Johnny’s Half Shell, on Capitol Hill, long had a little taco joint operating on the side, or more literally, behind Johnny’s, tucked inside an office building. In 2013, Johnny’s owners, Ann Cashion and John Fulchino, bestowed real restaurant status upon their popular tacqueria, took over a former post office on this side street in the U&14th Street Corridors, and decorated the interior with beautiful Mexican tiles and grillwork, an old chandelier, and a vision of the Blessed Mother painted upon a worn plaster wall. It seats 45 max at a jumble of brightly colored tables, so from the moment it opens, the tacqueria stays busy. The menu is short but affordable, featuring fresh, authentic tacos and custom-made quesadillas and tostadas. Yucca fries, salads, guacamole, and other sides are available. (Personally, I think the guacamole could be a little spicier, and I’m a wuss when it comes to hot stuff, so that’s saying something.) Saturday/Sunday brunch (breakfast quesadilla, huevos rancheros, and Mexican fritters) is also a big hit. The beverage list is mostly nonalcoholic but does include draft beer and a $6.95 margarita ($5 Monday through Friday after 7pm!).
- Elise Hartman Ford