Monday, February 27, 2012

Tortilla Café

You may be familiar with Mr. Canales of Canales Deli located in historic Eastern Market. After years of success, Mr. Canales decided to open Tortilla Café  across the street and offer real authentic ethnic Latin American cuisine from El Salvador and Mexico, creating his own distinctive dishes. Closest Metro is Eastern Market.

In 2010, Tortilla Café  was featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" on the Food Network, which gave new found exposure to this little restaurant. Keith and I stopped in for lunch right around 12 noon and luckily it was not crowded yet.  Being our first time, we ordered a few of the different specialties: pupusa, tamale, and empanada along with another empanada platter.  The platter comes with two sides of your choice from salad, rice, refried beans, black beans, yucca, plantains, or fries.  Depending on what you get, each platter meal is between $5.50 to $8 - a super great deal.  Sandwiches, salads, and soups are also available as well as breakfast options.

We sat down at a table and our food was quickly brought out to us on paper plates, just before the lunch crowd arrived.  First we tried the empanada - beef for Keith and spinach and cheese for me.  The crust was so flaky and buttery and the filling quite flavorful.  The sides were decent too.  Next, the tamale - a generous portion of the sweet corn dough cake filled with seasoned chicken.  Finally, the pork and cheese pupusa - a classic simple handmade dish of filled corn tortillas.  With friendly service, authentic food, and low prices, Tortilla Café is a great lunch spot that must not be overlooked. I will certainly come back more often.: *Note: I totally forgot to mention Catalina. The youngest daughter of Mr. Canales, Catalina, has been mentored and trained to take over the legacy of Canales Deli and Tortilla Café. Her presence comes through in the charming and friendly demeanor of the staff.  I think she fills the shoes of the Canales family proudly.

Total Rating: 4.375
Food: 4.5, Price: 5, Service: 3.5, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 5
What Micky Eats...

What I ate:

Spinach & Cheese Empanada Platter
with black beans and plantains

Plus Keith ate:

Beef Empanada

Chicken Tamale

Pork & Cheese Pupusa

   Tortilla Cafe on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. You can get the same Spinach or Chicken Empanada inside Eastern Market too. They are great to take to work for lunch.


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