TICO Restaurant on 14th Street Reviewed – Be Careful!

Crab Tostada at TICO Restaurant 14th Street

Last Tuesday my friend and I went to TICO Restaurant on 14th street in Washington DC.  TICO had only been opened for two weeks so we had to consider that they were only getting their training wheels on.  So with that in mind after finishing our meal we had to ask ourselves if could it have been better, would we go back, could it have been worse, where else would we go if we were craving modern Latino foods?

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It was very tricky to do our TICO reviews because normally we almost 100% agree on food.  This time it was a 100% split…on it.  So if you are looking for TICO reviews for the restaurant on 14th street in Washington DC, you can find out the answers and more with our TICO Restaurant Reviews below. 

TICO Restaurant DC Reviews

Habiscus Margarita at TICO Restaurant DC

Habiscus Margarita at TICO Restaurant DC

So here’s the thing.  I like a lot of flavors and smells with my foods.  My friend likes them as well, but he enjoys other flavors and smells than me.  I tend to like a lot of bold flavors and textures while he likes subtle flavor and not much texture wise…however we have always 100% agreed on food with our opinions.  When thinking about how to do our TICO reviews, we were torn, so instead of one set of star ratings between 1 and 5, we’ll do three.  After our ratings I’ll go into the food and share both of our opinions.

  • Presentation – 4 out of 5 stars.  The food at TICO DC is gorgeous!
  • Service – 5 out of 5 stars.  The hostesses ignored me when I walk in which sucked, but from the minute I found my own seat at the bar and then went through the meal I was treated like a celebrity.  The service at TICO Restaurant DC is 100% amazing!
  • Food – This is the tricky one.  I gave it 1 out of 5 stars and upped it to 2 because the drinks were strong.  My friend would have given it around a 3 out of 5 or a little higher.  However, when you tie in the price points for the quality…it drops to a 1 to 2 out of 5.  The food has the potential to be amazing,,,but at their price points and with a serious lack of flavor from the main ingredients, I cannot recommend anything but the tacos below and the scallop ceviche.  But don’t let our TICO restaurant reviews discourage you….I do think you should go….please read the food reviews from TICO on 14th below to find out why.
Scallop Ceviche at TICO Restaurant DC

Scallop Ceviche at TICO Restaurant DC

The scallop ceviche at TICO on 14th was delicious.  We couldn’t decide which one to do and this one delivered.  There was a light flavor with a great sauce that perfectly showed off the scallops.  We both loved the scallop ceviche.  This is a must have if you go to TICOs restaurant.

Crab Tostada at TICO Restaurant 14th Street

Crab Tostada at TICO Restaurant 14th Street

Next was the one I was the most excited about.  I love crab and especially the types on their menu like blue crabs.  This is DC so blue crab is always around and fresh.  The presentation was stunning, I loved the colors and when I went to dig in I wanted to cry.  I tasted everything but crab.  It tastes like watered down tuna fish…there wasn’t even a hint of crab in the tosdada.  The worst part is they call it a local crab tostada and because you can get fresh blue crab daily here, this is what you should be tasting…especially if they are more expensive because there is crab in it.  My friend liked it because he isn’t big on crab and liked the sauce…I was very disappointed because I love crab, I love avocado and I love scallions and I got watered down tuna fish sandwich.  My friend loves tuna which is why he loved this dish.  Save yourself the money and buy tuna fish from a can at the grocery store.

TICO Restaurant DC Friend Manchengo Cheese

TICO Restaurant DC Friend Manchengo Cheese

Ok, this is another one I was very excited about.  When the manager came over after the meal he asked what we liked and had, I actually couldn’t remember we ordered these which says a lot.  It is very hard to mess up fried cheese, but the flavor of the Manchengo was non existent.  It could have been any cheese which is why it wasn’t memorable.  I did remember the dipping sauce which wasn’t very flavorful but was Delicious.  TICOs DC serves their fried manchengo cheese with a spicy pomegranate and honey dipping sauce.  The sauce had no spice to it, but was still very good.  If they got it spicy and found a way to get the flavor from the manchengo cheese out of the appetizer, this would be a must have if you eat at TICO restaurant in DC.  I still recommend ordering this one because it is a fun twist off of mozerella sticks and the sauce is good.

Golden Beets at TICO Restaurant DC

Golden Beets at TICO Restaurant DC

The roasted golden beets from TICO DC are delicious.  I don’t like beets so I don’t care about them, but even I enjoyed this one.  Again, I can’t say I loved them, but if they were in front of me, I wouldn’t pass them up.  If they were beets from another restaurant they would sit there all night and never move.  Good job TICO DC, you got me to enjoy a beet!  That never happens!  My friend loved them and would definitely recommend them so this is a win if you eat at TICOs Restaurant on 14th street.

Beef Tacos Two Ways at TICO on 14th Street

Beef Tacos Two Ways at TICO on 14th Street

This is a must have!  If all of the food would have been like this, our TICO reviews would have been 4 out of 5 stars for the food and a must go to restaurant.  They are the beef tacos two ways.  They have a ton of texture a ton of flavor and are 100% a must eat item on the menu.  You will be craving and loving and wanting to suck the sauce off of your fingers as it spills out of this amazing beef taco.  Dear TICO DC, please make the crab tostada scream crab like these amazing tacos scream delicious!

TICO DC Reviews - Chorizo Risotto

TICO DC Reviews – Chorizo Risotto

The most disappointing dish at TICO was the chorizo risotto.  It was a can of baked or refried beans from the grocery store thrown into a bowl with some chopped scallions on top.  That’s it.  If you are going to pride yourself on your own home made chorizo,,,let it stand out, let people taste it and let people see it.  The risotto wasn’t cooked right, the chorizo was drowned in what tastes like refried bean pan drippings or the sauce from a can of baked beans from the grocery store and there was barely any actual chorizo.  If the meal would have started with this, we would have asked to cancel and left…I almost wanted to after the crab tostada at TICO restaurant, but because we started with the scallop ceviche we knew there had to be something better after.

TICO Restaurant DC Reviews - Cookie platter dessert

TICO Restaurant DC Reviews – Cookie platter dessert

The last dish we had at TICO DC was the cookies and milk platter.  The cookies were ok…ok I’m lying…I loved the peanut butter cookie sandwich.  I would eat this daily if it was healthy and low calorie.  The oatmeal and chocolate chip, not impressive, but this peanut butter cookie left me dreaming of more.  I don’t care if you like cookies or not, get these damn cookies.  Skip your meal and go for dessert and you will love them!  My friend liked all three, I liked the oatmeal and the Peanut Butter…the chocolate chip was boring so it didn’t do anything for me.

Overall I wouldn’t go back to TICO restaurant DC unless they lowered their prices or I found a Groupon for it.  Click here to buy a groupon, I get a small commission if you do, and you don’t use a coupon code, which helps me to pay for and support this blog.  However, I do recommend you go and try it.  I like strong flavors and textures with my food.  If it says crab or chorizo, I want to taste the main thing…they could not delivery, but my friend thought they did it perfectly.

The service at TICO DC was perfect.  The presentation of the food at TICO on 14th in DC was gorgeous, but the food fell way below what they are charging for it because it was flavorless.  Our reviews of TICO restaurant are that you should try it, but order cautiously and dish by dish so you don’t get stuck with an expensive and flavorless meal.  If you choose the right things you will have an amazing experience, if you choose wrong, you probably won’t go back.

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