There’s Actually Good Mexican Food in the DC Area. In a Gas Station.

Yesterday, Tyler Cowen blogged about R&R Tacqueria, the deli attached to the Shell gas station at 7894 Washington Blvd. in Elkridge, Maryland. Yes, seriously. Blogged about a deli attached to a gas station.

Since Tyler is for all intents and purposes my boss, I naturally had to go check it out today. (No, seriously, it turns out that I needed to be in Laurel, Maryland just before lunch time, so it was perfect happenstance.)

Tyler wrote:

It is the best huarache I have eaten, ever, including in Mexico. It is the best chile relleno I’ve had in the United States, ever. They serve among the best Mexican soups I have had, ever, and I have been to Mexico almost twenty times.

I thought he was exaggerating, that it would be good in a “hey, I actually got good food at a gas station” kinda way. You know, “it sure beats Go Go Taquitos!”

But no. Their tacos are actually good. Really good. As in blow your mind good.

The whole way home I was debating whether or not I would drive 50 minutes for good tacos. I’ve flown to Barcelona for dinner, so yes I suppose I would if I really wanted good tacos. The only question will be, how often?

For years I’ve wanted good Mexican food in the DC area. Not Salvadoran food. Not Chipotle (which is highly underrated). But actual good Mexican food. This is it.

It’s not a date place. And it’s not a long, lingering meal place. But it is good food.

We drove up, park in the Shell parking lot. The place is attached to the gas station but has its own entrance, inside the two businesses are walled off by hard plastic. And then you’ve just got a real honest to goodness kitchen.

There are only three stools and two counters. We came in and two folks were eating at one counter, we took the other counter. My wife sat, I was happy to stand.

We ordered ourselves six tacos and a soda to share, they didn’t want our money until we were done eating and the bill came to $13 and change all-in.

Not much English is spoken, though at the counter they get by. About ten people came in for takeout while we were there, none of them spoke English either. Everything was top notch, from fresh made tortillas (they use two per taco so they don’t fall apart) to some of the most flavorful meat I’ve tasted.

(I didn’t have my camera, photos were taken with my blackberry.)

I can no longer claim that it’s impossible to find decent Mexican food in the DC area, if you can call Elkridge, Maryland the DC area…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. You’re kidding me. About a year ago, I got off 95 for gas and some food and pulled into this deli after surveying the local food options. Then I ordered a turkey hero.

  2. Good — I feel slightly better now.

    Looking at the Google Map, I was thinking of the deli/lunch counter/convenience store at the southern end of the strip mall that shares the Shell parking lot.

  3. Mmmmm I just had the carnitas and carne asada. Definitely worth the 20 minute trip. What is that saucy food in the last picture?

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