Brookside’s new Macho Taco: Mexican food to-go or delivery

Brookside’s Michael Forbes Bar and Grille has launched a “ghost kitchen.”

Macho Taco operates out of the Michael Forbes kitchen but is only available for carryout or delivery through DoorDash.

Macho Taco offers a combination of traditional Mexican dishes with its own house specialties. That includes queso dip, nachos with a choice of steak, chicken or taco meat, chicken wings with house-made sauce, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fried chicken tenders salad and taco salad, and the “Best Smoked Salsa on the Planet.”

“We make it from scratch — fresh tomatoes smoked in our smoker. Fresh onions and fresh poblano peppers charred over a live grill. Then blended together with cilantro and served with fresh tortilla chips,” said Forbes Cross, owner.

Cross was a founder and partner in Michael Forbes Grill, which operated in Waldo from 1985 to 1999. He opened Michael Forbes in early 2012 at 128 W. 63rd St.

He said about half his customers are dining on the patio, the other half want carry-out. And Mexican, pizza and barbecue seem to be the top choices to take home.

“We already had a lot of good Mexican items on our menu so we expanded it,” Cross said. “Restaurants run on a pretty thin margin and we are doing about half the sales during the pandemic. We’re trying to get some traffic to stay afloat.”

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.

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A Beer Garden, Taco Spot, and Charcuterie Shop Open at The Roost This Week

Kitchen sink nachos, tacos, and wings from Hi/Fi Taco at the Roost. Photograph by Stacey Windsor.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s food hall The Roost began its rollout in Capitol Hill two weeks ago with the debut of Cameo, an eco-conscious coffee shop, and Shop Made in DC, selling local goods. The “culinary clubhouse” will introduce ten more concepts in the coming months, starting with three this week.

The latest additions include beer garden Shelter, Hi/Fi Taco, and another location of the group’s Red Apron Butcher. Only Shelter will host seating for now, but menus from all three spots will be available on the beer garden’s 100-seat patio (plus 20 indoor seats that open up to the outside). Order in advance at theroost.menu for pickup and delivery.

Here’s what to expect:

Shelter

Opening Thursday, September 24

Greg Engert is the mastermind behind some of DC’s top beer bars, including ChurchKey, the Sovereign, and Bluejacket brewery. At Shelter, he’s giving special attention to low-alcohol brews with about half the list devoted to session drafts. The lineup won’t be quite as vast as Engert initially planned; Due to the pandemic, many brewers have slowed production of kegs and casks in favor of cans and bottles. Still, look out for everything from a lambic with apricots from Belgium’s famed Cantillon brewery to an American blonde ale with galaxy hops from Bluejacket.

You can also get a sneak peek at the Roost’s forthcoming wine and cocktail bar Show of Hands, which will debut in the next few weeks. Spirits director Nick Farrell has bottled up cocktails for two, including a Mediterranean-style sangria with pomegranate, orange blossom, and Greek honey as well as a pineapple Chartreuse rickey. The cocktails, along with a curated list of beers, natural wines, and spirits, will be available to-go via a small retail shop.

Hi/Fi Taco

Opening Thursday, September 24

Red Apron Butcher’s Nate Anda at Hi/Fi at the Roost. Photograph by Stacey Windsor.

Red Apron butcher/chef Nathan Anda will bring his meat expertise to tacos at this new joint. Among his creations: an orange-soda braised carnitas taco paired with curtido (Salvadoran cabbage slaw), smoked crema, American cheese, and chicharrones as well as as a crunchy-shelled ground beef, shredded lettuce, and queso taco appropriately named “Taco Night in America.” It’s not all meat though—you’ll find fried avocado and catfish options too. Queso comes three ways, including a “bacon cheeseburger” version. Try the cheese dip with chips or smothered on “kitchen sink” nachos.

Tacos from Hi/Fi Taco at the Roost. Photograph by Stacey Windsor.

Red Apron

Opening Saturday, September 26

The fourth location of this charcuterie-and-sandwich spot will offer a menu of its greatest hits. Of course that means plenty of cured meats, pickles, and hot mustard served with English muffin-like tigelles.  There are a couple salads, but the heartier plates are the main attraction. Think poutine, dan dan noodles with Szechuan gravy, and burgers with beef-fat fries. RBG gets a nod with the “Roost Bader Ginsburger”—a burger with beef and chorizo patties,

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