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REVIEW: El Centro D.F., Washington, D.C.

REVIEW: El Centro D.F., Washington, D.C.

Bacon-wrapped shrimp at Washington, D.C's El Centro D.F.

Bacon – does it ever cease to amaze with its wondrousness?

(Non-meat eaters, forgive me – and rest assured, I ate nothing but veggie bacon for years as a teenager, and loved that too).

First, news emerges of Sizzl, a new dating app for lovers of the streaky meat. Then I try turkey bacon for the first time (I’m sold). Days later, I open my menu at El Cantro D.F. – a super cool Mexican eatery in Washington, D.C. – and find bacon served in a way I’ve never tried before: wrapped around skewered shrimp. It’s the quickest I’ve decided on an order this year.

I’m pleased to report both the thick strips of pork belly and the giant, meaty shrimp sizzled to perfection during my meal, presented alongside a medley of lightly roasted vegetables.

The dish was also accompanied by a petite portion of feather-light sweetcorn tamale – another first for me, as a British foodie. And I’m positively salivating at the memory. A gorgeous, doughy combination of blended corn puree, cream, flour, butter and sugar steamed in corn husk (and in this case, served in it), this understated mix of savory and sweet made my taste buds short-circuit.

El Centro D.F.'s tacos are little works of art
El Centro D.F.’s tacos are little works of art

This hipstery establishment is also known for its explosive tacos and killer mescal, but the other highlight of my party’s meal was the humongous bowl of guacamole with freshly toasted chips we shared (it’s no surprise it was so great – the restaurant has just hosted a festival dedicated to the crowdpleasing green dip, boasting a rainbow of zany recipes).

The lightly diced peppers, tomato and onion and the gluttonous chunks of avocado were pulverized at the table by our server; the ‘supremo’ version also includes creamy white cheese, pumpkins seeds and, evidently, my two favorite ingredients – bacon and corn.

Thank you, El Cantro D.F., for reminding me of this so boldly – and for proving that sometimes, it pays to order what jumps out at you first.

For more information on El Centro D.F., visit the official website by clicking here.