Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›
Restaurants & Bars 3

El Aguila report

Xochitl10 | Feb 6, 2004 12:57 PM

Feeling the desperate need for a burrito, Azami and I went to El Aguila in Silver Spring this weekend. It's a little Salvadoran/Mexican place in the Spring Center on 16th, conveniently located around the corner from our house. Dinner came out to around $30 for drinks, appetizers, and entrees for two.

Service was pleasant, if REALLY slow. Our server took our drink order quickly (marg on the rocks for Azami, Salvadoran beer for me), but was very slow in telling me that my original request wasn't available (at least the spirits are well-stocked) and even slower (like 20 minutes) in bringing me my second choice. We noshed on our complimentary chips and salsa in the meantime. Chips were unremarkable, salsa very smooth, like strained tomato puree, and heavily seasoned with cilantro.

We each ordered a pupusa for an appetizer (pork for Azami, cheese for me), and shredded beef burritos for entrees. Our pupusas were both really good, mine full of soft white cheese and tasting very much of corn. I'm not sure exactly how they're made, but after eating a lot of flavorless corn tortillas, we were both grateful for the corn taste.

On to the burritos -- craving satisfied! They were full of shredded beef and topped with a red chile sauce and more fresh cheese. El Aguila gets props from both of us for having shredded beef burritos, which I don't recall seeing on any menus since we left New Mexico. We were both a little surprised that the beef tasted of barbecue sauce. Not like it had been drenched in it, but definitely a barbecuey flavor there. The chile sauce had a wonderful bitter edge that reminds you that, indeed, dried chiles were made in the making of this sauce. Very reminiscent of the chile sauces we make at home or ate out in the homeland. Burritos came accompanied by nondescript rice and really tasty pinto beans, redolent with deep smoky, bacony flavors.

I'm a Chicana native of New Mexico and know nothing about Salvadoran cooking (but if you want to talk green chile stew...), so I'd be curious to know whether the barbecue-flavored meat in the burritos is traditional.


Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound