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Y&H doesn’t typically spend months researching each and every column he writes. For reasons of personal sanity and this daily little time suck, my columns need to be researched and written at a much faster clip.

But this week’s Young & Hungry, the second installment of our Stealing Home series, literally took months to bring together. But I have a good excuse: I couldn’t find a place in the area that did Tex-Mex right. Let me tell you, I ate more crappy enchiladas than you can imagine — and not the good-greasy crappy ones, either, the kind in which melted Velveeta oozes from every opening of your tightly wound corn tortilla.

I almost gave up hope that I’d ever find one. I figured D.C. considered itself too refined, too sophisticated to revel in the simple joys of processed cheese and chili gravy. At one point, I shared my frustrations with my buddy, Robb Walsh, food critic and author of The Tex-Mex Cookbook. He was sympathetic.

“East Coast Tex-Mex is tough,” Walsh wrote me, “these folks will slather Cheez Whiz on a philly cheese steak and wash it down with chocolate Yoo-Hoo, but god forbid you put Velveeta in their enchiladas.”

“I say, ‘Let them eat pizza,'” he concludes.

I was ready to kiss off the whole Tex-Mex scene here, too, until I ran across one joint in Crystal City that comes as close as you’re going to find in these parts. You can read about it here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery