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El Centro D.F. Debuts the First of Four Quarterly Festivals Celebrating Mexican Cooking

Posted on Jan 04,2013
Filed Under Restaurants , Local Tastes,

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Richard Sandoval’s vibrant Taqueria and Tequileria, El Centro D.F., will ring in the New Year with a Tamale Festival, the first of four quarterly festivals celebrating Mexican cooking.  Other festivals are planned for 2013 and include the guacamole festival, chile relleno festival and mole festival.  The Tamale Festival will run February 2nd through March 31st and will highlight the traditional Latin American dish made of stuffed masa wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves that are then steamed or boiled.  Over time, tamales have taken on regional influences, resulting in hundreds of varieties of fillings and wrappings found throughout Latin America.  El Centro’s first annual Tamale Festival will showcase regional tamales combining authentic ingredients in unexpected ways crafted by Chef Richard Sandoval and his culinary team.  Standout dishes not to be missed include: Chile Relleno de Tamal Durango, stuffed chile poblano with chicken tinga tamal, Mexican cheese, chorizo black beans, salsa jalisco, crema fresca, and cotija; Tamal de Pescado a la Campeche, red snapper tamal in banana leaves with epazote, tomato, masa, Serrano, cilantro, and grilled yellow squash served in a molcajete; Pork Tamal Estilo Oaxaca, pork tamal in banana leaves, mole negro, charro beans, and creamy plantain rice; Tamales Fritos Toluca, friend chicken tinga tamal, refried black beans, Mexican rice, poblano salsa, crema fresca, and pickled veggies, and the Tamal de Frijol con Queso, bean and cheese tamales, Mexican rice, refried beans, entomatada salsa, poblano crema, and pickled veggies.  The Tamales Tradicionales is a platter of mini tamales served family-style, and includes Fried Chicken Tamal with tomatillo salsa; Sweet Corn Tamal with queso fresco; Mole Pork Tamal, and Frijol con Queso with entomatada salsa.  For the perfect ending, a Tamales de Dulce, sweet corn tamal with crema dulce, raisins, and café de olla will also be available, priced at $4.95.  Entrée prices range from $12.95 to $19.95 each.

El Centro D.F. will kick-off this promotion on Three Kings Day, which marks the arrival of the three wise men, or three kings, who according to Christianity, were a group of distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Mexican tradition states that on Dia de los Reyes, or Three Kings Day, everyone is to enjoy Rosca de Reyes, Mexican sweet bread, which is baked with a hidden doll or bean inside to represents baby Jesus.  The search for the doll symbolizes the three wise men’s search and discovery of the baby Jesus.  On January 4th, 5th, and 6th, guests enjoying dinner service will receive complimentary Roscón de Reyes.  Whoever finds the hidden doll inside the bread each night will win an El Centro “Tamale Kick-Off Party” for four people, to be held on Saturday, February 2nd from 10 PM to 11 PM.  At this pre-party, the winners and their guests will each enjoy two Tamales Tradicionales platters representing the restaurant’s upcoming menu, along with complimentary Margaritas Tradicionales, house red and white wine, and beer.

The Three Kings Day Celebration will be held Friday, January 4th, Saturday, February 5th, and Sunday, January 6th, 2013 from 5 PM to 11 PM.  The Tamale Pre-Party will take place Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 from 10 PM to 11 PM.  The Tamale Festival will run exclusively during dinner service from Saturday, February 2nd through Sunday, March 31st, 2013.

El Centro D.F. is located at 1819 14th St., NW, 20009.  For reservations or more information please call (202) 328-3131 or visit


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