DC, much like like the rest of the world, places a premium on room. Spacious interior seating, plenty of bar stools, and most importantly – especially during the warmer months – outdoor seating. Enter Mission Restaurant in the popular Dupont Circle corridor.
Spacious interior with two, that’s right, two bars: one long bar on the main floor and a smaller bar with more seating room upstairs (sadly where the only bathrooms are), and plenty of outdoor seating.
This place is great for large groups, outdoor day drinking and people watching, oh, and it has some pretty solid food as well.
Oh yeah, and a phone booth, because you know, when Y3K comes they want to be prepared.
You’ll start, as DistrictMisfit and I did, with complimentary chips and salsa, which is seasoned great with a mix of fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and a little bit of a kick. The salsa was great, and it isn’t the standard runny salsa you will find at some places.
Moving on to more substantial fare, the Ceviche de Pescado y Aguacate with tilapia, fresh advocado, onion, cilantro and tomatoes was crisp, light and refreshing. The lime juice brightens up the palate and the tender fish and fresh vegetables make this dish. Perfect to have on the table to cut through traditionally heavier Mexican dishes.
The Sopes Campechanos which come as three handmade tortillas topped with refried beans, tilapia, habanero, shrimp and grated cheese are delicious. The tortilla cups are tender on the inside with a crispy exterior. The beans are creamy while the tender and perfectly cooked shrimp provide a contrast in texture and flavor. These were one of our favorite items for sure. Certainly perfect with some Mexican beers and filling enough to hit the rest of Dupont Circle without feeling too full.
But lets not forget the cocktails. There a number of specialty hand-crafted cocktails to choose from. We liked the Mexican Summer Brew a lot. A tall ice filled pint glass with Tito’s vodka, raspberry simple syrup, fresh lime juice, Corona Light and club soda. Very refreshing indeed.
We also enjoyed the Pineapple jalapeno margarita with Tantaleo Jalapeno Tequila with Cointreau, fresh lemon sour mix, pineapple juice and house-made jalapeno simple syrup. Clean and fresh with just the right amount of heat – not too overpowering either.
What’s a Mexican place without solid tacos. Mission offers a trio of tacos made with chicken, steak and pork topped traditionally with cilantro and white onions, with a side of refried beans, and Spanish-style rice, along with a cilantro infused salsa verde of sorts. The double wrapped house-made corn tortillas were very true to Mexico, while the meats were all seasoned very well. We like the steak and pork best, and while the chicken was a tad dry, they all were delicious.
The owners Fritz and Reed go out of their way to make sure each guest is treated like a friend as they provide a warm atmosphere for gathering and eating. The staff were all extremely pleasant and cordial. I think Mission should certainly be a go-to spot for al fresco dinning in the summer, and gathering in their spacious interior when the months grow cold.
Hey, there’s always plenty of jalepeno-infused cocktails to keep you warm!