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Salvadoran in Washington Heights

  • j
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A couple of months ago, there was a posting requesting suggesting for Washington Heights dining. Based upon a recommendation by a Salvadoran national, my girlfriend and I went to El Ranchito at 174th and Broadway this weekend. They speak limited English there, but with my limited Spanish, it was OK. I had a good, pungent horchata to start off with, my girlfriend got a drink called grenadilla or something like that -- it tasted like papaya mixed with something else. The pupusas were succulent, and the Salvadoran enchiladas (hard, unlike Mexican ones) were good, but the tacos should be avoided. We also got a dish with yuca and pork that wasn't out of this world, but tasty. For dessert (which we had to bring home because were we stuffed), we got a quezadilla -- yes, spelled with a "z" and not a Mexican pizza, but a cheesecake-kind-of thing that previous posters referred to also.

Overall, I'm glad I went there and it was very reasonably-priced, also.

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  1. Thanks for the info--we'll check it out.

    A few of us are have gone to La Cabana Salvadorena on B'way and 187th and have occasionally had interesting meals(hey, Beth!). Does your friend (or do you) have any thoughts about this place?

    1. We went yesterday and enjoyed the chicken and corn tamales. The place was nearly full at 11:45 am!

      We also got a kick out of their menu translated for gringos--one item that immediately comes to mind is "Assaulted Breast."

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      1. re: Alison

        I went to El Ranchito (on B'way bet. 174 and 175) for a late lunch today. It was pretty crowded at 2:30, but had thinned out by the time we left. We had bean papusas, cheese papusas, fish soup, beef soup, corn and chicken tamales, rice and beans and "quesadilla" for dessert, horchata and coffee to drink.

        Way yummy, and at least a notch or two better than La Cabana Salvadorena. Good papusas, if just a little bit soggy (I wonder if they'd do 'em well-done if you asked), moist rice, beans with a nice depth of flavor, and a non-chalky horchata. Two different pickled veggie mixes are served with the meal-- one is like a slaw, flavored mostly with vinegar and oregano. The other is onion, carrot and jalepeno peppers for a bit of a kick. The tamales, as you guys have said, are winning, especially with lots of the homemade hot sauce (ask for the green one). The chicken tamales are stuffed with dark meat. But the soups stole the show. Beef falling off the bone, yucca, chayote (called something different in these parts, but I can't remember what), corn on the cob, side of lime to squeeze in. Fish was similar with a lighter broth.

        I'm no expert on Salvadoran food, but I was trying to figure out how soon I could get back to this place even before I'd paid the bill.