New Caribbean Fast Casual Restaurant Concept Premiers in DC: Mecho's Dominican Kitchen

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The soul-satisfying flavors of the Dominican Republic hit DC in a restaurant format designed for hip, American customers. Authentic island recipes meet efficient service and value-driven pricing.

Mecho's Dominican Kitchen

Mecho's Dominican Kitchen

Americans who crave comfort foods will absolutely go nuts for these flavors, just like the Dominicans do. Putting them in a bright and comfortable, fast casual context makes the food even more accessible and understandable.

The first Mecho’s Dominican Kitchen recently opened in The Shops at Dakota Crossing, a new shopping center adjacent to DC’s wildly popular Costco. Mecho’s opening marks the beginning of a new adventure for twin brothers Raymond and Aris Compres, whose parents Mercedes and Ramón Compres opened Washington’s most celebrated Dominican restaurant, Los Hermanos, over two decades ago.

While Los Hermanos has long thrived in the largely Hispanic Columbia Heights neighborhood, where it has attracted local luminaries such as the Washington Nationals baseball team’s Caribbean players, Mecho’s represents the Compres’ belief that Americans of all ethnicities will find the hearty Dominican cuisine a deeply satisfying alternative to burgers, bowls and burritos.

Introducing La Bandera
At the center of the Mecho’s concept is “La Bandera,” the quintessential Dominican lunch plate that mimicks the colors of the Dominican flag, or “bandera.” Diners start with a choice of three types of rice, including the Dominican favorite Moro de Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas), then add a signature Dominican protein, such as Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken), Pernil (Dominican Pulled Pork), or Chivo (Stewed Goat). The veggie choices that complete the Bandera include a garden salad with Mecho’s own vinaigrette, a Dominican potato salad, or—of course—sweet plantains. Diners move smoothly down the buffet line, making their choices, then get an extra reward at the end—prices for a belly-filling Bandera start as low as $10.

Mecho’s diners can also choose items from the kitchen, such as Sancocho, the national soup of the Dominican Republic, Lo Tré Golpé, the classic Dominican breakfast plate, and a full selection of the Caribbean delicacy Mofongo.

The Dominican Sandwich Arrives in DC
An important addition to Mecho’s menu from Los Hermanos’ is the selection of the classic Dominican sandwiches—Chimis—served along the boardwalk in Santo Domingo. The typical Chimi, such as the Grilled Chicken, Dominican Pulled Pork, or Hamburguesa Chimi gets a delightful added crunch from shredded cabbage & carrot, and a creamy complement from Mecho’s signature salsa rosada dressing.

Says owner Aris Compres: “Americans who crave comfort foods will absolutely go nuts for these flavors, just like the Dominicans do. Putting them in a bright and comfortable, fast casual context makes the food even more accessible and understandable.”

Adds brother Raymond Compres: “One thing that makes it exciting for us is the fact that all the recipes derive directly from the best Dominican chef we know, who just happens to be our mother, Mecho. These are the foods that nurtured us, served the way Americans will also love them. We even added more vegetarian options.”

To take the concept beyond quick, filling lunches, Mecho’s also serves beer and wine, and has added a Caribbean Cocktail Happy Hour with mixed drinks that feature Mecho’s house-made juices.

The Start of Something Much Bigger?
The brothers hope this first Mecho’s Dominican Kitchen will be a happy prelude to many more. Even during its soft opening shake-down, the restaurant has been earning a solid 4½ stars on Yelp, as well as a loyal core of fans. Franchising plans are already afoot. “We can’t wait for more Washingtonians to discover what Mecho’s is all about,” said Aris. “This food becomes a habit.”

Address:
Mecho’s Dominican Kitchen
2450 Market Street NE, Suite #801
Washington, DC 20018

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