Tuesday, June 03, 2008

El Salvador Restaurant : Hartford

This dude, man, JohnnyCT, of Chowhound. If I could give you a prize, I would.

It's obvious he went to some lengths, exploring the thriving Central/South American restaurant scene of Connecticut. One of his first posts is of the Salvadoran restaurant, El Salvador Restaurant, in East Hartford. Yes, its "parking lot" can fit all of 3 cars and yes, it's as small inside as it looks outside.

But man, I totally dug the place. This place had heart with a capital H.

My gf and I go in there, rather clueless. We've never been to El Salvador and never have tried Salvadoran food. We do order a couple of things that JohnnyCT talked about: the Pupusas Revueltas appetizer (pork and cheese inside a cross between a quesadilla and an arepa thick corn tortilla [thanks anon]), which was great.

(The sides were pickled cabbage and a slightly sweet/tangy tomato sauce.)
We also ordered the Jugo de Maranon, Amazon Cashew fruit juice, which ended up tasting like sugar cane juice with a nuttier taste at the back-end.

The jarritos drink is a bit more common. This one kind of tastes like a lighter version of Slice soda (or apparently it's now Sierra Mist)

As for the entree, we ended up asking the friendly mother-like (what we assumed to be) owner of the restaurant what she recommended, to which she replied that there was a nice big steak that she could cook up for us, which wasn't on the menu.

And I immediately said yes.

I'm not quite sure why I did. Well, actually, I think it was the appeal of getting an off-menu entree. But logically speaking, I shouldn't have done so. My gf and I had just had a huge steak the previous night and I was thinking we would order two entrees to try different things.

So while we were waiting, I was kind of kicking myself for springing for the order. But after we got the order, all was good in the world.

We got a large salad with avocados and a simple vinegrette.

And the steak was huge, but thin, juicy, tender and delicious.

It sat atop a pile of rice and beans.

The lady later mentioned this was called churrasco.

Oddly enough, for the large size of the salad and churrasco, it was fairly light and we ended up finishing everything, satiated and satisfied, but not overly full.

Give this place a shot. I gladly add it to the growing portfolio of Central and South American restaurants in Hartford that I would whole-heartedly recommend.

(Oh yeah, the staff speaks both English and Spanish.)

El Salvador Restaurant
514 Burnside Avenue, East Hartford CT (Map)
(860) 528-2442
($Hartford, $Recommended, $South / Latin American)


  1. Pupusas are not arepas.

    It's a thick corn tortilla with filling.
    I am Salvadorian.
    Oh, you had pickled cabbage and a tomato sauce with them,btw.


  2. Thanks for clarifying on both the pupusas and the pickled cabbage, anon. Given my embarrassingly ignorance of Salvadorian (and Latin American) food, that was the best description I could come up with.

    I'll update the entry.