Friday, August 25, 2017

My first time trying El Salvadorian cuisine...

Birds of a feather...
I'm so fortunate to be able to connect with my foodie co-workers, so here's sharing another food adventure story. I call myself an adventurous eater and have tried quite a variety of cuisine but every so often, I come across that I never knew existed and I'm humbled. I guess, I don't know what I don't know until I know about it...

One of my south American friend asked me if I'd be interested in trying El Salvadorian food. We had been working out on the field all morning so a sandwich and iced coffee in the shade of a tree would have been good but actual real food in an air-conditioned restaurant seemed like heaven and could not be refused.
Platano's grill was off interstate I-5 along the frontage road in Lathrop in San Joaquin Valley. I'm pretty sure, I'd not have picked this place on my own but now that I know about it, I'll take my family there.  
These in the picture above are Pastelitos our appetizer. It has a pastry dough shell, filled with chicken and veggies and is deep fried. Really yummy and even though I've had the combination of these ingredients, the flavor was very distinct. I'd recommend sharing as the amount of oil that was soaked in the shell was very evident.

This is what our main course looked like as we started to dig into our food. The small round stuffed bread are called Pupusa. It is flour dough bread cooked on a skillet and comes filled with a variety of flavors. We ordered Chicken and cheese, cheese and vegetable, cheese and beans and cheese and loroco (edible flower from Mexico). They were all extremely fresh and wonderful. I have tried pupusa before (not knowing that its el Salvadorian food) with corn flour dough and I liked those better for the nutty corn flavor but these were so fresh off the skillet that I didn't even remember the other kind till much later.
The black rice dish is Casamiento which is black bean and rice dish and is close to flavor as the rice and (red) beans but the black beans were much firmer and held their distinct taste.
One the on right is Platano (Plantain) served with sour table cream. The plantains were caramelized without any additional flavor and I really liked that. Usual flavoring of cinnamon and sugar makes it too artificial in taste, this was subtle flavor and went very well with the table sour cream.

The cabbage dish is called curtido, to me if felt like a cross between coleslaw and kimchi. Cabbage, carrots and onions are marinated in some vinegar based dressing and has a strong flavor of oregano but the veggies are still crisp and fresh. They served us a jar of it and we promptly gulped it down... one must eat their veggies, right?

We loved their salsa as well. It has robust roasted pepper flavor and was very spicy.
All in all, a wonderful food experience and even though it is a little out of the way from Sacramento, it would be a good family stop as you are heading into or out of town for vacation.

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