March-April 2019 | Food & Drink

In the Mood for Mexican

Here are 10 offerings that highlight the crunchy, cheesy, citrusy, picante deliciousness of Mexican dishes and the food inspired by them

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Photo by Deb Lindsey.

Queso Loaded at Nada

In November, Cincinnati-based Boca Restaurant Group opened its fifth outlet—first on the East Coast—of Nada at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda. A signature dish of the Mexican-influenced restaurant—a take on queso blanco called queso loaded—came with it. One taste confirms why the company refers to it as liquid gold.

Chef Ford Barsi, an alum of Carmine’s in the District, explains how it’s made. “We melt smoked Gouda and sharp white cheddar cheese, then add Velveeta and cream cheese to get that crazy creaminess. Then we fold in our habanero kreeper salsa, made with corn, apple cider vinegar, roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, onions and habanero chiles.” The molten cheese goes into a copper Turkish coffee pot and gets an Instagrammable moment as it’s poured tableside into a bowl holding black bean purée, more habanero kreeper salsa (the heat “kreeps” up on you, Barsi says), pico de gallo and pickled red onions and peppers. When you dig in with the flaky white corn tortilla chips that come with the queso, you get a different flavor combination with each scoop.

Nada, 11886 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda; 301-770-4040;