Amazing Mexican food, delicious drinks, trendy décor, tacos, happy hour and an almost 100% gluten-free menu is just the beginning descriptions of La Puerta Verde. Located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Ivy City, this restaurant takes pride in offering authentic Mexican food that will play with your tastebuds and let you try guacamole like you’ve never had it before!…
Before you dismiss Ivy City for being too far away from everything else in D.C., I highly suggest you check this place out and then you’ll be wanting to come back every Friday night. Perfect for date night, happy hour with your coworkers and friends, and a family gathering, La Puerta Verde has a little mixture of everything on the menu. The best part? If you are gluten-free you have nothing to worry about here. The menu is almost 100% gluten-free with the exception of two dishes which can be modified to be gluten-free. If you like a good cocktail, I suggest starting with the Sangria and the house Margarita. They also have a great happy hour menu, served at the bar only, where you can receive discounted drinks and food items, such as tacos!
If you are not familiar with Mexican corn, the Elote Loco is a must-try dish! Served on a corn on the cob, split in pieces (perfect for sharing) the sweetness and subtle spiciness of the citrus mayo and cotija cheese is a great starter. La Puerta Verde does give complementary chips and salsa, but what Mexican meal is complete without guac?! The chef at La Puerta Verde prides himself on the guacamole, setting it apart with grilled avocados and subtle hint of heat.
If you are a vegetarian, I highly suggest trying the Chile Relleno, a rice flour-breaded pepper, with roasted corn, Oaxacan cheese, and tomato especial sauce. This dish is filling with the deliciousness of the cheese and richness of the sauce, and will definitely fill you up – it’s definitely enough for one meal!
I saved the best for last, the Ceviche de Huachinango, which is probably the best ceviche I have ever had and I can’t wait to go back and eat it again. The red snapper was fresh and delicious and paired perfect with the cucumber, mango and spicy lime dressing. The corn nuts on top gave it a salty flavor and added that perfect crunch. There was a generous amount of red snapper in this dish, which makes it the perfect appetizer to share with a group, a couple, or even for one person, because once you have one bite you are going to want to eat the whole plate yourself.
To end the meal on a refreshing note, given the insane summer heat we are experiencing in D.C., the Chef recommended the Coctel de Frutas for dessert. Again, this dish was unlike anything like I have tasted before. The dish consists of fresh fruit: papaya, melon, mango, pineapple and orange, topped with a chamoy sauce and a tajin spiced rim. The chamoy sauce is sweet with a subtle hint of heat and pairs perfectly with the refreshing fruits. On the edge of the rim – just like a margarita – the bowl was lined with tajin spice, which is salty and adds the perfect balance to the refreshing fruit and sweet and spicy sauce.
To top off the amazing food, the décor of La Puerta Verde gives it a cool modern vibe with a mixture of authenticity. Tiled floor, cacti, sleek wooden tables, and bright colored fabrics will make you want to stay once you walk in the door. Next time you are in the mood for Mexican food, give La Puerta Verde a try – I guarantee this will be your next go-to spot.