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.


Duck Confit Nachos at the Dish & Dram

Nachos are the Jenga game of appetizers—before deciding which tortilla chip to pull from the pile, you peruse them all to determine which one will yield the most satisfying result. In Kensington, we’re crazy for The Dish & Dram’s version, which co-owner Zena Polin calls a mash-up of French and Tex-Mex flavors mixed with inspiration from Peking duck nachos at a San Juan, Puerto Rico, restaurant she once frequented.

To make The Dish & Dram’s nachos, chef and co-owner Jerry Hollinger braises duck legs in duck fat until tender (that’s confiting), then tops fried corn tortilla chips with the pulled and shredded meat, vinegar-and-ketchup-based Carolina barbecue sauce, and a blend of pepper jack and cheddar cheese. He bakes them until the cheese is melted, then finishes the dish with more barbecue sauce, scallion-laced sour cream, sliced house-made pickled jalapeños and pico de gallo, a zesty salsa made with tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, jalapeños and lime juice. The result, Polin says, is a trifecta of heat from the pepper jack, jalapeños and salsa, balanced by the richness of the sour cream and duck confit. It’s also the best-tasting Jenga game in town.

The Dish & Dram, 10301 Kensington Parkway, Kensington; 301-962-4046;