Alfredo and Jessica Solis, the critically-acclaimed sibling chefs behind D.C.’s El Sol, Mezcalero, and Little Havana, are bringing their authentic Mexican street tacos and spicy salsas to Vienna, Virginia, with the opening of a second El Sol.
Their first foray outside of city limits will be the growing restaurant group’s biggest venture yet — 80 seats across 3,900 square feet — and act as the anchor tenant for the Cedar Park plaza that’s undergoing redevelopment in the coming months at the intersection of Cedar Lane and Park Street. The chefs plan to take advantage of bigger digs by grinding their own Mexican blue corn for their house-made tortillas. El Sol is expected to debut by late fall.
Jessica Solis will lead the kitchen, offering a fast-casual lunch service, full dinner service, and weekend brunch, plus kid’s menus. A full bar will be heavy on Mexican spirits like mezcal and tequila.
“We just set out to cook the food we grew up eating and now we have four restaurants. It’s incredible,” Jessica Solis says in a statement.
The original El Sol debuted on 11th Street NW in 2016, drawing an immediate fan base for its carnitas gorditas (fried masa pockets). This year El Sol grew into the second floor of its building and commissioned a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the exposed brick wall.
Alfredo will also continue to manage the group’s pair of Columbia Heights eateries: 2-year-old taco and enchiladas shop Mezcalero and next-door Little Havana, the color-soaked Cuban spot he opened last summer with former Passion Food coworker Joseph Osorio.
Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema recently rated Little Havana as the No. 9 new restaurant in D.C., prompting Alfredo to have a change of heart about possibly swapping a Cuban theme — complete with ropa vieja short ribs and creative Caribbean cocktails — for Mexican.