There's a fair amount of choices for Tex Mex fare in downtown Bethesda--Guapo's, Uncle Julio's Rio Grande, Tia Queta, to name just a few. And they all have something to commend them. One of the newest kids on the block, Plaza del Sol, is a refreshing change from those old standbys, however. This restaurant pays more attention to what it puts on the plate than those other places do, probably because PdS is a smaller, family-owned restaurant and the others have perfected systems of mass producing their food for the hungry crowds.
You might miss PdS if you are walking briskly. It is a narrow building tucked in between other restaurants, and it's easy to miss the sign. There is also a narrow patio adjacent to the building where you can eat outside in nice whether.
Inside, the seating area is also long and thin, with tables along each side. The ambiance is dark but pleasant. When I've been there, the servers have been pretty new, but what they lacked in experience they made up with enthusiasm. They were also very open to our questions about food preparation, etc.
To start, the chips are hot and delicious, with just the right amount of salt. I ordered a frozen margarita to acompany it, and I was expecting the usual overly sweet, minimal-alcohol concoction. Instead, the alcohol totally overpowered the mix, so much so that it was difficult to drink. The server kindly replaced the drink after I abashedly admitted it was too strong.
My party tried a variety of dishes, all delicious, and all made with subtle flavors. Even the fajitas defied the usual Tex Mex fare, seasoned in a way that made it particularly tender and tasty. Salads were also very good. While they weren't as big as something you'd get at one of the chain restaurants, the quality of the ingredients was superior: fresher, crispier, and more vibrant.
If you're looking for a Tex Mex experience in Bethesda, just this once pass up the old standards and give PdS a try. I bet you'll be back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.