Took the suggestion of Bob B. and visited La Union market on Lee Hwy. (about 2 blocks east of Pastries by Randolph). Very nice folks who care about what they serve. Yes, they have very nice tamales. Pollo is light and tasty, corn comes wrapped in a corn husk and is dense and sweet, particularly good when dipped in the sour cream. Both are good eats for take away.
If you go, though, you'll notice the enticing veggie enchiladas, golden brown crispy tortillas topped with a mound of shredded lettuce, plum tomatoes, avocado, radish, hot peppers (these can be easily removed) sticks of Salvadorean cheese, and finely grated dry cheese. Too messy to eat while driving, but a wonderful meal for $2.50. The pastel de carne - like an empanada- is a bit boring compared to the other choices.
The same folks also have a sit-down restaurant of the same name on Wilson Blvd, west of George Mason Dr. in Arlington. Have not been, though friends who have say they preferred Blanca's in Falls Church, that is until Blanca's changed the menu around (new owners?). If anyone has been there recently, I hope you'll give us your thoughts.
Also, despite the departure of the great La Cantanita, I'm happy to report that their Havana Cafe, in International Square Food Court (18th and I Sts., NW) serves credible Puerco Asada and also marinated chunks of pork. Not up to the same standards, but if you go they will gladly give you a taste of each before you decide what to order. That food this good is available in this location is already a miracle... unless you are on a diet, of course.
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