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Avg. Customer Review (5.0 Palms): 5.0 Palms
Number of Reviews: 2

Review Type: Restaurant
401 7th Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004
Dedicated GF: No
Phone: 202-628-1005
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2 reviews available

Unique Mexican restaurant with gluten-free menu in Washington, DC,

Reviewer: from The Washington DC metro area - See all reviews by GFFoodCritic

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana is a Mexican restaurant in Northwest Washington, D.C. When you arrive the first thing you notice are the deep orange walls and the Oaxacan art scattered all around the restaurant. I find it spectacular. It states right up front you’re in for a Mexican treat. Oyamel serves mostly Antojitos or little dishes from the streets. I love going to restaurants that serve little dishes. It gives you an opportunity to try many different dishes and while having more control on how much food you want to eat. Oyamel is owned by Jose Andres’ Thinkfood group of restaurants. Jose Andres creates imaginative menus that use whole ingredients and layers of flavors. This makes it easier to have items cooked both gluten and dairy free. Oyamel has a gluten free menu and a dairy free menu. This means they list all of their dishes that are gluten or dairy free as prepared but on separate menus. I wish they would also create a menu that shows what is both gluten and dairy free. I always print the menu before I go to the restaurant and check things that I am interested in. When they give me both menus I then note on the menu I brought which is gluten free and then which is dairy free. Then I find the items that have both notations and I choose from there. Jose, if you are reading this please make a combo menu, please! But please don’t change up the great job your restaurants do at feeding me wonderful food that is safe for me to eat. The first thing we ordered upon sitting down, was their signature Margarita. I asked for salt and when it arrived I was perplexed. Our waitress Ivana promised there was salt. I took a sip and she was right. The foam on top was salty. These Margaritas were so good I had two. Can’t even remember the last time I thought a Margarita was good enough to have another. Warning, this may give you the nerve to try cactus, beef tongue tacos and grasshopper tacos. Read on to see which ones we tried. We then received a bowl of their smoky chipotle salsa but since they cook their tortilla chips in oil where gluten containing food is cooked, they brought us their fresh made corn tortillas. This would be my second request for the restaurant. Even if they made a batch of chips in the oven for us it would be nice to have the crunch with the salsa. However, the tortillas were delicious. We both started with ceviches: Ceviche De Huachinango-Red snapper with avocado in salsa mexicana of tomato, sweet onion, cilantro and lime juice. Ceviche Verde “El Bajio”-Wahoo with avocado, green olives and jalapeo chilies. Next came an assortment of antojitos, vegetables and tacos. They are served as soon as they were ready from the kitchen. It’s like a party just for you and they bring it right to your table. We ordered the following: Codorniz con sikil p’ak – Grilled quail with a traditional Mayan sauce of toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, tomato and habanero chile, and filled with a cactus salad. Tamal Verde- Tamal with green sauce of tomatillo, shredded chicken breast, chili, garlic and cilantro. Mejillones al tequila con chipotle - Steamed mussels with tequila, sauteed garlic and chipotle sauce. Tacos de Cochinita pibil con cebolla en escabeche – Yucatan- style pit-barbecued pork with pickled red onion and Mexican sour orange. Taco de Tinga poblana- Stew of shredded chicken with potatoes, chorizo, and chipotle, topped with white onion. Tacos de Lengua Guisada – Braised beef tongue with radishes and a sauce of roasted pasilla chili, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Nopal asado con Salsa Molcajete – Grilled fresh cactus paddles served with a salsa molcajete of grilled tomatoes, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro and green onions. Arroz de Huitlacoche con queso fresco – Rice sauteed with black Mexican corn truffles, queso fersco cheese and epazote herb oil. My favorite dishes were the ceviches, pork tacos and tamal. The beef tongue taco was very tender and flavorful and I enjoyed that much more than I thought I would. I’ve watched Guy Fieri eat beef tongue on his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so often and he always had a strange look on his face but then would say how flavorful and tender it was. So this was Guy’s fault that I tried it. Glad I did. Not sure if I’ll try the grasshopper tacos but you never know. There were still many items on the menu I wanted to try (how often do you get to say that about eating out gluten and dairy free) but I couldn’t eat another bite. We were stuffed. This of course means we will need to go back. Originally published by Diane Elbin (a.k.a. The GF Food Critic) on The W.H.O.L.E. Gang website ( and submitted to GlutenFreeTravelSite with permission.

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Oyamel for gluten-free Mexican,

Reviewer: from DC/MD/VA, - See all reviews by DC_Celiacs

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
I had dinner with friends at Oyamel on Saturday. Via Open Table, I let them know that one in the group would like a gluten-free menu. The server brought a dedicated gluten-free menu without asking and was knowledgeable advising me that the chips were done in the same fryer as wheat-based items. I was impressed. BTW, the mussels dish was fantastic. Highly recommended. POSTED BY DC CELIACS SUPPORT GROUP

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