303 E Southern Ave (east of Mesa Dr.)
Mesa, AZ 85210
My friend found this little restaurant in a strip mall and we gave it a try today at lunchtime. I wish I would have saved a take-out menu for a better review, but I forgot!
Anyway, this is a great little Salvadoran restaurant. It's cheap, not very busy and tasty.
We arrived around noon and just two of the dozen tables were occupied. The place is sunny and decorated with cheap El Salvador posters. A tv in the corner is set to Spanish telenovelas.
The waitress was very friendly, though I don't believe she spoke any English. However, the menu is in both Spanish and English, so English-speakers shoudn't have a problem.
The pupusas, which are spongy-like handmade tortillas stuffed with meat or cheese, were great. At $1.95, two or three would be a complete meal. I tried the "cheese and loroco flower" pupusa. Apparenlty this is a edible herb-like flower native to central America. It had a great flavor, and some online research discovered it has aphrodisiatic qualities :)
We tried to order a veggie combo platter, though to be honest, they were out of a few items, so I'm not sure what we ended up with. One item was a fried "elote" thing, which was like mashed corn. I'm doing a terrible job describing it, but it was tasty.
They have other dishes like soups of the day, rice with shrimp and vegetables, chile rellenos, etc., and most items are under $10.
One item we did not try, but which I will taste next time, is the "chipilin" tamal. This was one of the two or three tamales they offer and it's flavored with chipilin, which is a dark green leafy herb. I remember eating tamales with this leaf on the street and in the markets when I was in Chiapas, Mexico, and I loved them. So I hope this will live up to that! It's only a buch or two, too.
The restaurant also had several desserts that looked good, including sweet fried plantain desserts. For beverages, they had bottles of flavored sodas and pepsi products, as well as coffee and an "horchata" which was different from any other I have tasted. This horchata was a unappealing brown color, but the taste was a bit like rice, cinnamon and banana. It was really refreshing, though I'm not sure I'd want to drink the entire glass of it.
I didn't eat any meat entrees, but as far as the veggie dishes go, this place is a great find, and I look forward to getting some pupusas and tamales for takeout one of these days at lunchtime.
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