El Gavilan has served Silver Spring since 1990, and the secret to its longstanding success is simple...and edible—come taste it.When we walked into El Gavilan in Silver Spring the first time, the first thing we noticed was the size—it's no airplane hangar, but this brightly colored place is comfortably large, offering an array of seating options. Obviously, we chose a spot closer to the bar (we have our priorities, after all). While the homemade margaritas are legit, we also liked the Ensalada de Fruta, a fruity mocktail that's perfect for hot DC days. No wonder this place has been around for over 20 years. "We've been here since 1990," said Claudia, the owner, explaining El Gavilan's long history in the community. Besides the bar, the secret to its success is the food. While there are traditional dishes on the menu, the standouts are those that combine El Salvadoran spices with Mexican ingredients. (Pro tip: If you come with another person, order one of the platters made for two that includes a crab-stuffed lobster dish. "We started these on Valentine's Day one year, but people kept requesting them, so we have the platter for two on the menu all the time now.") Sweet. Nowe we can be in love every day... or at least have fun—El Gavilan hosts karaoke Thursday through Sunday nights.
Plato El Gavilan, $17.25
Platter for 2 Cupido, $59.95
La Mariscada Seafood Soup, $23.75
Fajitas al Carbon, $15.25
Monday - Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday - Sunday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.