The Tia Queta Restaurant offers authentic Mexican food at 4839 Del Ray Avenue in Bethesda, MD 20814. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.
There are many Mexican restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area, but not many feature the food typical of Mexico. Tia Queta stands out from the bunch by providing dishes that may be found in the southern regions of Mexico away from the influences of Tex-Mex, California and New Mexico cuisines tailored for the American public.
The interior of Tia Queta's restaurant has wall decorations typical of Mexico. The wood beams along the ceiling and the pots with plants create a semi-rural setting that might be found in a Mexican hacienda.
Tia Queta, like most Mexican restaurants, provide a dish of salsa with a basket of corn chips as a complementary appetizer.
The Tacos are rolled tortillas filled with either chicken or beef which are fried until crisp and served on a bed of lettuce with cheese, onions and three sauces.
The Tacos al Carbon are soft corn tortillas served with grilled beef or chicken. You are supposed to add salsa, roll them up and eat them with your hands.
A second visit to Tia Queta did not make as good impression as the first. Some of the dishes have changed and the menu seems more Americanized except for the names. The Squid appetizer was what you are likely to find in Italian restaurants, but the sauce is somewhat different from a marinara sauce.
The mushroom appetizer was really good. The cremini mushrooms were simmered in a sauce with garlic, tomatoes, onions and spices that was delicious.
The shrimp with pineapple was also very tasty. The tanginess of the sauce and the sweetness of the grilled pineapple combine well. However, look at the pale rice compared to the two pictures from an earlier visit. This is no longer the flavorful Mexican rice seasoned with onions and tomatoes that is traditional in Mexico. This was not a change for the better.
Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce made with roasted ancho peppers and flavored with garlic, cumin, oregano and chocolate. The Tia Queta version lacks the spiciness and aroma of the genuine mole.
Enchiladas are tortillas basted with a red spicy sauce and filled with beef, chicken or cheese. Additional sauce is served on top of the rolled tortillas, and the enchiladas are then garnished with cheese.
Call the Tia Queta restaurant at (301) 654-4443. Find more information about the restaurant at its web site: www.tiaqueta.com