We would like to welcome you to an amazing world of Spanish and Mexican tapas at a modern and artsy restaurant named Tico, located on U Street in Washington DC. Now, before you say what we always tell ourselves about tapas (Tapas are too expensive! Tapas are not enough food!) All of those things are true. I prefer brunch all-you-can-eat tapas. However, Tico’s great dinner menu, strong drinks, and amazing desserts might change this. They also offer an all-you-can-eat brunch, which we will check out and review soon enough.

The other thing that will make you fall in love with this place is the romantic atmosphere and giant graffiti spray-painted walls. Low light is an enemy of good pictures, so if you want to take some, make sure to bring an external light. Also, make sure that you are not obnoxious to others.

Tico Guacamole (4/5 NOMs)

Highly recommended by our awesome waiter we decided to start with their signature Tico Guacamole for $14. We were starving and already drinking so this arrived just in time. Served with thick warm chips, it hit the right spot. What made this a bit more unusual, and it might just be us, but at Tico, they add black olive powder on top of their Guacamole. It only added a small hint that barely registered with our taste buds, but it added to the nice presentation. A solid dish, and while it wasn’t the most amazing guac we’ve ever tasted, it was delicious and tied us over for the next dishes.

Serrano Ham (5/5 NOMs)

Our next dish during tapas dinner at Tico became one of the best of the night — the Serrano Ham for $15. You can never go wrong with ham, but this is a whole new level. Very thinly sliced ham with crunchy bread, but what made it amazing was the guava jam dipping sauce. We have to admit that our preference is usually for thick meat ;), but they made every single slice contain a lot of flavors. Also, we have to talk about that bread?? Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, it went very well with the ham and sauce. Everything about this dish made us fall in love. The only problem is that we ate it all, bring us another! We have to talk about the price tag, though. Yeah, it’s a pretty expensive tapas dish, but it’s also well worth it. Make sure to split it with few friends.

Tico’s Mac & Cheese (4/5 NOMs)

You know us well, we love our Mac n’ Cheese! It’s one of our favorite foods to eat, and we can’t pass up ordering one from Tico for $12. It’s very cheesy! There are a few things that we would change about this dish. The dish comes with its good Serrano Ham, extra cheese on top, and crunchy breadcrumbs. Cheese lovers will rejoice and enjoy this gooey cheesiness. While it’s a small portion (remember, it’s a tapas dish), it’s still pretty hearty, so it’s enough to share with few hungry friends. Overall, we liked the dish and would order it again. We might have few suggestions to make it full 5 NOMs by making thicker cuts of ham though, because the cheese and mac are overpowering it. While there was a round amount of cheesiness, it was a bit too wet and could be better a bit gooier. Yeah, we are all about that thickness.

Spicy Pork Tacos (4/5 NOMs)

Tacos are always a must, and with their six different choices, we settled on Spicy Pork for $13 with cucumbers and salsa verde. You can never go wrong with this combination. The corn tortilla was light in flavor so it allowed the pork to shine. What the tortilla did best is hold the taco together without getting too soggy. It made for a perfect delivery system for those nomnoms into our mouths. We do kind of wish there was more kick to these tacos, since they are called spicy. Also, there are only two tacos per order. After all, it’s a tapas restaurant, so you can’t expect large portions. It’s something to keep in mind if you are hungry or with a big group.

Mezcal Flamed Queso Fundido (6/5 NOMs)

This cheese is on fire!!!!! For once, we were not the most flaming thing at the table. By far our most favorite dish, Mezcal Flamed Queso Fundido for $15. I mean you can’t beat this presentation, and of course, the flavors were out of this world. We know that it says flamed in its name, but it came by surprise. If you love cheese, then this is a dish for you because it comes with three different kinds of cheese. Two Mexican cheese Oaxaca (commonly known Quesillo) and Queso Chihuahua (it’s not a typo, and it’s not a dog) plus an American cheese. Every bite was pure joy! Of course, that’s after the fire went out. It was served with corn tortillas for tipping, which we ran out quickly, so we just switched to those thick chips. Flamed Queso Fundido is another dish that is on the higher end of prices, but the quantity makes it more like a full entree, and the flavor makes it nomnom worth it. This dish alone is a reason enough for you to go to Ticos and try it with a few good drinks.

Hot Wings (4/5 NOMs)

Clap your wings if you like it hot! We are fans of wings as they make a perfect dish with drinks so time to order up these Hot Wings. Nice and juicy wings served with some pickled vegetables on top, and a blue cheese dipping sauce. It’s definitely one of those dishes that you will need extra napkins for, because things get very messy. Now is hot about temperature or spice level? We are a fan of spicy food and cute so we went with spice spiciness. Sadly, it didn’t pass our spice test and had very little kick to it. It didn’t take away from the nomnom of the dish. We still recommend ordering this. For $13 you get enough wings to share with friends.

