Washington D.C. is filled with restaurants that serve up quality Central American cuisine. You can go into any neighborhood and potentially find a hidden gem that serves up amazing food. D.C. is reported to have the highest population of El Salvadoreans in the world outside of El Salvador itself, so that would make sense that the El Salvadorean food in D.C. is good. El Tamarindo in Adam’s Morgan fits into the hidden gem category.
El Tamarindo was founded in 1982 by Jose and Betty Reyes who came from El Salvador in the early 1980’s. In creating El Tamarindo they hoped to create a restaurant that would deliver delicious hearty Central American cuisine to their neighborhood.
When you walk into El Tamarindo you’ll notice two things. One is that it’s newly renovated and two is the fantastic Central American pop art that adorns the walls throughout the restaurant. I visited the restaurant on a sleepy Sunday morning, why? Because I’m a damn Pupusa hound and I was craving them. The menu has traditional El Salvadorean fare as well as Mexican favorites, either way you can’t really go wrong.
We started with the guacamole which I would avoid getting if you don’t like your guacamole spicy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s tasty, but it’s spicy so you’ve been warned. The house chips were warm with just the right amount of thickness and crunch to compliment the guacamole.
From there we moved to the main reason for my visit, the Pupusas. They are excellent. We ordered a revuelta pupusa (pork & cheese), chicken & cheese, and just a cheese all were magical in all their pupusa glory. The texture was light and fluffy while the filling was fresh and flavorful. The fresh curtido (as always) is a perfect compliment to the pupusas. If you’re not in the pupusa mood, which how could you not be? But if you’re not, I’d recommend ordering the yucca con chicharron as almost nothing beats fried yucca and pork.
Overall El Tamarindo is a must try and a sure-fire neighborhood gem that will become an essential dining spot if you’re an Adam’s Morgan resident (it probably already is).
Final Grade: A
Pricing: Affordable & Reasonable
Service: Friendly & Attentive
Parking: Street parking, nothing really available
Atmosphere: I’m sure it gets energetic when it’s peak dining time, it was quiet and empty when we went on Sunday morning.