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“Good...way better than Cyclone Anaya's!”

Rosa Mexicano - National Harbor
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Price range: $31 - $50
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Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: Metro bus line picks up from the Southern Avenue rail station, Indian Head Hwy & Southern Ave(DC line),Oxon Hill Park & Ride Lot and St. George Blvd. & Waterfront St. (National Harbor)
Description: In 1984, Rosa Mexicano set a new standard for Mexican cuisine when it first opened on the upper east side of New York City. Playing a leading role in defining what was then a "new" cuisine to American diners, Rosa Mexicano delivers authentic Mexican cooking in an accessible, stylishly festive atmosphere. Rosa Mexicano's menu features a range of award-winning signature dishes, including our Guacamole en Molcajete, in a traditional lava rock mortar. Described by Time Out New York as "green ecstasy in a stone bowl," it is prepared table side and served with house made chips, warm corn tortillas and condiment salsas. Rosa Mexicano is also known for the Frozen Pomegranate Margarita, as well as the stylish and festive ambiance that includes an illuminated water wall.
Reviewed August 4, 2017 via mobile

After our horrible experience at Cyclone Anaya's I both craved Mexican food and was nervous to have horrible Mexican food again. But alas, we decided on Rosa while spending the day at National Harbor.

First impression of the place was that it was wayyyyy larger than I anticipated. It's huge inside! They offer indoor and outdoor seating. They had a decent lunch crowd.

The hostess greeted us with a huge smile. When we asked if any tables were available outdoors she said there was a table available that had 2 sunny seats and two shady seats. I appreciated that she knew this information knowing that people are interested in sitting outside but that they want to be in the shade. The disappointing part was that there were a ton of tables available in the shade but there "wasn't a server in that section." Ok, well how bout moving the server from the sunny section over to the shady section since most people like outdoor dining but don't want to stick to their seat and have sweat pouring down their backs while eating hot food (which is ultimately what happened to us). If I could go back, I would eat inside even though we had an awesome view outside. It was just TOO hot in the sun. And our 2 shade, 2 sun seats wound up being 1 shade, 3 sun seats.

Our server was good. He greeted us right away and offered to take our beverage order. I was disappointed that when I asked for a chambord margarita and instead of asking me what it was he told me they didn't have Chambord. Considering he didn't even pronounce it correctly when repeating it with a quizzical look, I thought there was a good chance that they did have it and he just wasn't sure what it was. So I checked the bar while going to the bathroom and indeed, they had it! I pointed it out to him and got my Chambord margarita...on the rocks, with a sugar rim, which was delicious! Not the best one I've had out but good! Now he knows about Chambord so it's a win, win! Lol

Chips and salsa were brought to the table. There was a nice crunch to the chip. The salsa seemed fresh. It was delicious. We were offered more. I always love chips and salsa being brought to the table!

We ordered nachos as an appetizer. I'm not sure what it is but no one in this area seem to serve nachos piled high the way we are used to. They all give half tortilla type things. In this case, he brought the plate of nachos out and cut them up in front of us so the tortillas which were stacked about three high, were cut in fours. There were toppings in between each layer. The flavor was good. I just prefer regular nachos. We would definitely have these again, though.

They were able to make me cheese enchiladas even though they weren't on the menu. I got them in a creamy tomatillo sauce. The sauce was good. I prefer a regular tomatillo sauce as opposed to creamy. My man got the beef enchiladas and he wished that he went with chicken but he said they were pretty good. There was one bowl of rice and beans that was put in the center of the table. We weren't sure if it went with one of our entrees but considering we both got enchiladas it wouldn't make sense to only have one bowl of sides. Maybe it was two portions combined? Unsure. They were pretty good. The rice tasted like chipotle which I am not a fan of so I only had a tiny bit. The beans were good.

My aunt had ceviche which she said was good and my little cousin barely touched his food because he OD-ed on chips and salsa by then. My man tried his steak though and said it needed more seasoning. I must say though, for a children's menu item, the presentation was great! It looked really appetizing.

The bathroom had a lot of stalls and it was clean inside. The whole restaurant appeared clean as I walked through to get to the bathroom.

We would return here. It is pretty pricey, though. For two appetizers, two entrees, two drinks and a kids meal it cost us about $120 with tip...for LUNCH. That's expensive in my opinion. Especially considering we go to a local place where the food is WAY better and we pay less than half of that price.

Thank Lovezubrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 4, 2017

THE FOOD
Warning: This is not your typical Tex/Mex place! Went with a friend on a beautiful week night. Sat at an inside table over looking the water which had magnificent views. They also have two separate outdoor dining areas. Ordered the table side guacamole immediately. So fresh and delicious, prepared to your liking, either mild, medium or spicy. We just needed more . . . I had the "Budín de Pollo, Puebla," which is described on the menu as: Braised chicken tinga layered with soft corn tortillas, Chihuahua cheese, roasted Mexican peppers and grilled corn. Over poblano cream sauce." It was hot, tasty and a very large sized portion, enough to take some home for lunch the next day. The chefs use an amazing variety of authentic spices to make the food very tasty. The friend had a trio of Mexican enchiladas which she enjoyed immensely. Rice and beans are served together family style in a single bowl. The food was wonderful, a huge variety of dishes from various regions in Mexico.

THE SERVICE
This is where our meal fell short, First, I asked our server to check the balance on a gift card I had. He returned moments later saying he did not know how to do it, but that the balance would show up later when we paid our bill. What? Next, I asked him for their gluten free menu, which is a double sided menu with both GF and Vegetarian dishes. He came back and said that GF and V items were marked on the menus, which they were. Apparently, the restaurant changed their menus since the last time I was there. But, why did he not know this?

The bill came, I gave him the gift card to apply, having no idea how much was on it. After applying the card to our meal, the balance was very low. Too bad, had we known ahead of time how much of the meal our card covered, we would have ordered more!

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Thank Morgana777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2017

We went back to Rosa Mexicano after a lukewarm experience the first time. This was much better. Great service. Excellent food. The table side guacamole is to die for. Our waitress (I forgot to note her name) was very attentive and really made our visit pleasant. It's such a great location in National Harbor that I am glad we gave it a second chance.

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Thank PKPSU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2017

The service was good. The patio was very nice and the view was great. The food was just ok. It was really overpriced for what you receive and some of the flavors seemed a little off. I don't think we would return.

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Thank Colleen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2017

Try to get a seat by the harbor windows, first. Then be sure to order the guacamole which is made at your table. The salsa is pretty good as well. Hand made margaritas are pretty good, but expensive, 15 bucks each, but all fresh ingredients. Dinner menu was pretty typical, seemed authentic and fresh ingredients. Service and food was good, but nothing too special. It is a good stop for this cuisine for the harbor area.

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Thank Lindsey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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