Delicata Squash (6/5 NOMs)

With so much meat we just wanted to try some veggies like the Delicata Squash $12 which turned into the best dish of the night. You know its good when meat lovers prefer a vegetarian dish over meat. Its squash in cinnamon butter, guajillo chile, and pickled onion. The name Delicata Squash refers to a specific variety of winter squash that is also known as peanut squash. The flavors combination was an interesting mix of sweet and savory together. It’s almost like this dish was inspired by the graffiti art decor of the restaurant. Again we wish there was more of this dish, stop forgetting its tapas or order another one.

Los Muertos Cocktail (5/5 NOMs)

Let’s talk about alcohol because mama is thirsty for some Los Muertos Cocktail. Recommended by the waiter, the description sounded so good we ordered up a pitcher for $48. While this sounds like a lot, a single serving is $12. My oh my, did that hit the spot! The Bacardi Rum, Passionfruit Serrano Syrup, and Lime made for a sweet and sour combination. Plus, a strong alcohol flavor that will get you drunk. This beautiful drink is served with a giant ice cube and layers of yellow and orange colors. While it’s more of a sipping drink, we easily enjoyed it in large quantities. This is a drink that will keep you warm during cold days. Even the pitcher it arrives in is very cool. So far, it’s our favorite drink at Tico restaurant.

Desserts Time

Time for dessert, one of those sad and happy moments in a good dinner. On the one side, we are sorry that dinner is nearly over, but on another, we are so glad for some dessert. Tico does not disappoint with their fantastic selection. Surprisingly, they are large, so it doesn’t feel like a tiny tapas and it isn’t too expensive so your wallet will also be happy. If you are not there for the food, the desserts are a good reason. Maybe an end to a beautiful date night with drinks and sweet things.

Passionfruit Creme Brulee (4/5 NOMs)

Get creamy for some Passionfruit Creme Brulee. We always enjoy eating Creme Brulee for its hard melted sugar layer and smooth creamy interior. In this case, they used caramelized turbinado (brown sugar) to create a very thick layer. This is a must-order for fans of this dessert. Portion wise, it’s a pretty standard size, and well worth $10.

Tres Leches Cake (5/5 NOMs)

Just look at this beauty, how can you not order Tre Leches Cake from Tico? Just in case this is your first time hearing about this dessert: 1) This is a sponge cake that soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. 2) You should order it next time. This dessert is common in many Latin and Spanish restaurants in the DC area. The preparation processes of soaking in milk give this a very soft consistency. The cake is just as creamy as the cream on top! It’s served with fresh berries, candied almonds, caramel pink peppercorn, and mango sorbet. We just fell in love with the sorbet that made for a great texture and cool refreshing addition to every bite. Portion wise, it’s just the right amount for $10. For such a low price for a tapas dish, there is enough to share with friends or dates. Or be like us and eat the whole thing yourself (note: we shared it with friends).

Churros Con Dulce (4/5 NOMs)

Churros are one of those things we’ve had so much of that we were a bit tired of them, but Tico’s Churros Con Dulce has revived our love for this dessert. These churros are another great dessert for a great price of $10. Every detail of this dessert was lovely and delicious that this sugar addict just fell in love. The crunchy churros were not the only great part of this dessert. It comes with super tasty Dulce de Leche Espuma which is creamy sweet milk for dipping churros. Plus, very chocolaty tasting chocolate pearls. Just in case you might think there are not enough desserty things in there.

Caramelized Banana Split (5 NOMs)

A banana split may not sound very exciting, but Tico is changing that with their Caramelized Banana Split. While this is a tapas place, their desserts are far from it and will give you a nice big sugar coma. It might not look it, but a lot is going on there that makes it one of the best desserts. Chocolate gelato, peanut butter mousse, peanut crunch, Mexican chocolate sauce topped with cream and chocolate pearls. It was a smooth chocolate joy in every spoonful. With so many things, it makes for a pretty heavy and very sugary treat. Hence we have no complaints. You can and really should share this dessert with friends since you get a lot for $14.

1926 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
www.ticodc.com / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / OpenTable / Yelp
An Amazing World of Spanish and Mexican Tapas at Tico
4.6NOMs Score

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Oppsy! Due to technical issues all ratings are broken. The Nomster is on this, but his cuteness gets in the way.