décor in the restaurant was brought personally from El Salvador by Ricardo, and even the recipe for their fluffy tamales are named after the woman who brought them to Mexicali, Juana, Rick's own mom. If Ricardo is responsible for the delicious food and family in the kitchen, Karen provides a friendly face out front to make sure she and the staff, work quickly and efficiently, to insure all your needs are met.
Mexicali offers a variety of real, Mexican and Salvadorian specialties. Starting with the complimentary, hand-made, roasted tomato chipotle salsa and chips, the menu includes (but is not limited to) traditional pupusas; hand-made to order corn tortilla pockets stuffed with meat, beans and cheese and grilled to a crispy perfection. They are the staple items of Mexicali Blues in addition to The Big Fat Burro; known as "The Big Daddy" of the typical burrito. The Big Fat Burro is anything but typical: they start with a large, 12-inch, tortilla and roll it around a large heaping of rice, melted Monterey jack cheese, beans and your choice of savory beef, chicken, pork, grilled-steak, or spinach (to satisfy the vegetarian pallet). As a matter of fact, all items on the Mexicali menu are vegetarian based including the refried beans, unless otherwise stated on the menu. Don't be surprised when your tacos aren't the crunchy, (American version). Theirs are the authentic, hand-made, to order, soft-shelled variety, which are topped with meat or bean and cheese. One of their most outstanding tacos is the Baja-style fish taco, which is a mouth-watering combination of marinated and char-grilled monkfish, spicy sour cream, crunchy cabbage salad, and their extra-delicious guacamole (arguably, the best in the area). These tacos are so popular that they have bumped them up from a weekend special to a daily menu item. Another item not on the menu but offered daily during the cold months, are Mexicali's soups. Each is made from scratch and change daily. Some of them are the traditional black bean, lentil, hearty beef (Res), chicken tortilla, or the hard to find and much sought after Pazole, which is a spicy, chicken and hominy-based soup, topped with crisp lettuce, onion, avocado and lemon. Each of these soups, during lunch, can be paired with a tamale or a mini burro and a beverage and can be served within fifteen minutes or your money back. You can find other Express Lunch Menu items listed daily in the front of their regular menu.
A person cannot survive on delicious food alone and Mexicali has your entire beverage needs covered. Nothing compliments traditional Central American food better than a fresh lime margarita or a cold Dos Equis, served on tap. Mexicali also hosts a large variety of bottled beers from Central America, which along with a vast array of top quality tequilas, are listed on their drink menu. And nothing pairs better with a great tequila then freshly-squeezed lime juice, a touch of orange juice, Grand Marnier -- all shaken and poured over ice into a fourteen ounce glass, rimmed with salt. (Available frozen too!)
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