This thing you should try: Peking duck tacos at El Rey

The Peking duck taco at El Rey will be offered "at least through mid-April," says Ian Hilton, who runs the U Street taqueria with his brother Eric. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post) The Peking duck taco at El Rey will be offered "at least through mid-April," says Ian Hilton, who runs the U Street taqueria with his brother Eric. (Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

We love our tacos. A lot. So when we find a new taco – especially one that seems like a novelty item – we’re always a little skeptical about its staying power. But the Peking Duck taco at El Rey, which will be offered through at least mid-April, is a standout.

First: No, it’s not served on a pancake, and it’s not filled with actual peking duck. Instead, the tortilla is filled with dry-aged duck breast rubbed with Chinese five-spice, shreds of duck confit, green onions, pieces of cucumber and a sticky hoisin sauce. The all-important crackle comes from duck "chicharrones," or fried duck skin.

It’s a symphony of flavors and textures that doesn’t taste exactly like the duck off the cart at Peking Gourmet, but at $3 each, they’re well worth sampling – especially under El Rey’s glass roof on a nice evening.

El Rey, 919 U St. NW. 202-506-6418. www.elreydc.com.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

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John Taylor · March 27, 2014

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