Feliz Año Nuevo en DC
December 27, 2007 7:56 AM   Subscribe

We're throwing a Mexican-themed New Year's Eve party. Where's the best place to buy the booze, food and decorations in Washington DC?

- The drinks - Cheap Coronas and drinkable tequila?
- The food - Tamales or tacos al pastor? (Preferably prepared for easy heating)
- The decorations - Piñatas, etc?
posted by TrashyRambo to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You want to go authentic Mexican party or an American "Mexican-themed" Party? I mean do you really want to serve Coronas (Mexican-themed) or Tecate in a can (Mexican)?

Also, what Mexico are you looking for? You could go for Sonoran style that's what most Americans think of as "Mexican" food. You could go for Mexican food from the Mexico region of the country of Mexico with food like they serve at Mixtec in Adams-Morgan. You could serve rum and garlic shrimp with white corn tortillas and go for a coastal Veracruz sorta fiesta...
posted by Pollomacho at 8:18 AM on December 27, 2007

Coronas & drinkable tequila you can probably get at just about any liquor store these days.

Tamales - there's a place (not Mexican, but that's typical in DC) I like at Eastern Market that serves delicious & varied tamales. I bet you could order a whole bunch of food there. It's right at the actual market, sorry I can't remember the name. I think it's salvadoran. Anyway, it's next to an italian deli type place. You could also get empanadas in Adams Morgan at Julia's. Freaking delicious. I would think Adams Morgan might have piñatas somewhere. There's that Mexican restaurant (Mixtec) at the corner of 18th and Colombia - you could go in there and ask for suggestions.

Laurel, MD apparently has a mexican grocery store. You could check them out.
posted by Amizu at 8:43 AM on December 27, 2007

The drinks - Cheap Coronas and drinkable tequila?

From what I've seen Corona is more a beer for export, similar to Fosters and Australia. Go with Tecate/Pacifico. [quick tequila primer] For Tequila go with a "true" tequila- one that's 100% agave, it should say it on the label. The alternative is a "gold" tequila, like Cuervo Gold, that's a blend of tequila and other stuff. There's three varieties- blanco, reposado, and anejo; blanco is clear and has the strongest "tequila" flavor and is unaged, reposado is slightly aged and smokey, and anejo is the most aged and smokey. For a good "inexpensive" tequila you're looking at about $30, I'd recommend the Jose Cuervo Tequila Traditional, if you want to pay more go with Cabo Wabo (hate the name and Hagar but good tequila) or Don Julio, or Patron, but those will be $40+. I go to Snyder's liquors on Capitol Hill, they've got a decent selection and there's a guy there who's a tequila expert.

The food - Tamales or tacos al pastor? (Preferably prepared for easy heating)

I was going to recommend either a roach coach or Tortilla Cafe, which is the same place that Amizu is recommending. They are Salvadorean but the Mexican dishes are good, you can get tacos and tamales but their papusas and yucca & pork (while not Mexican) are good.

The decorations - Piñatas, etc?

Try the Arlington Latin Market on Wilson Blvd in Arlington.
posted by Challahtronix at 9:00 AM on December 27, 2007

There's a party store in Georgetown that would probably have good decorations - I think this is it:

posted by troika at 9:37 AM on December 27, 2007

Frankly, my initial questions don't matter. You are going to find everything you need at the best prices in the DC area by taking a drive up University Blvd. in Langley Park, MD.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:52 AM on December 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers so far. We've just moved from Mexico City to DC so my definition of a Mexican party is what we had there: Coronas / Dos Equis without lime (or served as micheladas), tamales, tacos, pico de gallo and margaritas.

Looks like we should check out Langley Park.
posted by TrashyRambo at 10:48 AM on December 27, 2007

You're in a great area to do such shopping, as others have said already. For pinatas, you can go to just about any of the "party superstores" in the area--they'll all have a good variety. And the liquor store on Capitol Hill is Schneider's (my favorite, too).
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:38 AM on December 27, 2007

And the liquor store on Capitol Hill is Schneider's

No wonder I couldn't find it Googling; thanks.
posted by Challahtronix at 1:14 PM on December 27, 2007

There are many pan-Latin markets in Langley Park, but they are predominantly Salvadorean. The Mexicans are concentrated in Bladensburg, roughly along the stretch of Kenilworth Avenue bounded to the north by the East-West Highway and the south by Annapolis Rd. There are also several smaller stores on Edmonston, which runs parallel to Kenilworth. Area map.

You can tell by the trucks. Langley Park=pupuserias. Bladensburg=taquerias.
posted by alopez at 3:35 PM on December 27, 2007

Seconding Pacifico. It's not hard to get, but is a little less of a cliche than Coronas.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:14 PM on December 27, 2007

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