Tacos seem to be all the rage these days. Not that they haven’t always been loved, but they seem to get more and more popular. Recently opened in my neighborhood (Arlington’s Columbia Pike) is the brick-and-mortar version of a beloved Mexican food truck, Tortas y Tacos La Chiquita. Don’t be fooled by the name–this place serves more than tortas and tacos.
I had never been to the food truck, but was thrilled to try their new home. It’s small, but it’s brightly colored and plays upbeat music. Staff is friendly and helpful.
Over two visits, I tried the asada huarache, carnitas quesadilla, and a variety of tacos: pollo, al pastor, asada, and pescado. Everything was excellent. Huaraches are like a bigger version of a sope. Fried masa topped with beans, cheese, cactus, and meat; you really cannot go wrong. If you’ve never had cactus, I recommend trying it hear. Nicely seared, it’s like eating a pepper. If I hadn’t been told it was cactus, I wouldn’t have known. The quesadillas are huge, and are filled with tomato and guacamole, along with cheese and meat. The street tacos are traditional: two tortillas, meat, cucumber, lime, radish. The standard red and green sauces are offered; I opted for the spicier red version. La Chiquita does not skimp on the fillings, so prepare to leave full. As for the meat fillings, my favorites, across all preparations, are the asada and al pastor. Both are crisp and flavorful. However, if chicken is your thing, this is probably the best chicken taco I’ve had, as the chicken is well-seasoned, but not dry. Pozole is offered on weekends. In addition to Jarritos bottled sodas, other drinks include tamarindo, horchata, and limonada.
There are many places for Mexican cuisine, especially tacos, not only in Arlington, but in the D.C. area, and many are quite good. But you’d be doing yourself a favor to swing by this small restaurant on Columbia Pike and enjoy a meal.