2014 | Dine

Sneak Peek: Bethesda’s Gringos & Mariachis

Get your tequila, whiskey and tacos

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Co-owner Roberto Pietrobono said he originally envisioned Gringos & Mariachis as “a dive taco place.” But the hip, rustic Mexican restaurant that’s officially opening next Tuesday, February 11, turned out much nicer, says Pietrobono, who with his brother Riccardo, also owns the popular Olazzo restaurants in Bethesda and Silver Spring.

Indeed, this taqueria is cool.

Several murals, painted by three different local artists, give the brick walls a dramatic splash. One features a woman in a sombrero surrounded by the message “Make Tacos, Not War,” another depicts a Mexican “Day of the Dead” sugar skull.

Other touches include an antique-looking liquor cabinet stashed with tequila bottles, gold-textured wallpaper, faux finish wood tables, brown leather booths, roped chandeliers and a 17-seat bar made from reclaimed wood.

As for the food, look for starters such as duck nachos, chorizo-stuffed dates and bacon-wrapped jalapenos. The nearly 15 types of tacos, which range in price from $6 to $8 for two, include al pastor (marinated braised pork and beef with grilled pineapple, grilled onion and cilantro) and barbacoa (braised lamb, salsa, onion and cilantro).

Platters, which won’t top $20, feature a 28-ingredient mole poblano, enchiladas, carne asada, chile relleno, pipian verde and red snapper Veracruzana.

And save room for the drinks: Tequila, whiskey, margaritas, plus 10 beers on tap.

4928 Cordell Ave. Bethesda, 240-800-4266, www.gringosandmariachis.com