You have to love the counter-intuitive chutzpah, the iron-willed stubbornness, even the screw-the-critics contrariness of Sery Kim over at NBC Washington who writes that, “Lauriol Plaza is sheer bliss,” and that the much-maligned temple of Tex-Mex is “[s]uperb, superb, superb.”
She and the editors over at NBC Washington dub it the “Best Mexican Food in D.C.”
You can’t begrudge someone’s dining opinion. The palate is too personal to start casting aspersions on anyone’s taste (though, God knows such activities make for good copy and reality TV.) But Kim, whoever the critic is, should have at least done a Google search on the place to help put this glowing review in better context; if you’re going to call Lauriol Plaza the best Mexican joint in D.C., you desperately need to acknowledge how far you’re going against the prevailing critical thinking.
You should also understand that there’s a difference between Mexican cuisine and Tex-Mex. You should also know that the chimichanga was created in Arizona, not Mexico or Texas. You should also read Jule Banville’s definitive take on Lauriol Plaza. You should also show some awareness of the Salvadoran/Mexican hybrids that dominate this area. You should also have a much better grasp of the cooking taking place in the so-called Little Mexico area in Bladensburg, including the routinely delicious El Tapatio.
You should, in other words, have a much firmer grasp of the city’s Latin offerings before making such a bold statement. End of speech.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery