If you find yourself wanting to enjoy some authentic, affordable Latin American flavors, the Judy Restaurant El Salvadorian & Mexican Food at 2012 14th Street NW remains a good option. The restaurant has been open since 1993 — prior to that the owners ran first a billiards room and then a grocery store.
The ample space has an original taste to it with TV screens showing telenovelas or futbol that you can watch from the bar or from some of the tables in the main room. They have a second room that serves as a music stage or can be rented for private parties. On the second floor they have pool tables.
Judy Restaurant is a colorful, bright place. The crowd is very mixed — “old” and “new” customers. During the week Latin American workers as well as young, new neighbors gather for a happy hour –that is usually bilingual with a bartender that keeps conversations going in Spanish and English.
Judy is not a fancy place, but it does have delicious food. You can say it is Salvadorian-Mexican, but there is such a thin line in that description. I am not from El Salvador or from Mexico, but the food does remind me of the good flavors from home. The menu at Judy Restaurant consists of your traditional tamales, quesadillas, pupusas and other traditional dishes that evoke real flavors.
Matty had a fried yuca and pork plate that was unbelievable (the chunks of pork are marinated before frying). The yuca was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with a beautifully golden color.
The shrimp and mushroom quesadillas were perfectly done and already plenty. However, I kept on dipping yuca and Matty’s chunks of fried pork into a creamy sauce that was flavorful, but not too hot for me. It was a substantial meal to say the least. We were not able to get dessert.
The experience was also enhanced by the great service from Judy, the daughter of the owners. She was a delightful host who told us that her parents have had the restaurant for a long time and that they own the building. Judy’s dad is actually in charge of the kitchen. Judy Restaurant is a one of those hidden gems in the neighborhood.
Judy Restaurant: The Details
- Where Am I Going? 2212 14th Street NW.
- When Am I Going? Sunday to Thursday 10 pm to 1:30 am; Friday and Saturday 10 am to 2:30 am.
- Delivery? No, but they do have carry-out service.
- Paycheck Pain? $12 to $20
- Say What? It can be loud for dinner during the weekend but much quieter during weekdays.
- What You’ll Be Eating: Great Latin American comfort food.