El Mexicano

Mexican, Salvadoran
$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

If you don't live in the neighborhood, you've probably never noticed El Mexicano (formerly Chela's Place), just steps from busy Wisconsin Avenue on a little side street in downtown Bethesda. This lively Mexican/Salvadoran carryout is literally a small shack, with a couple of picnic tables outside and barely room for a few customers to stand inside. There is no printed menu. Specials -- written on paper plates tacked to the wall -- consist mainly of tacos, burritos, pupusas and the like. It's hard to push an order total much over $5. A splendid relic that opens only for breakfast and lunch, it takes only cash.

--Nancy Lewis (April 26, 2006)